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How can I avoid spam?

Perhaps the best way to avoid spam involves avoiding making one's email address available to spammers, directly or indirectly. Basic computer literacy should include an understanding of the basics of spamming and spam-avoidance.

Some useful tips:
  • Take precautions to avoid publicizing your e-mail address.
    • Never reveal your e-mail address on pornographic, warez or other sites with questionable content.
    • If a web site requests registration in order to allow useful operations, such as posting in Internet forums, give a temporary disposable address -- set up and used only for such a purpose.
  • Use automated e-mail filtering.
    • Downstate utilizes a spam-blocking program called SpamSentinel from MaySoft, which closely integrates with Lotus Notes. SpamSentinel blocks 95-98% of spam with very few false positives.
  • Never reply to a spam email, or click an "opt-out" link -- this simply confirms to the spammer that your email address is active.

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