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Letter from the Director Ask Emerson Best Buddies Spotlight e-Buddy of the Month Tech Corner e-Buddies in Action!

contentsTechnology Corner

Junk E-mail 101: What is Spam?

If you have an e-mail account, chances are pretty good that you know all about spam. Spam refers to what are known as unsolicited bulk e-mails, or unwanted “junk” e-mail messages that can clog up our inboxes. It’s not always clear how or why our e-mail addresses are exposed to spammers, but it is pretty clear that once you start to receive spam, there isn’t anything that you can do to make it stop.

For this reason, most e-mail providers have implemented e-mail filtering software that is designed to help detect and eliminate annoying junk e-mails. E-mail filters are a great way to help prevent your inbox from being overwhelmed, and are a necessary aspect of any viable e-mail address. Without them many e-mail inboxes would overflow with spam.

Unfortunately, because nothing is perfect, these e-mail filters can sometimes make mistakes. Even with a spam filter in place, some junk e-mail messages may slip through the spam filter. Even more troubling, legitimate e-mails from your friends and family may be erroneously identified as spam in some cases. This presents a problem.

What can you do?

Ideally, we want to eliminate as much spam as possible without losing any e-mails from our friends and family. Here are measures that can be taken to ensure that you receive all of your e-mail without receiving too much junk.

  • Use the junk e-mail filters provided by your e-mail provider. e-Buddies does not recommend turning off junk e-mail protection.
  • Mark junk e-mail messages and unmark legitimate e-mails. If you receive a junk message in your inbox, be sure to report that e-mail to your e-mail provider, if possible. Likewise, if you find that an e-mail from a friend or family member has been mistakenly identified as spam, please report that to your e-mail provider. This will help your e-mail provider better differentiate between junk and non-junk e-mail messages in the future.
  • Add your contacts’ e-mail addresses to your online address book. If an e-mail is sent by someone who is listed in the address book in your e-mail account, it is less likely that your e-mail provider will mistake that message as spam.
  • If possible, use a “White List.” Some e-mail providers will allow users to list e-mail addresses and e-mail domains (the part of the e-mail address that comes after the “@” symbol in an e-mail address – e.g. ebuddies.org) on a “white list,” also known as a “safe list.” This will ensure that all e-mails sent by the listed addresses and domains will be delivered to your inbox.

Don’t forget to add e-Buddies to your address books and white lists!

If you have not already done so, please be sure to add your e-Buddy to your online address book. Here are some addresses that you may want to add to your contact list:

  • ebuddy@ebuddies.org
  • ebuddiesmatches@bestbuddies.org
  • ebuddiescomments@bestbuddies.org
If you have a white list, or safe list, that allows you to add e-mail domains, please add the following:

  • ebuddies.org
  • bestbuddies.org

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Have an e-Buddies tech question? Send questions or comments to Bill Maurer at BillMaurer@bestbuddies.org.


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