PITTSBURGH,None - I really hate how time consuming it is to go through junk mail, so I talked to several computer experts about ways to get rid of it.
While it’s impossible to eliminate all spam, these simple steps will help you get rid of most of it.
If your inbox is filled with offers from companies you've never heard of, you probably made a common mistake. You gave out your email address on the Internet and the spammers got a hold of it.
"The spammers will put you in their database and you'll start receiving all kinds of spam," said Jay Armstrong, the owner of Computer House Call, a computer repair business in Pittsburgh.
Armstrong says if the problem is overwhelming, cut your losses and walk away by changing your email address.
He recommends using two email addresses: one for friends and family, the other for e-commerce.
"The family and friends one will not get spam typically. The other one will get spam, but you really don't care, because you're just going to get these messages and they’re mostly going to be irrelevant to you," said Armstrong.
With Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, or AOL you get free email, easy access anywhere and the services have built-in spam-filtering programs.
"You're getting thousands of messages that are being filtered out that you don't even know about," said Armstrong.
If you're using Microsoft Outlook try installing a filter such as Spam Aid or Spam Reader. A filter will recognize key words like "sex" or "Viagra" and will quarantine those emails.
If the junk mail is coming from a company you've done business with, scroll to the bottom of the email and click on unsubscribe.
But be careful. If it's spam, don't open attachments because they could contain viruses or spyware and unsubscribing won't work.
"If you don't know the merchant or if it is spam, it's just a trick because that way you let the spammer know that you exist and they put you on an even higher priority,” said Armstrong.
And don't just delete. Click on the spam tab so the program learns to filter out that unwanted mail.
Spammers use different email addresses each time so it's hard to completely eliminate spam, but it is possible to get rid of a lot of it.
Remember, don't give out your personal email address to anyone but friends and family.
Here’s one more thing you can do. You can report spam to the government as Spam@uce.gov. If it is indeed spam, the sender can be fined $500 per email.