I hate receiving so much unwanted e-mail! In my family we follow most of the rules. We don’t sign up for contests or take quizzes. We don’t post our e-mail addresses in strange places, and we never forward chain letters or respond to the many ridiculous things that arrive in our electronic mailboxes. Yet the message glut is frustrating everyone in my family on a daily basis
Of course some of the mail arrives because I’ve signed up for alerts or news, but other messages arrive for unknown reasons. After ordering from a catalog, I’m often asked to provide my e-mail address so a confirmation can be sent — which I like. But then, suddenly, I start receiving daily messages — which I don’t like. In fact, when a store or catalog starts sending me several e-mails a week, my inclination is not to order from them again.
I recently read, The Best Way to Stop Spam and Unwanted E-mail, an October 21, 2011 post over at Techlicious. Written by Kara Trivunovic, this short piece sets the record straight about using the unsubscribe link at the bottom of unwanted messages — a feature many people are hesitant to use.
Another site that can help families slow down unwanted e-mail is Get NetWise. Check out the GetNetWise TV videos featuring well-known experts such as Ann Collier and Larry Magid and offering tips and suggestions on digital activities. Collier presents video on e-mail spam in this collection.
Of course, for spam, urban legends, scams, and much more, consult the long-established, Snopes.com, a site originally started by librarians. Keep Snopes on your blog reader or aggregator page. If a letter, story, chain mail solicitation or other missive is too good, too weird, or too scary, check out Snopes for reliable explanations, organized alphabetically by category. The site also has a link to the 25 hottest (translation — most current) urban legends.
As you learn more, keep your children in the loop. If they are to become web-savvy digital citizenships, these are tasks that they need to know about and understand.