Spam Filters & Blockers: The solution to unsolicited email?Written by Anti Spam League
Spam is a term that, for vast majority of us, has a very negative connotation. How could it be different when average Internet user gets over 50 pieces of junk email per day? Moreover, research indicates that by 2006 average internet user can expect to receive at least 5,000 pieces of spam per year. That sure is a giant amount of spam!
None of us want to waste our time, our bandwidth and our hard drive space to receive spam and then delete it. Because our day-to-day lives are delayed, interrupted and significantly disturbed by this large number of unsolicited email, software manufacturers have developed a number of products especially designed to fight spam. These products might be called ‘spam filters’, ‘anti spam filters’, ‘e-mail filters’, ‘spam blockers’ and even ‘spam killers’. Regardless of name, their purpose remains same: to eliminate spam in your inbox. We have not yet seen a spam filter that achieves 100% accuracy but latest products launched into market as well as newest versions of existing products are proving to be more and more successful. In case you are wondering specifically what these products do and how they do it, you should know that a spam filter is a program that - web based, server based or installed locally - prevents spam email from being downloaded to your PC. The spam filter itself operates on basis of rules, which means that spam fighting program will examine your incoming email and match it against a set of pre-defined criteria. If email does not match those rules, then it is either: a) Deleted, or b) Quarantined for Review. There are three basic types of traditional anti-spam software: 1) Plug-ins for email clients - These anti spam programs run on your computer and require all received spam to be downloaded before they start sorting it. 2) Standalone applications - These spam blockers also run on your computer and communicate with email server multiple times each hour to check your POP mailbox for spam and delete it. They constantly run in background, using up resources and bandwidth. 3) Server-based email spam filters - Many ISPs and email servers (Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, etc.) have installed email filtering software that scans email for certain triggers, which may include certain phrases, formatting, and aggressive writing styles. A server based spam filter is designed to examine email being sent to your Internet Service Provider or local area network and to filter it effectively before email is delivered to you. When this works, it works effectively, however it is not perfect. Unfortunately, many unfair marketers have learned to fool spam filters while a lot of legitimate emails are blocked by them. Of spam filters that are on market at moment vast majority of them need to be installed to your hard drive. However, there is a move towards spam filters that do all work online before email ever gets to your computer. Most of today’s email applications come with a basic spam filter that allows you to block email from specific addresses. Some more complicated email software allows you to configure rules just for that software itself. This can get pretty complex pretty quickly! But people who suffer from tons of spam want a simple solution to their problem - not more headaches. On this note, one of most popular PC-based spam solutions on market today is Mailwasher Pro, which has a really nice feature that allows you to send a reply to spammer that mimics a ‘mailer daemon’ error message; that is, when spammer gets this message from you he assumes your email address no longer exists. Simple but effective.
Distribution Lists and Databases: A Primer for FreelancersWritten by Lyn Blair
Self-marketing is a freelancer’s meal ticket. Promoting yourself through e-mails is one important avenue for self-marketing. Did you know you could set up your contact base to send one e-mail to numerous prospects? Or you could send one e-mail to all freelance partners in your business network at same time?
Microsoft Outlook (not Outlook Express) has feature to do just that.
There are two Microsoft mail management systems. Microsoft Outlook is designed for business use, and Microsoft Outlook Express for personal use. MS Outlook has organizational tools like distribution lists, mail merges and more that Outlook Express doesn’t have. Therefore, we’re using MS Outlook. I recommend using MS Outlook for your freelance business.
One of features in MS Outlook program is called "Contacts". According to MS Outlook 2000, "Contacts” are defined as: "The contacts folder is your e-mail address book and information storage for people and businesses you want to communicate with. Use contacts folder to store e-mail address, street address, multiple phone numbers, and any other information that relates to contact, such as birthday or anniversary date."
Let's assume you've created your contacts. In each individual contact you've included all important information, such as: name, address, e-mail address, phone numbers, web page address etc.
The easiest way to access Contacts is through a contacts shortcut. Here’s how to create a contacts shortcut.
Making a Contacts Shortcut in MS Outlook
1.On left side of program, there’s a column, called Outlook bar. At top of column it says “Outlook Shortcuts”. Point cursor on background of column. Right click and a pop up window will open. 2.Select Outlook Bar Shortcut. Another window will pop up offering you choices. Select “file card” icon with Contacts written beside it. 3.Click OK.