Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Spam happens, and sometimes it really looks bad. The best way to protect yourself is to learn how to use your spam and junk filters effectively.
Hi, Leo. I have a Hotmail address and for months now I'm getting disgusting emails from some kind of site. I've tried to block them but different names come forward all the time. I do not want these disgusting words on my computer. I tried Spam Cop but it didn't transfer across to them. I'm not very computer literate. I emailed them back and tell them they are being charged for stalking and harassment of my email address. Can you help please? I don't know where they got my address from and it looks disgusting on my emails when they put their little notes in with attachments, which I do not open. I thought I should change my email address but I don't know how to do that. Thanks a lot for any help.
In this excerpt from Answercast #31, I look (again) at the rash of spam on the internet and a few techniques that can help you live with it.
What you are getting is unfortunately run of the mill spam.
The only thing replying to them does is it confirms to them that the email address they were using to reach you is a valid email address – with somebody at the receiving end. That means they are more likely to send you more spam, not less.
They are clearly going to ignore anything you might say, any threats that you might include, because they don't care. They don't have to.
There's a very good chance that they are overseas. You can, I suppose, charge them with stalking and harassment – but if they're overseas, they're probably not even subject to our laws. In fact, this is such a common problem that you'd be very hard pressed to find any law enforcement agency to even take this on.
Changing your email address isn't going to help anything really. You probably won't get spam for a while, but it will accumulate again.
Everybody gets spam. Much of it is pornographic and that's just an unfortunate side effect of exactly how the internet is working today.
The thing to do is:
That will tell your email program that "Messages that look like this..."
I think those are spam,
I don't want to see them.
Now, it won't happen immediately; but if you mark enough of those messages as spam, eventually the system will learn that to you, these kinds of messages are spam. Instead of delivering them to your inbox, those messages will get delivered to your junk mail folder or your spam folder. You won't have to look at them there.
There's no way to stop receiving them. You can, with spam filters, do a better job of having the system automatically filter them out and throw them into a folder.
Now, unfortunately, occasionally, a legitimate mail gets filtered as spam. So, it is possible that you may need to look at the contents of your junk or spam folders occasionally just to see if there's some email in there that isn't spam. Something may mistakenly be marked as spam and then you would, of course, select that message and tell the system that it's not spam or it's not junk.
But the important thing is that you can effectively get the day-to-day
receipt of spam to be automatically filtered into a junk folder simply by using
the tools that are already at your disposal. Replying to senders, threatening
senders, are absolutely the worst thing you can do. It (at best) simply means
you're going to get more mail, more junk. At worst, you could get a LOT more
Next from Answercast 31 – Should I configure my page file differently if I have lots of RAM?
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