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What is SPAM and is it dangerous ?
Spam is unsolicited email - you didn't ask for it and you are not given the option to opt out of further emails. Spam may contain viruses but if you have a decent antivirus program in place you hopefully will not have to deal with that more serious threat . Your Internet Service Provider may block this type of spam also (see viruses). The vast majority of spam is trying to sell you something - primarily pharmaceuticals, finance and pornography. As long as you don't click on any links the dangers are not significant but the annoyance factor is major and the nature of many of the emails is very offensive. Spam volume is predicted to fall in the next few years but one area is on the increase and is potentially dangerous (to your bank balance) - PHISHING. These are spoofed emails, pretending to come form your bank or building society and asking you to confirm your details. Ignore these ones always or report them to your bank.  

How do you stop spam getting onto your computer?
Many people accept spam as a fact of life but you can block the vast majority of it with relative ease nowadays.

You can of course buy anti-spam software and install that on your PC - many antivirus software packages have anti-spam built in. The problem with this approach is you may have to be quite proactive (especially early on) to ensure its working as you want. It may also slow down your PC.

Better to stop if getting to your PC in the first place.
So make use of your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Usually they provide spam filtering for free so enable it (it'll be somewhere in your control panel). After a couple of weeks checking you're not losing any real emails you may never have to worry about spam misery again.

Where does the spam go?

When you use ISP spam filtering you may be presented with a couple of options -
i) simply delete everything the ISP considers spam OR
ii) move the detected spam to a folder on the server (where you can view and delete it)
iii) mark the email as spam and send it on to your PC

To start with you may want to do ii or iii and select i when you are happy with the spam filtering.

Finally if you are receiving messages marked as SPAM already by your ISP - then you can do something simple so that you don't need to see them - Set up a message rule.
You can do this in Outlook Express (for example) by clicking

Tools - Message Rules

Select 'Where the subject line contains' - enter SPAM
'move To' - the Deleted Items Folder



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