MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Spam -- the unwanted e-mail, not the lunch meat -- is as much a nuisance as the Memphis mosquito.
Federal law made spam illegal in 2004, but the law's done little to stop it.
So we have to stop spam ourselves.
Jason Catlett, executive vice president of the privacy advocacy group Guidescope, Inc., recommended these spam defenses to consumer resource magazine Bottom Line Secrets:
* USE TWO E-MAIL ADDRESSES. One should be your primary e-mail address for family, friends and colleagues. The other can be your e-mail for shopping online and visiting web sites. If you start getting spam, you dump that one and change it to another.
* BEWARE FREEBIE OFFERS, either online or off-line, that ask for your name and e-mail address in order to sign up. You can bet they will be sold to either a spammer or a mass-marketer.
* DECLINE REQUESTS TO LIST YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS IN A DIRECTORY. Sometimes, your Internet service provider (ISP) may ask to do that. Tell it "No!"
* USE A E-MAILBOX FILTER. Microsoft's Outlook Express has a built-in filter you can customize, or you can buy spam-blocking software. >
The Federal Trade Commission has the authority to go after spammers, assuming the agency can actually track them down. Feel free to forward what you think might be spam to the commission at this address: email@example.com.
These resources can also be helpful in curbing spam:
* ALL CLEAR ID (www.allclearid.com). Parents can register their children's information securely on AllClearID.com to eliminate junk mail and e-mail solicitations until age 18.
* DECEASED DO NOT CONTACT LIST (http://www.ims-dm.com/cgi/ddnc.php). Created by the Direct Marketing Association, this list allows families to register deceased loved ones' names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses. DMA members are required to scrub their files against this list, and non-members may also check their contacts against it.
* DMA CHOICE (www.dmachoice.org). Also managed by the DMA, DMAChoice.org allows consumers to opt out of pre-approved credit offers, magazine offers, direct mail and e-mail solicitations. Parents may use the site to prohibit direct solicitations to their children.