Why am I getting SPAM email?

    Have you seen the statistics lately on spam? The amount of spam is increasing exponentially. Anytime you, as a user of email or the Internet, use these electronic tools, you become vulnerable to spam if you are not educated on its delivery.

    Spam is often invited when you have signed up for something, some service, some purchase, on the Internet or via email, and the service sells their lists of registered folks to other marketing services. This is very common and unless you've been reading the fine print each time you sign up for services or news lists, you may be on many lists. Spammers get these lists, legally or illegally, and then sell them to other spammers and the cycle is endless. The rule of thumb is - don't sign up for anything unless you've read the fine print and know and will accept the consequences of your registration. When you click on spaces in an email that you didn't solicit, when you "unsubscribe" from a list that you never subscribed to in the first place, when you visit a website that traces your information with cookies, you are inviting the spam that you may now see in your inbox.

    This problem is so huge, even the best equipment we have to stop it still allows it in if you have given your correct email address to the spammers. Allen ISD can't stop it all, and, as long as you are using your school email address and are signing up for services and newsgroups and providing your email address in the process, the spam will continue to come in if those groups share/sell your information.

    What do I do if I get spam that I didn’t solicit?

    If there are just a few pieces of spam mail a week, just delete them. Don’t click on them anywhere in the text area, don’t unsubscribe from them if invited, and better still, don’t even open them if you don’t know the sender or subject matter viewable in the “Subject” field in your inbox.

    If they are arriving in your inbox and appear to be from the same solicitor, you can create a mail “rule” to manage them before they enter your inbox. Mail rules allow the Outlook user to manage incoming mail even before it hits their inbox. You could, for instance, create a rule to send anything from yahoo.com directly to your Junk Mail folder, or even to your trash. Be very careful about creating rules, as you may miss a legitimate message if you have blocked everything from a domain like yahoo.com. Mail rules are not always warranted, especially since Microsoft’s Forefront Online Protection for Exchange, FOPE, will eventually catch up with the spammers and will block them anyway. Too many mail rules can slow your email delivery and sending.

    If you are receiving email that has objectionable content, contains some unexpected solicitation or even something that looks like someone you know sent it, but looks fishy, DELETE IT! Be aware that the sender’s name that it appears to come from isn’t always the person or organization that is sending it (this is known as “spoofing header”). That is why it is so important that you do not respond to their email or add them to block lists.

    Then there is the email that appears to be sent from a well-recognized institution, such as Bank of America, E-Bay, or even an Allen business, with some scare tactic or request for information. Phishing is an attempt to gather sensitive information from you which could be used for fraudulent purposes. NO BANK or legitimate business will ask for personal information via email. If you receive any email like this before spam filters kick in, simply delete it, even if you have an account at those institutions. If you are still concerned they needed to contact you, CALL THEM, but do not click on any of the links and provide personal information.

    If you are getting any of these types of mail frequently or other annoying and frequent spam, and our spam defense isn't catching them yet, then just delete the messages.  FOPE will catch up with them and block them.

    BEST ADVICE: Stop it before it starts. Be an educated email and Internet user!