HOME     Making Pictures   Charts   Stationery   Family   Garden   Stories   Computer   Games   All

Spammed Out!

Here’s part of a letter from someone who’s been using the Internet for a couple of years.

Re-spam, I really think I shall have to change my email address.
I was out yesterday and didn’t access my email all day.
Today there were 45 emails and 44 were junk!

Before deciding to give up on your email address there are a couple of things you can do to minimise existing spam problems.

Using Your ISP's Filtering Service

Most ISPs have a spam filtering service which you can ask them to attach to your account. Some ISPs charge a small fee, others charge nothing. The spam is usually put aside where you can check through it for items marked in error. Some ISPs require you to empty the spam box regularly. Some delete it after a certain period. The web site of your own ISP will explain what you should do.

Using a Filtering Program

Programs like MailWasher and PopPeeper have a "White List" or "Friends List". This, rather than obliging you to name all the addresses from which you don't want email, allows you to say from which addresses you do want to receive email.

You'll still be able, if you wish, to check through the spam to make certain there isn't an email from a friend. Then you hit the button that downloads the mail you want and deletes the rubbish.

Reporting the Spam

This is specific to a particular Internet Service Provider—Telstra Big Pond. It will serve as an outline, but modify the suggestions to reflect your own ISP.

There is a form at bigpond which you should fill out if you get spam at your bigpond address.

For other Internet Service Providers, search their site for instructions, or type their name into Google and add “abuse” or “spam” before clicking the search button. Some ISPs will require that you fill out a form, others will ask that you paste the spam (as explained below) into an email.

To use the bigpond form you need to input your name, email address and daytime phone number.
You then need to select “view full headers” on the spam email, copy the entire email with the full headers included, and paste it into the box on the form.

Make sure “Unsolicited Bulk Email (UBE) or Spam” is selected on the form, decide whether or not you want bigpond to contact you about your report, and click “submit”.

Using this form makes it likely that bigpond will find the spammer who is bothering you and close their account.

There are also several Spam Reporting services online. If you want to find out more about them, type “spam reporting” into Google. Visit some of the sites listed and read as much as you can take in. Don’t jump at the first thing you find. Services vary, and some are bound to suit you better than others. There’s always the possibility, too, that one of the sites you find may be a problem in itself. Consider carefully.

Having your email client deal with it

You can try to configure Outlook Express to delete unwanted email. Spammers make slight changes in their addresses every day, though. If they change one letter in the address their email will bypass the block you set up. Filters in email clients aren't a lot of help with spam.

What Do I Do to Change My Email Address?

It isn’t usually possible to change your primary email address without closing your account and opening a new one. If you do that you'll still have to pay for the time remaining on the old account. This applies whether you change accounts with the same ISP or get a new ISP.

Ring your ISP’s help desk and ask about this. You may find that that your user name can be changed for a fee.
On the other hand, your account may allow you to have several addresses. In that case, you could change to a new address, but be aware that the old one, the one attached to your user name will still be active. You must go regularly to your ISP's website and empty that mailbox.

If you believe that you've completely changed your email address, make absolutely sure that the old one is no longer operative. A friend thought that her old address had gone, but a year later her ISP complained that her mailbox was full. It contained 3,000 spam, which she was then obliged to delete—and it took some time!

Return to top

Drop-Down Menu from Brothercake

If you are using a reader, anything below this is a javascript menu. Please use the links here.