You’ve seen it—those annoying jumbled messages, the pop-ups flashing on your screen, the messages covered in blue underlined words. It’s obvious that no one likes spam. Site managers often use Captcha, those common sense questions or blurred letters you have to type before submitting an article or comment, to make sure that their website stays spam free. Once again, we are annoyed. Fortunately, there is something you can do about spam. You can report it.
Unfortunately, however, as great as reporting spam might sound, people never take the time to report these annoyances, but instead simply “x” out of the spam or delete it form their inbox. For this reason, spam never seems to disappear. Imagine that! Consider some of the benefits and how easy it can be below.
A Little Bit of Background on Reporting Spam
Not only will reporting spam stop your computer from receiving these annoying messages (at least from that spam account), but it will get those in trouble who are creating the spam. Plain and simple, there is no reason people should be able to cheat the system and force you to deal with messages popping out of nowhere. If nothing else, report spam to send a message to those who spend their days doing something that benefits virtually no one.
There have been cases of companies or personal computers sending out spam without the owner even realizing it. In this case, your reporting will help this company solve the problem before it gets out of control (a company can actually get blacklisted if they are sending out spam whether it be intentionally or unintentionally).
Why people don’t report spam: A big reason people do not report spam is because they think it will take a lot of time and energy (after all, talking on the phone to anyone in customer service isn’t always the most pleasant experience). However, contrary to this popular belief, reporting spam does not have to be stressful. Follow one of these three suggestions and you’ll have a clear inbox and will be able to surf the web easily in no time:
3 Different Ways to Report Spam
Report it personally.
If you really dislike talking to customer service for help, this is your best option; however this is considered the most involved option. Nonetheless, if you consider yourself technology savvy, you should have no problems.
Report spam personally by following two steps.
- Frist, define the Internet Service Provider (ISP), or the source of the message. In order to find the ISP, you must activate traceroute, a tool that will help you see the domain name that will trace back to the spammer’s ISP. Traceroute is built into most computers, so simply find the program in Windows under the name “tracert.”
- Second, you must send an email to those in charge explaining the ISP and the situation. This should take no more than 5 min. Visit The Network Abuse Clearninghouse to determine where to send your email, and you’re done!
Many small businesses take this approach if they have an IT team because it ensures that the spam will not hit your website again. Even if you don’t have an IT team, it’s something the gurus at many electronics stores can help you understand.
Use a spam reporting tool.
This is probably the most popular way someone cuts down on the amount of spam received. A reporting tool does come at a small price, so this is generally used by businesses that see a lot of spam. Nevertheless, this tool will work for anyone. The way it works is this:
- Download the spam reporting script
- The reporting script will work to intercept spam emails sent to your inbox
- The script will then compose complaints to the provider responsible
Although these reporting tools are not guaranteed to intercept every single spam message, they will make a noticeable difference. Most reporting tools are similar, but you do have a lot of choices. Consider researching: Sam Apade, Spam Cop, Apam Assassin, and Spam Hater.
Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
This approach might take the longer to show results, but it is certainly one of the easiest. If you’re interested in talking to authorizes, follow these steps:
- Left click the email that is spam and click “Properties.”
- Click the “Details” tab; then click “Message Source”
- Copy and paste what you see into the body of the email you will send to authorities
- Send an email with a copy of the unsolicited email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Your email will be stored in a database to be looked over by authorities
It is also a good idea to send a complaint email to your ISP. They usually have an email address specifically for abuse complaints. This will help them avoid the problem in the future, and it may even get them to take control of the situation.
Although this may seem like a lot of information, there are plenty of people willing to help you get rid of this aggravation. While some spam messages are tricky and can get by some of these precautions, most of these annoyances will be easily stopped if you simply following of the three approaches listed above.
Do you have any more advice on reporting spam? Any personal stories? Let us know in the comment section below.