Rock River Internet Home Support

Anti-Spam Measures

Unsolicited bulk e-mail ("spam") is mail that appears in your electronic mailbox that you did not ask for. It's a lot like junk mail, but it takes longer to sort through, and costs you time and money because you don't know you've got it until it's already downloaded.

Unfortunately, blocking spam is not always easy. If it were easy, everyone would block it and spammers would have to find another way to shove their unwanted message in your face. So the spammers take extra steps to disguise their message to our servers, including forging the source of the message. (It seems clear that if they are going to this much trouble, they know you do not want to hear from them. And yet they send it anyway.)

We don't like spam any more than the next Internet user. So we've installed the latest version of Qmail (our e-mail server) and enabled some of its anti-spam features. Mail with forged information will be much harder to deliver here, so you should find less of it in your mailbox. It won't catch all of it, but it should reduce it.

What You Can Do to Prevent Spam
Here are six tips provided by the Spam Recycling Center.

  1. NEVER RESPOND TO SPAM
    Oh sure, they say they'll take your name off the list, but they're lying. What they really want to do is confirm that they've got a live address. Also, if you respond, they'll sell your address to every other spammer on the planet meaning you'll soon be flooded with even more spam.
  2. DON'T POST YOUR ADDRESS ON YOUR WEBSITE
    It seems like a good idea at the time, but posting your email address on your personal home page is just an invitation to spammers. Spammers and the people who sell spamming as a business have software that "harvests" email addresses from the Net. This software crawls through the Internet seeking text strings that are -something-@-something-.-something-. When it finds one, it catalogs it on a database of other email addresses to be used to send spam.
  3. USE A FAKE EMAIL ADDRESS IN NEWSGROUPS
    Newsgroups are the great email address gathering ground for spammers. If you post to a group, you're going to get spam -- it is just a matter of time. So how are you supposed to participate? Use a made up address like no_spam_here@not-a-real-domain.usa. The key is to make up an address that is an obvious fake so that people won't try to send mail to it and if they do, it won't bounce from someone's mail server. If you really need to leave an email address in a newsgroup, write it out in your message so that only someone who closely reads the message will be able to figure out how to send you mail. For example... "please reply to johndoe at rockriver dot net".
  4. DON'T GIVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WITHOUT KNOWING HOW IT WILL BE USED
    If a website is asking for your email address, they want to use it for something. Be sure you know what. Read the terms of use and privacy statements of any site before telling them your address. Ask yourself some simple questions. Are they going to share or sell my address? Do I want emails from this website? Do I trust them? Is it worth the risk? If you can't answer these questions satisfactorily, if you can't find their privacy statement, don't tell them your address.
  5. USE A SPAM FILTER
    While there is no such thing as a perfect filter, anti-spam software can help keep spam at manageable level. Some of it is cumbersome, some works better than others, some even requires that you let your email messages go through another system for storage and cleaning. But right now, that's the way it works.
  6. NEVER BUY ANYTHING ADVERTISED IN SPAM
    The reason that people spam is because they can make money. They make money, like all advertisers, by convincing people to buy a product. If no one buys the things advertised in spam, companies will quit paying spammers to advertise their products.

Don't Send Spam
Given our position on incoming spam, it should be no surprise that we don't want any of our users sending out spam (see our Acceptable Use Policy).

Links
Here are some links to other sites with more information about spam and spam prevention.

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