Here are some commandments to follow to help keep 2012 a spam free year! Many are simply common sense, but all of them will help reduce the amount of spam that hits your inbox and social media accounts.
1. Thou shall not click without thinking.
This is especially important for your social media accounts. Spammers count on the trust between friends established on these sites. For example, right now a new spam campaign is hitting Facebook. Your newsfeed will show that a friend of yours liked a link that appears to lead to a funny commercial. If you click on it, you’ll be taken to a site that says it won’t let you view the video unless you take a survey. The spammers are counting on people to give in and do so because they get paid for each survey taken. To keep the spam going, as soon as you click on the link, it posts itself on your newsfeed in hopes that you friends will do the same thing.
2. Thou shall use a throwaway email address.
This type of address, which can be obtained from a service specializing in such, or you can just create one with Hotmail or Yahoo. Use this address when shopping online or registering with websites. That way, any spam that gets generated stays out of your main inbox and the account can simply be abandoned if the spam gets too large.
3. Thou shall not respond to spam in any way.
Responding to spam, whether to tell the spammer off or because you think clicking the unsubscribe link actually works, is almost always a waste of time. At best, you’ll simply be ignored or your rant will either bounce back because the address used was fake, or be sent to an innocent person whose address was spoofed or hijacked to send the spam. At worst, you’ll be letting the spammer know that your address is active and responsive to spam.
4. Thou shall keep thy anti-virus software up to date.
Most good ones include email scanning, which block and clean any malicious attachments that may wind up in your inbox.
5. Thou shall make use of thy ISP’s abuse address and/or “mark as spam” button.
It’s important to report the spam you do get to your ISP. This helps them fine tune their spam filter and blacklists and make them more effective.