Digital Spring Cleaning

With the growing digitalization of life, it is  harder to keep personal information personal.  The two easiest targets for advertisers and spam to exploit are e-mail addresses and phone numbers, which now-a-days are required for accomplishing or purchasing practically anything.

E-mail

E-mail spam has been around for years.  There have been MSNBC programs about prolific spammers and why people spam, but unfortunately the spammers have harnessed new technology to make spamming even easier.  The best way to prevent spam from reaching your inbox is to use an accredited e-mail service and its respective spam notification system.  Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail all pride themselves in preventing spam but a few messages still slip through the cracks.  Aside from choosing a secure email service, do not ever post your email address online, and be wary of phony-looking websites that ask for your email address or other personal information.

Text

Text spam is a newer form of spam that has taken off with the amalgamation of telephones and the Internet.  Sending messages via the Internet costs the spammer nothing, but could cost you something depending on your data plan.  An easy way to get rid of spam is to call your service provider and ask them to prevent all Internet messages from getting to your phone.  If you still encounter spam after this, the next best step is to forward the message in question to 7726 (SPAM), which will alert your service company that the message your received is from a spammer.

Phone

The quickest way to get rid of telemarketing calls is to visit the National Do Not Call Registry at www.donotcall.gov  Simply enter your information and within thirty days you will no longer receive those annoying telephone calls.  Unfortunately this does not apply for calls from political candidates, as the government believes we should be fed a large ration of fabrication and slander leading up to the election.

Catalog Mailing Lists

Although the process to remove yourself from catalog mailing lists requires more work than the previous 3 options mentioned, once you get the hang of it it is the easiest of them all.  The best way to do this is to go to catalogchoice.org and sign up for free.  Once there you can enter the names of catalogs that you no longer wish to receive, and after providing your address and the customer ID and key from the back of the catalogs you will be kept up to date on the status of your cancellation.  As you cancel your subscriptions, the website also tracks the trees and gallons of water you have helped save, as well as the reduction in greenhouse gases and solid waste your cancellation has made.

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