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Q: I am writing to see if you know a way to stop spam e-mails from returning in my Yahoo account. I can delete them, supposedly permanently, but the same ones keep coming back — and then some! … I have multiple senders asking me to have sex, have an affair, get Viagra, work for them because they like my résumé (which isn’t posted anywhere), etc. Most everything does go to my spam mailbox, but I have to look through each one (I don’t open anything!) because occasionally there is a legitimate e-mail in the bunch. Is there any solution short of getting a new address? I really don’t want to do that. Please help!— Nancy Cummings
A: Trust me, Nancy. There is no need to check your spam folder. Legit e-mails in there triggered the spam filters for a reason — mostly, it’s because other people considered them spam.
Friends will bug you if they don’t hear back. And getting a new address won’t help either.
I remember being shocked — shocked! — that within a day of getting my sparkly new Denver Post e-mail, spam littered my spam folder.
I don’t see spam ever going away.
But there are ways to manage it.
1. Use a web-based e-mail service, like Yahoo Mail or Gmail. These companies have built in anti-spam and anti-malware tools. Yahoo, for example, uses SpamGuard that learns what you and others consider spam.
2. Let your spam folder take care of itself. Yahoo lets you set the frequency from once a week to once a month (default).
3. Send spammy messages to the spam folder. Most e-mail programs, including Yahoo’s, have “Spam” and “Not Spam” buttons for quick sorting.
4. Block senders. If you tend to get a pesky e-mailer, you can make sure you never get a message again from that address.
5. Filter messages. Some people may consider marketing messages from major retailers as spam.
They are, technically, if you didn’t sign up for them. But likely, you did. Now, if you don’t want those to clutter your inbox but you don’t want to miss anything, filter them to a marketing folder. When you need to check if there’s a sale, you can also go into that folder.
You can also clean up your inbox by unsubscribing to services you are no longer interested in. But please don’t hit the “unsubscribe” link when you’re unfamiliar with the sender.
Legit companies should have contact numbers on their site.
If you want to read more about tools, tips and how this all works, go online to view older stories at dpo.st/spamtips.
Tamara Chuang: 303-954-1209, [email protected] or twitter.com/Gadgetress
My Email Inbox
Emails flooding my email inbox about every little comment or activity on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is a hassle. With more social networks becoming a part of life, they can now also come from Pinterest, YouTube and a dozen other sites you just don’t need to be constantly updated on.
Here’s how I handle the email craziness:
- Use social media inboxes to get notified of social media interactions in a user-friendly, non-intrusive way (here are two tools to get productive).
- Stop certain types of social media updates to my main inbox. All I am usually interested in learning quickly is a DM or a private message. All other types of social media updates have to go. Otherwise, I’ll have no time for work.
However, it took me ages to realize that I could stop this. All it takes is a few alterations to your settings and you are free. Or just get one of the programs made to make it even easier.
All social media sites have an area of your settings, sometimes in your account settings, that lets you specify what you would like to be notified of.
How to Stop Facebook Notifications
In Facebook, just simply go to Account Settings through the little gear in the top right hand corner of any Facebook page. On the left hand side will be a bar with options. Select Notifications > Email. You can choose to get all notifications except those specifically unsubscribed from, important notifications about you or activity or only notifications about problems with your account, security or privacy.
You can also select what text message notifications you get (if you are subscribed to mobile use). This includes comments on your profile, friend requests/confirmations and everything else. You may also set the times you get notifications if you don’t want them at certain hours of the night or morning.
How to Stop Twitter Emails
Twitter isn’t quite so customizable, but you can still specify what you want. Just go to your account, hit the gear button on the top header, then select Settings > Email Notifications. You can choose when you get an email and who it applies to on your list. You can also choose to get an email digest weekly, daily, etc.
Using Gmail Filter
Whether you want to avoid or better organize older social media updates that get archived in your inbox (to stop them from interfering with your inbox search) or to stop the clutter from the future ones, this Gmail search command will come in handy:
- Search: [from:noreply* OR from:do-not-reply* OR from:donotreply* OR from:notification*] This filters out most automated updates.
You can now set up a filter to send these emails to a separate folder, bypassing your inbox. Now just create a calendar reminder to check that folder once a day or a couple of times a week, depending on your workload.
Using Tools to Control Email
Notify Me Not
If you want more thorough directions for changing your settings, or you want them for a different site than those above, you might want to check out Notify Me Not. They cover all the social networks, including those that are only social in a secondary way like Amazon.
Easy to follow, helpful and with a complete guide on the subject, it is the number one authority on banishing annoying emails to Hell, where they belong.
Not only does Unroll Me allow you to get rid of unwanted emails, but it also rolls everything into a very simple, highly organized inbox for you. That means all of your emails are better formatted for easy sifting, reading and storage. Plus, it works for both Yahoo and Gmail, which means it isn’t compatible with other clients. But come on, who uses them anymore?
Know of any good programs or tips for stopping annoying social network notifications?
Photo via Shutterstock More in: Facebook