Spam is an ongoing problem that we all have to deal with. The following are some techniques you can use to help control it:

– Have multiple accounts – make one of these a changeable throwaway account, and use that account for public places like forums and mailling lists. When this account starts to receive too much spam, cancel the address and select a new one. Keep a permanent address that appears on stationery and never publish it on the internet.

– Dont put an email address on your website – use a contact form instead, but be sure to use a secure form, as there are some on the market that are written incorrectly and the spammers know how to break them and extract the email addresses. This will reduce spammer’s opportunity of finding out your email address in the first place.

– Ask your webhost to filter your spam – they should be able to install software that examines your email and filters out the obvious spam. This will reduce the amount of spam that reaches you

– Do not under any circumstances use Outlook Express for your email. There are several excellent alternatives and one of the best is Thunderbird – free download at http://www.mozilla.org/products/thunderbird/ . Outlook Express is extremely insecure – spam often comes with a virus attached, and Outlook Express will let it attack your system 95% of the time. This will reduce the effect of spam on your system.

The above will not stop you getting spam entirely, but it should reduce the overhead to a trivial amount, unless you are very unlucky.

If you are getting too much spam then you may need to arrange with your host to change the email address(es) that are receiving the inundation. This may lead to additional costs such as having stationery reprinted. You should then start using the tactics above.

Only you can decide at what point you need to change your email address – you will have to balance the cost of spending time deleting spam and removing viruses from your computers against the cost of updating stationery and your host’s possible charge and the possible loss of business when people may not be able to reach you.