Spam is insidious and you aren’t going to ever get 100% away from it. There are things you can do to help keep it to a dull roar.
Go back to Tuesday’s post and set up the spam filter on your Genesee email.
Now. STOP USING YOUR GENESEE EMAIL WHEN YOU FILL OUT FORMS ON THE INTERNET. Yes, I’m shouting at you. Pay attention! And this isn’t just faculty and staff I’m shouting at — that means students, too!
You know all those web pages that say they “need an email address to continue”? Don’t ever use your Genesee email address.
Go to Yahoo and build a secondary email address. One that you only use when you need to fill out forms on the internet. Let all the spam go there. Don’t use that address for anything else and when it becomes unbearable, you walk away from it and create yet another Yahoo email address.
If you have a personal email address that’s getting full of spam, you have to think about what to do next.
If it’s a Yahoo / Hotmail / Gmail type email account, again, walk away from it and build a new one. If it’s a Road Runner or other account tied to your Internet access, it’s harder to walk away from. Talk to your ISP folk and see what spam filtering they can help you set up or tweak to at least reduce the amount of spam. Heck, the ISP folk may even work with you to get another email address, doesn’t hurt to ask.
Once you have a clean email account, never, ever, ever use that email address to fill out any forms, anywhere. Ever. You do it once, you’re doomed. Only use that email address to talk to other people.
Build a third Yahoo account for all of your online accounts. Your Facebook, LinkedIn, Live Journal, WordPress, Second Life, Twitter, Flickr, Google, PayPal, E-Bay, Zoho, Coldwater Creek and whatever notices should come to that Yahoo account. Again, you should never be using your Genesee account for any of these things. Yeah, I did it too in the early years because an email account was precious and more than one was an unheard luxury. Now, you have no excuse. Update those accounts so that the mail goes elsewhere.
You can’t stop it, but you can do something to control it.
Bob had a good point (much as I hate to admit it! ;-))
When you set up your Out Of Office Assistant and tell it to tell everyone you are out of the office, that actually can also add to your spam. What happens is the spammers then have confirmation that they have a ‘live’ email address, so it’s added to the “this one really works” list and used more often.
Another reason for faculty to tell students to use their Genesee email addresses. The outlook.com emails are considered “Inside My Organization” and you can send an Out Of Office message to those and nothing to those outside the Genesee organization. That won’t work for everyone, especially if you need to be in contact with folk outside the Genesee system, but think about it next time you turn on that Out of Office Assistant.