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Field Guide to Reducing Spam Email

(Updated August 2013)

Unwanted, unsolicited email is a frustrating problem for almost everyone who uses the Internet. Spam email clutters in-boxes, slows down web servers, and costs time and money to manage.

Spam can't be prevented entirely, but REALTORS® can reduce the amount of unwanted email that comes into their in-boxes. And on the flip side of the coin, REALTORS® who use email to find and work with clients can take steps to ensure that their own electronic communications aren't seen as spam.

Find out more about what spam is, how to reduce the amount of spam you receive and how to keep from sending it yourself with the articles, websites, and other resources on this page. (A. Siudzinski, Senior Library Information Specialist)


Tips for Fighting Spam

  • Check the website's privacy policy when you are submitting your email address
  • Use separate email addresses for personal messages and chat rooms and newsgroups
  • Choose a unique email address, such as jd5102oe@whatever.com
  • Use an email filter
  • Forward unwanted/deceptive email to the Federal Trade Commission at uce@ftc.gov
  • Complain to the sender's Internet Service Provider
  • Forward spam to your Internet Service Provider's abuse desk

Source: Spam, (OnGuardOnline.gov, Sept. 2011).


Avoiding Spam

Reducing spam, (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team/Department of Homeland Security,  Feb. 6, 2013).

Hotmail better than Gmail, Yahoo! Mail at blocking spam, (PCMag.com, Feb. 13, 2012).

Three ways to reduce spam, (OCAR Blog, Jan. 24, 2012).

Fight the Spam, (REALTOR® Magazine, Jan. 2010).

Top 6 most effective tips for avoiding getting spam altogether, (email.about.com, n.d.).

Tips to avoid receiving spam, (McAfee, Apr. 20, 2010).


CAN-SPAM & the Do-Not-Email Registry

CAN-SPAM Law: What it means for your business, (SCORE, Jan. 3, 2012).

The CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business, (Federal Trade Commission, Sept. 2009).

Quiz: CAN-SPAM Act, (REALTOR Magazine, n.d.).


Useful Websites

Contact Us (Federal Trade Commission, May 15, 2013).

About Spam & Phishing – Email: spam@uce.gov
Forward unsolicited commercial email (spam), including phishing messages, directly to the FTC at spam@uce.gov. These messages will be stored in a database law enforcement agencies use in their investigations.

OnGuardOnline.gov: Spam—OnGuardOnline.gov is the federal government’s website to help you be safe, secure and responsible online. The Federal Trade Commission manages OnGuardOnline.gov, in partnership with the federal agencies listed below. OnGuardOnline.gov is a partner in the Stop Think Connect campaign, led by the Department of Homeland Security, and part of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.


Don't Send Spam

Five tips for reducing email spam complaints, (Econsultancy, June 4, 2013).

How to keep your email newsletter from being marked as spam,  (Freelance Switch, Apr. 23, 2013).

Spam or email marketing?, (ActiveRain, July 6, 2012).

How not to be a spammer when marketing your business, (Entrepreneur, May 10, 2012).


eBooks & Other Resources

eBooks.realtor.org

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Blocking Spam & Spyware for Dummies® (Adobe eReader)

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Effective Online Marketing

Field Guide to Do-Not-Call, Do-Not-Fax, and Do-Not-E-Mail Laws

InfoCentral Blog


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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.