Monday, July 12, 2010


Everybody who reads email has received SPAM - unrequested emails from unknown (sometimes even known) people who have apparently "stolen" your email address. Sometimes they are spreading viruses, or phishing for personal information, or just trying to sell some, often illegal, item.

If you use a web-based email program, like gmail or hotmail websites, where you read the email, you can just click on the spam button, and the email disappears into the SPAM folder. But this is not all that happens, the sending email address and the sending IP address usually get reported to a spam policing organisation.

There are several of these organisations who maintain blacklists of email senders who have been reported as spammers. When someone gets reported as spammer enough times, they will be added to the blacklist until the reports have stopped coming for some time. Emails from blacklisted email or IP addresses are then blocked and returned to the sender. This way, the first few people who report an email as SPAM spare the rest of us from receiving it.

However, if, like me, you use a PC based program like Outlook Express, Incredimail or Thunderbird, to read your email, reporting spam is somewhat tougher. This is where spamcop comes in. Spamcop is one of those spam policing organisations, probably the biggest. If you sign-up free at spamcop, you can report spam emails directly to them, explaining why you think the email is spam. These reports actually have more effect than a simple spam folder.

Don't feel bad about reporting individual emails - the definition of spam is a collective one: the more people there are who think an email is spam, the more it's true. So join spamcop for free today.

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