The issue of SPAM (unwanted emails from normally unknown persons) is becoming a problem for some users; some receiving huge volumes of material, including subtle scams and corrupt content.
Unsolicited – SPAM Email Guidelines
Some general guidelines for avoiding the biggest causes of this are given here. A very general comment is that many issues could be avoided if users stayed in the confines of required business use, rather than indulging in indiscriminate browsing and searching for curiosity sake.
IMPORTANT - Group Emails
If forwarding emails to a number of persons who are not part of the same company or not expected to work together on a project, it is respectful and sensible to include the email addresses in the BCC address box not in the To or CC box where everyone can see them.
(BCC is a Blind Carbon Copy (or Courtesy Copy) and can usually be accessed by clicking the “cc…” box/button in an email and changing the option to BCC)
Persons give you their email address because they want you to have it… many may be offended to know you may indiscriminately pass it to others.
Signing up for user accounts on websites involves certain risks… Often personal contact details are requested, which may or may not be securely held… especially in the case of obscure offshore websites/search engines/download sites
- It is recommended that you only sign up for necessary website accounts.
- Use a disposable email address for all but the most trusted of sites (a disposable email is one you are happy to get rid of at a later stage… for example you may be able to add a random type of address to your Vodafone or other email provider accounts (eg. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org )
Email Address Advertising
Advertising your email address opens you up to the risk of unsolicited mail (just like indiscriminate advertising of your house address would)
- A disposable email address would be well suited to most advertising purposes, avoid advertising personal email addresses such as email@example.com. Even firstname.lastname@example.org may be best avoided as it may be impossible to dispose of this address if spam becomes a major issue.
- This especially applies to online advertising - the general rule is to NEVER expose a permanent email address on a website - the spambots are working ceaselessly to search for and harvest email addresses from websites.
Most of us have seen one or two of these….
- “The POLICE would like you to send this to your entire mailing list!!!!” YEAH RIGHT...
- “MASSIVE VIRUS RISK – WARN YOUR FRIENDS NOW!!!!!!!!!”
- “POOR ME – Here’s one of my lovely poems I wrote on my death bed - Help me by sending this to as many people as possible, so that I can know I am famous before I die…”
- “Wow – look at these photos… pass them around!!!”
- “Oh what a DISASTER – look at this last moment (and TOTALLY DOCTORED) photo of …..
- “You have won… you will receive… you are our one millionth customer… I need your help!”
Aside from being a complete waste of time… they can have a more subtle, malicious side. Any email that asks you to circulate it to as many people as possible or similar is very highly likely to be a hoax and a possible email address harvesting scheme.
No matter …
how AWE inspiring… --- DON’T BE A SUCKER!!!!! ---
If you really must forward something …create a NEW email… and cut and paste the content
to the new email… and DON’T send it to me!
Advice for dealing with current spam
If you already have a spam problem, some possible remedies are listed below.
- Discuss the issue with your email provider, or ISP (Internet Service Provider)
- The Outlook Junk-Email option gives you the option to "block" email senders; in fact these are not blocked but ARE automatically but into the "Junk Email" folder. This option is not always highly useful for persistent SPAM problems, as the worst offenders will not use the same email address for long anyway, and the mail is still coming in and using up your data and storage capacity, and is there for anyone who goes looking, until it is permanently deleted. It is possible to have the obvious ones deleted immediately on arrival, but be careful that you do not risk accidentally deleting something you want.
- Cancel your email address… It is relatively simple to delete your old email address and get a new one (which you will now be very careful about!). You will need to email your contacts with your new address
- You may wish to contact the NZ Police if you are receiving illegal offers, corrupt communications, hoax schemes, and possibly other malicious content. It is unlikely the Police will be able to do much in most cases; however, they may be able to offer some more relevant advice.
NEVER, …EVER, …EVER!
- Never respond to a SPAM message (this only confirms to the sender that the address is correct, and may supply MORE info about yourself/your business)
- Never follow links to websites and forms suggested in these communications
- Never forward the message unless specifically asked to by a technician.
- Thank you for taking the time to read this information. We hope that it helps to keep you safe and save you time.