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I'm a lean mean spam fighting machine
By Olgy Gary, 11.20.07

computer throwing out lots of spam emailI do hate Spam. Not the (to me) delicious canned luncheon food product the Hormel Foods Corporation makes, but the seemingly unending number of electronic Spam, unwanted and unsolicited emails that inundate my Inbox. Add to that the junk mail the postman delivers daily and the telemarketing phone calls and I'm ready to become a hermit, throw away my computer (gasp!), crawl into a cave and shut out the world.

I've spent countless hours fighting spam over the years, reporting spamming domains to my server, setting up spam filters at the server level and within my Outlook email program, and feeling that it was mostly a losing battle. The more time I spent fighting the onslaught, the greater the number of spam emails I was receiving. Not anymore! I'm now a lean mean spam fighting machine!

These days I look forward to receiving spam. Why the change of heart? Because I'm no longer a victim. I'm fighting spam with the help of spamcop.net, a free service where you have the option of upgrading to their premium services if you want to avoid getting ads. Here's a blurb on SpamCop's history, as stated on their website,

SpamCop.net - Free spam reporting - Filtering - Information
"SpamCop is the premier web-based service for reporting and blocking spam...it processes over one million spam complaints a day and is supported by hundreds of thousands of users, a knowledgeable volunteer community, and a professional staff. SpamCop streamlines the process of determining the origin of spam emails and reporting them to the relevant Internet service providers."

stick figure holding up a flag that says don't give up the shipThere are ways to stop folks from sending you unwanted mail, whether through the U.S. Postal Service or via the Internet. Just because cyberspace is cluttered with junk doesn't mean you need to give up and either stop accessing the wonders of cyberspace of become a recluse. Don't give up the ship! Instead fight back and fight hard.

In addition to SpamCop.net, I found a website provided by, of all people, the DMA, the Direct Marketing Association. At first I thought it was like watching an anti-smoking commercial sponsored by a cigarette company but in many ways it makes sense that the DMA would want to empower consumers and help them keep unethical marketing firms out of the loop.

At the DMA's Consumer Assistance web page you'll find links to how to opt-out (remove your name) from lists marketing firms use to send electronic spam to your inbox and junk mail to your mail box. In addition, the DMA's Consumer Assistance page also has links on how to protect your identity from being stolen and how to safely shop online. Here are some of the links they provide:

Much of the information on the DMA's web page I was familiar with but some of it was new, like how to remove deceased individuals names from marketing lists. It's sad enough to have a loved one die...sadder still to see credit card offers delivered by your postman in their name.

This is how I've become a lean mean spam-fighting machine! I aggressively report spam to SpamCop, and have opted-out of mailing lists, telemarketing lists, and e-mail lists.

Knowledge is power. The more information we have and use the better we'll be at fighting spam. Let me know what works for you and what you're doing to become a lean mean spam fighting machine!

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