Sidebar: Anti-spam gurus offer companies several weapons in the battle to stem the growing tide. (See main story here.)
With the amount of spam escalating and filling email inboxes and mail servers to overflowing, companies need several weapons in the battle to stem the tide.
"Spam is a problem for companies," says Ken Schneider, chief technology officer at Brightmail Inc., an anti-spam company based in San Francisco. "It can create a hostile work environment with objectionable messages. It can create a security problem because enough spams could cause a denial of service. It's a loss of productivity. It's a loss of bandwidth...Every trend we've seen shows that it's continuing to grow."
Anti-spam gurus at Brightmail and Mail-Abuse Prevention Systems LLC (MAPS) say there are several steps that companies and employees should be taking to decrease the flow of spam. Here are some strategies to consider:
Employees should only use their corporate email account for legitimate company business. Anything else draws in spammers;
Be careful when posting messages in newsgroups. Use slightly varied versions of your email address so automatic spiders can't grab your address and use it;
Don't put corporate email addresses in an online directory;
If you do receive a spam message, do not respond and do not click on the opt-out link unless it's a company you have a legitimate business relationship with. Otherwise, any response from you only confirms that there is a warm body at that address;
Don't use your work address when filling out surveys or questionnaires;
Consider using a free email service for those times when you need to give a company an email address;
Beware of the checked boxes on web sites that says it's OK to send you commercial email;
Beware of checked boxes that say it's OK to sell your email address to another company;
Filter at the gateway and pay particular attention to emails coming in with attachments;
Do not buy from a spammer. That's the only thing that keeps them in business.