Each day we all face same challenge. Spam. It doesn't matter if you're a home computer user or head of IT for a multinational limiting or totally preventing distribution of junk email to your computer(s) is now a daily chore.
The sheer frustration that spam causes combined with number of lost man hours adds up to junk email being a very real problem for all involved. You have to filter through all junk to find your own personal or work email. This on its own is annoying enough. When you consider security risks from spyware, trojans, diallers and attempted identity theft spam becomes much more than just an annoyance - it becomes a minefield for any computer user.
So what can you do to block spam? The first step each user should take is to simply limit number of people who know your personal email address. If you have a work email address then just use it for work. For home users only distribute your email address to people you know and trust. This simple move can cut your spam problems by 50%.
But what about all those online forms I need to fill in? No problem. Use a free email service like Hotmail or Gmail for this purpose. Treat it as a throwaway account that you can use as a buffer between your true personal email address and rest of world. Let it fill up with junk email and then just login once a week and delete everything you see.
Your password. It's amazing how many people set password for their email account to abc123 or something similar. These passwords are incredibly easy for spammers to guess and would give them easy access to your mail account. The password for your email account should follow corporate standards of being 6 - 8 characters long and be alphanumeric (a mixture of numbers and letters). Make it longer if you can. Using a weak password is just asking for trouble.