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Field Guide to Reducing Spam Email

(Updated August 2014)

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)

Q - ProQuest articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the ProQuest/Find Articles page.

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

Spam: unwanted text messages and email, (Federal Communications Commission, n.d.).

Serving Email SPAM and losing friends, (Reduce the Chaos, July 11, 2014).

Five tips for reducing spam email complaints, (Copernica, Jan. 22, 2014).

Reducing spam, (Loyola Information Security Blog,  Dec. 5, 2013).

CAN-SPAM & the Do-Not-Email Registry

The need for new Federal anti-spam legislation, (Yale Journal on Regulation, Feb. 11, 2014).

FTC issues CAN SPAM rules, (Realtor.org, n.d.).

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

Useful Websites

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.

eBooks & Other Resources


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.