action should I take?
When people receive a spam
email, their most common reaction is to simply delete it. This is a quick and
effortless method of dealing with spam, and although it will not stop spam from
arriving, at least it doesn't waste alot of time.
However, it is sometimes
the case that you would like to see an end to spams originating from a particular
source, or for a particular offer. There are several methods available to you
for dealing with spam in a more direct manner. Before we get into these methods,
we must first dispell a few myths:
- It is impossible
to find spammers: although spammers use many ploys to hide their
identity and whereabouts, usually with a little digging, it is possible to
locate the actual originating email address.
- You need to be
a computer wiz to fight spam: this
is far from the truth. In fact, the vast majority of spammers are really technologically
(and socially) inept. Hunting them down, and reporting on them is easier than
you may imagine.
- Spammers don't
care if you find them:
this may be true if all you do is send them a nasty email; however, if you
take the proper measures, you can shut down the email address(es) that a spammer
is using, or get their mail server blacklisted. This is a large inconvenience
for spammers, and will slow their activity or stop it completely.
- Spammers will
stop sending you spam if you ask them to: most spammers would love
to have you believe this one. Some people think that simply sending the spammer
a response email telling them to "get lost" will be enough to deter
future spams. The opposite is often the case. Sending a response email tells
the spammer that your email address is active, and that you are paying attention
to the messages it receives. This may actually serve to generate more spam
for you in the future.
With these myths safely
behind us, lets now delve into what you can do as a concerned internet user
to stop a particular spammer in his or her tracks.
If you would rather have
someone else deal with the matter, you can simply notify your postmaster about
the spam you have received and ask them to do something about it. Your postmaster
can usually be found at firstname.lastname@example.org
where the "yoursite.com"
portion is the domain name portion of your email address. This may result in
the spammer's server or email address being blacklisted by your domain's servers.
sometimes the postmaster is too busy, apathetic, or otherwise unwilling to do
this in mind, you may wish to take action yourself to see to it that the spammer
The first step in actively
fighting spam is to trace the message and find out where
it is coming from.
Once the originating email
address or domain name has been found, there are a number of ways for you to
report the spammer to the proper authorities.