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For most people, dealing with unsolicited email, also known as spam, is a time consuming nuisance.
Very few of these messages deserve any attention, and even fewer deserve a response. The following tips can help you avoid some or even most of the unsolicited mail that you now receive, all without the benefit of additional hardware or software.
- Don’t volunteer to receive email: Unless there is a good reason to receive email, just say no.
- Have one or more secondary addresses for less important emails: If unwanted email becomes a problem, move to another secondary address.
- Use your primary email address only for people and organizations that you trust: If a sender’s habits change for the worse, provide that sender with a secondary address.
- Don’t put your primary email address online: Use a secondary address instead.
- Use the blind carbon copy field for multiple recipients: Since each recipient can only see addresses that are in the “To” or “Cc” fields, put your address in the “To” field and all the recipients in the “Bcc” field.
- Encourage any group that sends you email to use blind carbon copy: Contact the person responsible for sending the group’s emails and explain how to use the “Bcc” field.
- Send unsolicited email only when necessary: Don’t send an email unless the recipient has a good reason to read or respond to the message.
- Don’t respond to unsolicited commercial email: Responding to the email or to the commercial offer in any way will likely encourage more unsolicited emails.
- Treat the subject line like a newspaper headline: Summarize the email in less than ten words. An email with a well-written subject line is less likely to be accidentally ignored and deleted.
- Teach your child how to recognize and respond to unwanted emails: Your child should learn to delete unwanted email and to get you involved if the email involves issues that should be addressed by an adult.
Other Tips for Effective Email
– Top 10 Email Realities
– Top 10 Email Tips
– Basic Email Style and Grammar Advice
– Advice for Using Email Attachments
– How to Recognize Unsolicited and Unwanted Email
Dr. Todd Curtis is the director of the AirSafe.com Foundation and an expert on the role using the Internet to educate the public about risk. This article was taken from his new book, Parenting and the Internet (Speedbrake Publishing, 2007). For more information, visit www.speedbrake.com.