Spam – not the stuff that Hawaiians eat, the stuff that clutters up your inbox and steals your valuable time. It’s a fact of life now. To my surprise, many people I talk to still deal with a lot of it on a daily basis, a LOT of it.
This is a solution that has helped me & I’ve been promising some people that I’d do a post on it for a while, and am just now getting to it. This will kill about 90% of your spam, at least it does for me and people I know who do this. It’s really very simple.
Normp0-9oally anyone who works for an organization uses an @mycompany.com email address which uses something called POP to download messages from a server. Normally you yourself download messages right your your computer into you email application and trust whatever spam filters it has, or you might even have some third party software that you bought to filter spam. The problem is that they usually don’t work well and you still spend precious time sifting through your email.
What if there was a gatekeeper between your computer and the big bad internet? Introduce: Gmail, Google’s free web email application. Gmail has an incredible spam filter that works as that gatekeeper, removing almost all of the spam that would normally steal your time, space, and bandwidth. Here’s some easy (hopefully) steps to make this all work.
First try and imagine what is going on, so you feel comfortable doing this. What’s happening is that Gmail is grabbing emails off your server, filter them, and then holding them safely until you decide to download them (spam free) from your Gmail account. It’s that simple!
- Get a Gmail account (don’t worry about finding a perfect username/address – it won’t matter)
- Setup Gmail to get mail from your server (I suggest not leaving a copy on your server)
- Setup Gmail for POP (so you can download onto your computer’s email application)
- You can leave a copy of your mail on Gmail for backup if you’d like (kind of nice)
- Setup your email application to download from Gmail (Google has a nice list of apps for you)
That should be all for you to download mail.
Now sending mail is a little trickier. What you’ve got to do is check the settings for your “outgoing server” on your mail application and make sure that it is set to send mail as your “email@example.com” – usually your email app is setup to send and receive from the same server – what you need to do is receive from Gmail and send as your server’s domain (@mycompany.com).
Once this is all setup right you should receive way less spam, and all your sent emails will still have @yourcompany.com on them.
Another plus to this is that you can login to Gmail from anywhere at anytime and check your email. You can also send email directly from Gmail, as firstname.lastname@example.org with a little more setup.
*One known issue that I’ve had is sometimes not getting an email on my mail app immediately when someone sends me something. All you have to do in that case is go to Gmail, click on Settings, then Accounts. It will tell you when the last time Gmail has checked (ex: 10 minutes ago) – then you can simply click on “Check Mail Now” and that email will be brought into Gmail. Go back into your computers app and send/receive – walah! (There have been instances when I’ve checked my setting on Gmail and it’s been like 40 minutes since it has been checked – don’t know why, it seems like Gmail randomly checks your server, but normally it should be automatic).
*Another issue is that sometimes an email from someone new might get stuck in your Gmail spam folder. That’s ok, just find it and mark it “not spam” in Gmail and it will never go there again.
Hope that wasn’t too techy for y’all.