When we are discussing e-mail we have to remember that we are talking about a very quick and cheap version of your home address. As such, the less you give it out or sign up for things the less e-mail you are going to get, the same as receiving junk mail and advertising in your mailbox. The best option is to have one e-mail address to give out to businesses and to sign up for accounts, and a separate e-mail address for personal friends and trusted associates to use.

If spammers could not find your e-mail addresses then this two account system would work forever and the problem would be solved. But, there are exceptions to this rule of keeping your e-mail away from potential spammers because their computers can send out thousands of e-mails an hour with little cost to the business owner. Computers can also send an e-mail to every e-mail address from A@msn.com to Z@msn.com in a second and in another few seconds send them to every address between those addresses and AAAAA@msn.com. This means that no matter what your e-mail address it, eventually it will be found by the spamming computer.

It is like shooting in the dark trying to hit something that you know is there. The only way the business knows if they hit their target is if you, the recipient of the e-mail, click on a link in their message that then reports to the computer that sent the e-mail that a person at your e-mail address clicked on the link. This reporting cannot be seen or prevented if you click on one of the links in one of these e-mails. By clicking on a link, even one that says “remove me from the list” or “unsubscribe”, or by replying to the e-mail you report your e-mail address as a valid e-mail address. This means that you are moved right up to the top of the list of spammer’s potential targets.

Trying any of these removal tactics (i.e. sending a message saying “remove me” or following a link to unsubscribe) may only accomplish getting you removed from the current list they have you on and getting you added to a hundred other e-mail lists. This opens the door for you to receive even more e-mails and advertisements in the company’s hope that you could potentially be willing to look at and buy other products. Avoid anything that will let the spammers know that they have a live valid e-mail address. The best thing to do is to delete the junk e-mails you have in your inbox without clicking on the body of the e-mail, and then look at our next section on how to divert these troubling e-mails.

You should also know that almost all spammers are using images to report back if you have opened their email. What happens is the image is request from a spammers website and it tells them that it is your email address that made the request letting them know that you have looked at their email and are a target for more spam. Many email programs have images shut off now for emails from people that are not in your address book. This is the way it should be for keeping your email safe from spammers. So keep this option on and only turn on images for emails that you know are safe and will not spam you more.