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The best strategies to stay ahead in the war on spam

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No matter how hard-nosed and internet savvy we might be, there will always be those people out there who are certain that we want to buy in to a Nigerian get-rich-quick scheme, use their web design skills despite their appalling spelling, send them our bank account details or hook up with an attractive lady or gentleman who lives “just around the corner.”

Yes, whatever other advances we see in online technology, the spammers, scammers and fraudsters will never go away. Statistics indicate that there is actually more spam floating around in cyberspace than genuine email. It sounds shocking, but when you think about the percentage of junk that comes through the average letterbox every day compared with genuine letters, it is not such a crazy thought after all.

With any sort of antisocial behavior, whether it is creating malware, stealing cars or breaking into homes, the perpetrators are always only one step behind those who seek to stop them, and the security measures are constantly evolving. Keeping the tide of spam at bay is no different. Here are five of the best and most up-to-date tips and tools.

Optimise the Gmail filter

Apps such as Gmail and Hotmail have inbuilt spam filters. If, like 15 percent of the Earth’s population, you have a Gmail account, you can improve its effectiveness by “training” it. The filter works on feedback from the global Gmail community, so if you receive a spam message, don’t just delete it, select it and right click to “mark as spam.”

Equally important is to weed out the false positives, so keep an eye on your spam folder and instead of just fishing genuine mails out of there, mark those as not spam. Your filter will become gradually more effective.

Use Everycloudtech

Freeware is great, but has its limitations. If that wasn’t the case, we would all be using open source operating systems, and Bill Gates would be flipping burgers for a living. If you stop e-mail spam with everycloudtech.com, you can be confident of a 99.99 percent success rate, which is far better accuracy than any of the free filters could hope to achieve.

This tool uses cutting-edge machine learning technology, and being cloud-based, it has the added benefit of leaving the spam up in the cloud where it is out of the way and not taking up valuable disc space. Particularly useful for business applications where there are hundreds of users.

Don’t respond

This piece of advice is as relevant now as it was in the first days of email. Spammers will sent out hundreds, even thousands of emails, expecting a success rate of less than once percent. If you reply, they know the inbox is in use and they have a potential hit. So even if you are tempted to send a mail back, just to tell them exactly what you think of them, don’t be tempted. All you will do is turn the trickle into a flood.

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