Managing Spam and Viruses
Two things that are the bane of every computer users existence are spam and viruses. Spam is the unsolicited emails you get in your inbox — the ads telling you that you’ve won the lottery or encouraging you to buy drugs or worse. Viruses are those pesky little computer programs that invade your computer and cause it to work slowly or not at all — or that email strange things to everyone in your address book. The good news is, there are plenty of things that you can do to limit your vulnerability to spam and viruses. The bad news is, the people who send spam and viruses are always one step ahead, so you can never eliminate them completely. But with our tips you can come pretty close.
What You Can Do About Spam
- Make sure you are using the latest version of your email software. E.g. Outlook 2010 has more advanced built-in anti-spam technology than Outlook 2007.
- Familiarise yourself with your email software’s built-in anti-spam protection, and adjust it to the level that suits you.
- Consider using an additional anti-spam service or software plug-in to enhance your email client’s spam filtering capabilities.
- If you host your email domain with xmanonline, familiarise yourself with your Control Panel’s spam settings.
- Ensure that your company domain name does not have email enabled for a ‘catch-all’ or ‘default’ email address. The setting for your default address should be “Discard with error to sender”. To learn more, see our article on Understanding Your Default Email Address.
- Consider not using automatic ‘Out of Office’ replies (or similar) that automatically send replies to incoming messages. Reason: the bounced message confirms to the spammer that your email address is valid and it will lead to more spam.
- Don’t ever reply to spam, even to ask to be taken off of a mailing list. Again, all this does is confirm your email is valid.
- Consider using a contact form instead of displaying your email address on your website.
- Create a “junk” email address (such as a Gmail or Hotmail address) that you use just for filling out forms from companies you suspect might spam you.
- Change your email address. If you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still getting too much spam, it may be time to change your email address.
What Does xmanonline Do to Limit Spam ?
Xmanonline’s servers utilise the highly efficient MailScanner or SpamAssassin software to limit spam. These filters use a diverse range of tests to identify unsolicited bulk email, more commonly known as Spam. These tests are applied to email headers and content to classify email using advanced statistical methods. As long as you keep your default mail setting turned on, much of your spam should be caught before it reaches your inbox.
What You Can Do About Viruses
- Purchase anti-virus software and keep it up to date. This is especially essential if you run a Windows operating system. Linux and Mac users are much less vulnerable to viruses.
- Keep up-to-date with all security updates for your operating system, as well as your email and browser applications.
- Avoid downloading any kind of software off the Internet unless you absolutely trust the source.
- Never give permission for a Macro to run in any Microsoft document without double-checking with the sender first to be sure the macro is legitimate.
- Never open any email attachment from someone you don’t know.
- Never open an email attachment that ends in EXE, COM or VBS — even from someone you know, unless you know the original source of the program. They are often included in forwarded email from friends that say something like “This is cool. Check it out!” While you may get a fun slideshow or animation, you may also get a virus loaded onto your computer.
- If you host your email domain with xmanonline, be sure to keep the default Virus Scanning turned on in your Control Panel.