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SPAM... and how to minimize its effects

Never reply to unsolicited spam - although if you are being spammed by a "reputable" company (as a result of some contact you did have), then they usually have a way of getting off their mailing list which is OK.

Contact webmaster@bioch.ox.ac.uk for more details

Be careful when posting to news servers; many people give their address in an altered form (eg. joe.bloggs@NOSPAM.bioch.ox.ac -remove NOSPAM to mail me), so automated harvesting programs can't grab their email address for spam lists. Once you are on a spam list you have had it: that email address can become deluged with spam.

Consider having a semi-disposable (Hotmail) public email address for casual use as well as a more restricted one (e.g. your Herald one) that you are more circumspect about using. You can then ditch the first one once it attracts too much spam and adopt a new one.

If you want to complain about someone spamming you from an ISP, organization or university, eg. spam_man@aol.com, there is commonly an abuse (eg. abuse@aol.com) address to do so. If that doesn't get a reply, try the mail administrator on postmaster (eg. postmaster@aol.com). Obviously if the organization in question is the one doing the spamming, then there is no point doing this, but if the person in question is breaching the organization's "Acceptable Use Policy" then it will work.

You should not forward chain emails - some of these are illegal and it is not an acceptable use of the University’s email system. If you receive a virus alert, you should not forward it to other users but just forward it to the IT support team. (Many virus alerts are hoaxes - and by circulating them you are generating spam).

Then there are viruses..... Lately at home I have been receiving bogus Microsoft alerts asking me to install an urgent "patch" - which is actually a Trojan, not to mention the Nigerian fraud emails.

If you have a Herald email account, activate the Junk mail filtering option found in the Options section of Webmail - http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/email/filter/

If you have any issues or problems with Spam and unsolicited mail then contact IT Support.

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Page Last Updated: 19/03/2012 by John Elder

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