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Tips on avoiding spam

Spam, like ubiquitous 3rd class mail and telephone solicitors, is a tedious reality of the current advertising climate and is not going away any time soon. Internet-wide the volume of spam has increased over 200% in the last year alone and will continue to grow until anti-spam laws are passed that have some real teeth in them. In the meantime, SCEN and its users must take steps to avoid spam.

Please note that SCEN does not sell or share contact information with other companies; see our privacy policy.  So, how can posting something on SCEN result in spam to your mail box?  Marketers send email harvesting programs and other "bad 'bots" daily to crawl active, public sites, recording what they find and selling this information to advertisers. If your email address is posted in HTML format, they will see it.

What is SCEN doing about this? Our database takes a big step towards blocking spammers and leeches from our site. Our business directory, calendar and classified ads employ "SCEN Mail", a server-based program that works with our database to conceal email addresses from senders, harvesters and bad 'bots.  However our message boards, which are remotely hosted by Boardhost and are not part of SCEN's database system, do not employ SCENmail.

What can you, the user, do about spam? The answer is quite a lot. There are many spam-filtering services available on the net. Many ISP's such as Earthlink and AOL offer in-house email filtering; other companies on the 'net offer filtered email forwarding to owners of POP3 email addresses. Free email providers such as Hotmail typically provide spam filters. Client-side email management programs like Microsoft Outlook allow users to implement spam filters on their computers that detect and move or delete spam as it's downloaded. You can eliminate up to 95% of spam from your in-box using these easily available tools.

We recommend the following tips to help cut down on spam:

Do NOT post your email address on the Internet. Do not write out your email address in the text of your ad - use the SCENmail feature only -  and do not post your email address on the message boards. We require your email address when registering or filling out submission forms so we can contact you if we have questions; it is not required that you make your email public on SCEN.
   
The old tricks of spelling out your email address, for example: 'Info AT bay equest DOT com', or including "nospam" in address do NOT work. Spam 'bots have evolved to detect these ploys.
   
When advertising on the Internet, obtain a free Internet-based email address or temporary mail box with your current email provider. Delete the temporary address/mail box when you no longer require it.
  
Some spam 'bots compile fresh lists daily; the sooner you remove your email address from the Internet, the sooner you disappear from their lists.
    
Take advantage of your email provider's anti-spam programming and the Filters and Rules available with email management programs such as Outlook to screen and remove spam from your in-box.
    
Install and use the latest virus protection software; update your virus database frequently and make back-up copies of important files.
   
Learn more about protecting yourself against spam.
   
Report spammers to the appropriate authorities.
   
Learn about the latest Internet scams.    
   
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