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What is Spam? Technically called UCE or Unsolicited Commercial Email, SPAM is the nickname given to junk mail sent to your email address in order to try and sell you something or to entice you to visiting some website.  It can range from mildly annoying to outright theft of service, and ultimately it can make your email nearly useless.  SPAM annoys you, but it also costs ISP's like us $1,000's of dollars a month is bandwidth and time.
Can I stop it? That's the $64,000 question, and there are not really easy answers.  There are things you can do, but understand that SPAMmers make millions of dollars doing what they do, and each step you take may eventually be countered by the people sending the SPAM.  Again, there are steps you can take that will make a huge dent as compared to an unprotected address, but there is no single big 'stop the spam' button to press.
Can Inet2000 stop it for me? We try, but again there are no perfect, easy solutions.  We currently (as of May 2003) stop about 18,000 messages a day, but many thousands of others still get though.  We subscribe to "Black Lists" of known sources of SPAM, and we refuse all mail from those sources.  However many new SPAMmers keep switching sources in order to make detection and blocking difficult or impossible using the Black List method.  
It seems to be getting worse and worse! SPAM seems to go in cycles, with new techniques and new technologies on both sides of the SPAM war all the time.  For a while, users / ISP's seem to be winning the war and you forget that SPAM is a problem, and then the SPAMmers find new methods of getting the SPAM to you again. In the last couple months, an unusually clever bunch of SPAMmers have been targeting internet users world-wide using a method that bypasses our ''Black Lists''.  This make it look like SPAM is on the rise, but it's just that you're seeing more of it getting by our lists.
What can I do? There are a couple things you can do that will help reduce the SPAM you get.
  • Use a SPAM protecting program.  Companies like Norton make Virus protection and Firewall products, and companies like that also make SPAM protecting tools.

  • If you get SPAM, forward it to abuse@inet2000.com or to submit.tNXfxuz6FEY4ZGsi@spam.spamcop.net .  For the SPAM filtering listed below to be effective, we need to have a good database of the typical SPAM's that we can build rules around, so letting us know will help.  Just add the spamcop.net address to your address book and then simply select FORWARD and click on this address to forward the spam to them for processing.  This will help build add the SPAMmer to the Black Lists.

  • Setup ''Message Rules'' in OutLook Express to sort mail that is specifically addressed to you from mail that is addressed to false email addresses.  Of course, this will also sort messages where you are just one of many CC: recipients, so it doesn't guarantee that the mail is SPAM - it only sorts the mail that is specifically addressed to you.  How do you do that?
    • Select TOOLS -> MESSAGE RULES -> MAIL from the menus of Outlook Express.
    • Click the NEW button, and check WHERE THE TO LINE CONTAINS PEOPLE
    • Click on the CONTAINS PEOPLE in the box #3.
    • Type in your own email address and click ADD and OK.
    • Check MOVE IT TO THE SPECIFIED FOLDER in box #2.
    • Click on the SPECIFIED in box #3.
    • Create a new folder called MYMAIL (or whatever you would like) and click OK.
    • Rename the rule to something like MYMAIL RULE (or whatever you would like)
    • Click OK and you're done.

    This will create a filtering rule that will sort mail that specifically has your address as the TO: address into the MYMAIL mailbox, and leave all other mail in the regular INBOX.  You'll probably find that about 85% of all the mail that goes into the INBOX is SPAM, while about 85% of the mail that gets sorted into the new MYMAIL folder is actually real mail for you.  Of course, this is a pretty low tech method and will certainly miss mail both ways, but many people like it as a quick and dirty method of sorting their mail.  It's also ideal for families with multiple email addresses to sort Sally's mail from Fred's mail.

What can Inet2000 do? Inet2000.com is preparing an ANTI-SPAM initiative that we hope will really help.  It will involve several methods, depending on how much SPAM you want to block.  The more SPAM you choose to block, the more chance that you will block valid mail as well.
  • In it's simplest form, we will soon offer Server Side Filtered mail, where we will simply block all mail containing certain key words & attachments, and all mail from certain senders / domains.  Obviously this will be a huge help, since much of the mail you get contains the same words over and over again, but it will be ''stupid'' in as much as it will not be able to tell the difference between an adult advertisement and a dirty joke from on of your friends.  This will, however, be the simplest way to eliminate most SPAM.  You'll simply choose to have us filter your mail and anything that meets our criteria will be eliminated before you ever see it.  Our criteria may be more or less restrictive than you would personally like to see it, but for simplicity and manageability, we will simply have a policy on which words / attachments / email addresses / domains we don't allow.  This method will still probably still let some SPAM though.  Since it's simply looking at the text in a message, those that contain only pictures (even pictures of text words) can not really be 'read' by the software and may still get through.

  • Client side Filtering will also be available.  This will allow you to select your own set of words, phrases, email addresses or domains to block messages from.  This will give you far more control, but will substantially increase the possibility of you accidentally eliminating mail that you may really want to receive.  If you ask to block all messages that include the words ''size'' then all messages, even from your boss asking if you'd like a ''sizeable raise in your salary'' or a message from your personal trainer asking if you've "dun yer exersizes" will be deleted.  This method will also still let some SPAM though, but will be suitable for those who want their own control over their message filtering.

  • Finally, Tagged Confirmation Messaging will be ideal for those who only want to accept mail from a finite list of users.  With Tagged Confirmation, you will have to specifically build a 'White List' of users who are server will allow messages to come to you from.  The first time someone sends you a message, they will get a confirmation auto-reply explaining that you've been getting a lot of SPAM lately and are using this new system to confirm that the sender is a real person and not a machine.  They will simply have to reply to that confirmation message, and their address will then be on your 'White List'.  If they do not reply within 14 days, their original message to you (and all other subsequent mail from them) will be deleted. This method is the most restrictive and has the probability of blocking legitimate mail, (particularly legitimate automated mail like mail from your bank or ebay or message lists) but will also probably be the most secure and hardest for SPAMmers to defeat.  We are currently evaluating these Tagged Confirmation servers, so it may be some time before we decide on a solution.  Server side and Client side filtering mentioned above should be available shortly.
   
   

If you have any questions about the website, our services, prices or products, please don't hesitate to call or email us at info@inet2000.com.