Spam is inconvenient and annoying, but many people talk
about it as a "privacy" problem. This is a forgiveable error — until it
confuses people about what they are up against. There are several ways to fight
spam and reduce its inconvenience and annoyance.
The best response to spam is to report it to your Internet Service Provider.
Many ISPs have a special e-mail address to which users can forward spam, along with the
header information that tells where the spam came from. The user's ISP will then
report it to the ISP of the spammer. Spamming is a violation of
nearly all ISPs' policies, and they will cancel the accounts of spammers. This is
not a perfect solution, but it is one of the best around today.
Never reply to spam, even to ask to be removed from the spammer's mailing list.
Replying to spam confirms to spammers that they have a "live" e-mail address, and they will
send even more spam. These are not generally legitimate business people.
Some e-mail marketers are legitimate, and they will respect your preferences.
Submit your e-mail address to the Direct Marketing Association's
e-Mail Preference Service.
This service will have your e-mail address removed from the lists of legitimate
marketers with whom you do not have a pre-existing business relationship. (For
traditional mail, this can also be done through the Direct Marketing Association's
Many e-mail programs can be set up to automatically delete e-mails based on the
address of the sender, the content of the "Subject:" line, and the address to whom the
spam is sent. Intelligently used, this can reduce the annoyance and inconvenience of
spam as well.