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SPAM is a brand of canned mystery meat made by Hormel Foods Corporation. It was first introduced in...oh wait, different kind of spam—but still related to email spam because they share similar characteristics, like nobody wants it or ever asks for it. Email spam is electronic junk mail or more generally, any unsolicited commercial email.
Spam can't be eliminated entirely, but it's certainly possible to reduce its flow to a trickle. Unfortunately, stopping unsolicited emails from piling up in your inbox is not a one-click solution—it's a balance between prevention techniques and email filters.
To prevent your email address from being targeted by spammers and hackers, it's important to keep it private. Only give your email address to people you know, and avoid posting it on public websites, chat rooms, forums, etc. Use a contact form on your website as a safer alternative to posting your email address. And, if at all possible, enable domain privacy on all of your domains so your email address is hidden from spammers.
Check out our Domain Privacy article for more information.
The next step towards eliminating spam is to set up a spam filter. It’s best to set up your filter as soon as you log in to your new hosting account. That way you can significantly decrease the chances of ever getting spam in the first place. If you have already experienced a spam attack, don’t worry, you can set up a spam filter at any time and it will start working as soon as it is installed. For spam filters, we recommend the following:
- SpamAssassin. It's a free spam filter that detects certain phrases and formats that are common in spam and then assign a spam score. SpamAssassin requires some setup to work correctly, and you may have to adjust your email or setup an additional email filter to understand the changes that SpamAssassin is making. Settings sometimes may need to be updated to block new spam attacks. Check out our article SpamAssassin for more information, or begin the SpanAssassin Walk-Thru to set it up.
- SpamExperts. This is more of a set it up and leave it solution. This is a more advanced filtering program that will eliminate 99.98% of all unsolicited bulk email. SpamExperts works at the domain level, but you can also set up rules for individual email addresses. Begin the SpamExperts Walk-Thru to set up SpamExperts.
While both spam filters are effective, we recommend only using one. If your spam filtering needs are greater, SpamExperts is best if your need more advanced filtering, but if you are simply looking to protect against basic spam, SpamAssassin is the better choice.