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You Can Decrease Spam

Join Network Solutions® in taking steps to reduce the amount of spam that arrives in your e-mailbox.

Spam Topics

What Is Spam?

Spam generally refers to unsolicited commercial e-mail messages. These messages are typically sent to lists obtained without the permission of the recipients. Solicitors make money by sending out millions of e-mail messages, even though only a small number of recipients respond to the offers. Common types of spam include work-at-home offers, weight loss programs, credit repair, loan scams, and pornography.

Spam has grown from 8% of e-mails in September 2001 to 60% of e-mail in December 2003. The recent passage of the CAN - SPAM Act of 2003 allows consumers to "opt-out" or unsubscribe from email lists but this does not reduce the amount of initial spam the consumers will receive and registrants continue to be victims of spam*.

For tips on how to reduce your current spam e-mails now, review our "Actions You Can Take to Stop Spam" section below.

*Source: Brightmail Logistics and Operations Center, December 2003

How Do Spammers Get My E-mail Address?

Spammers obtain e-mail addresses in many ways, but one of the most common methods is by “harvesting” addresses from the Internet. Sources include public chat rooms and message boards, and databases such as the public WHOIS. In addition, many spammers attempt to generate names at random, targeting the largest residential e-mail providers where millions of users share a common domain name.

Internet users may also expose their address inadvertently. Many sites request e-mail addresses, and users may give permission to use and distribute that e-mail address without realizing it. Once your e-mail address gets on a single “opt-in” list, it’s only a matter of time before unwanted e-mail arrives in your e-mailbox.

What Network Solutions Is Doing to Stop Spam

New Privacy Feature - Private Registration

With a Network Solutions Private Registration, you receive alternate contact information in the public WHOIS database. A newly created e-mail address will appear as the contact information in the public WHOIS database for your domain name registration. This minimizes the amount of spam. To find out more about Private Registration, click here.

Providing industry-leading spam protection

Customers of Network Solutions e-mail service benefit from our, real-time intelligent filtering system that is effective at blocking spam before it reaches your e-mailbox. Since introducing these industry-leading spam controls, Network Solutions e-mail customers have experienced an 82 percent reduction in reported spam. Network Solutions also limits mass outgoing messages and works with government agencies and anti-spam organizations to identify and stop spam.

Actions You Can Take to Stop Spam

Make Your Domain Name Information Private

You can make your domain name registration private with Network Solutions by adding Private Registration to the domain. Private Registration will display alternate contact information in the public WHOIS database so your personal data is not available to the public. By adding Private Registration, Network Solutions will populate the public WHOIS database with an aliased WHOIS e-mail address that changes every 10 days. This will deter spammers and others who mine the public WHOIS database. To find out more about Private Registration, click here.

Protect Your E-mail Address

Avoid using your e-mail address as your login name at popular Web sites. Watch out for sweepstakes, rebates, and other offers that require your e-mail address to participate. When making online purchases, read the service agreement to find out if you are giving permission to use your personal information for marketing purposes. Ask friends and colleagues to think twice before entering your e-mail address into auto-forwarders for jokes, news, and other online items.

Choose Your E-mail Address Wisely

Addresses with generic names such as sales, info, and webmaster, as well as common first names, receive more spam than more specific names. Spammers often use dictionary attacks and send to a long list of common user names. E-mail addresses at the largest residential e-mail providers can be especially vulnerable because spammers can couple common user names with these common domain names and successfully find real e-mail addresses.

Use Multiple E-mail Addresses

Many people create a “private” address for daily use with friends, family, and business associates, and a “public” address for all other uses, such as online purchases or in a public database such as WHOIS. The public address is more likely to receive spam but is checked less often. While this strategy does not eliminate spam, it allows you to sort through it in batches, on a less frequent basis. It also prevents your daily use e-mail address from becoming cluttered with spam.

Create “Disposable” Addresses

Perhaps the most effective way to protect your e-mail address is to use a new and unique address every time you need to provide one to a company or Web site. Network Solutions makes this easy with the Catch-All e-mail option which provides current e-mail customers the ability to create unlimited incoming e-mail addresses. Messages are delivered to your primary e-mailbox, but can be filtered based on the ‘to’ address. If a particular address starts receiving spam, you can direct all those messages to be deleted.

Avoid Using Auto-Responders

Auto-response, out-of-the-office, and vacation messages are handy for letting people know when you will be away. Unfortunately they also help spammers — the automatic response confirms your e-mail address is valid. Knowing that your address is valid keeps you on the spammer’s list, which may be reproduced and shared with others.

Filter Spam

Create rules and filters that search incoming e-mail for common characteristics. Spammers often will not include your address specifically on the “To” line; also spam sometimes contains excessive punctuation marks. Set up your e-mail program to automatically filter such messages (messages that exclude your name in the “To” or “CC” line, or contain more than five exclamation points in a row, for example) directly to a spam folder or the trash.