Spam, Bacon and How to Keep Your Email Inbox Cholesterol Free

Spam and Bacn Put email in Jeopardy

In an online world where Facebook claims 850 million subscribers, Skype features an incredible number of 700 million users and Social Media seem to have taken over global communication, we tend to forget quite easily that the biggest social medium is still EMAIL. Email was created for people to have almost instant, free information and communication exchange. Email was and is the first and largest threat to Newspaper printing and Post Offices around the world.

We love it and we hate it, but we certainly don’t wanna be without it anymore. It can save huge amounts of time or become like in recent years, a black hole from which none of your free time can ever escape. If you are like me and have several email accounts, organized to receive different types of mails, you may face the rude practice of SPAM to a very annoying point. On my main accounts I probably get 200 to 300 mails a day, but with an increasing percentage of SPAM or Bacn (pronounced bacon). I do not want my host server to decide for me what is Spam and what is potentially worthwhile information, nor am I willing to use external services for my private emails, so I don’t want those filters. Besides  between 40% to 70% of all email is currently getting blocked by spam filters! That means recipients never have a chance to read it, making the “cure” almost as bad as the disease. If you face the same problem and have to put your finger almost permanently on the DELETE button, here are some tips to help you manage your Yahoo emails for maximum productivity, as there are dozens of shortcuts and new tools.

Following are my favorites. I have used Yahoo in this example, but Google, MSN, AOL and all the other providers have similar options available.

Bacn

You know what spam is — unsolicited email that adds around the middle fat to your inbox — well bacn can be equally annoying. The term “bacn” was coined by a group of podcasters a few years ago to refer to messages that are better than spam, but still not personal email. More specifically, bacn is junk email you’ve actually signed up for — whether you meant to or not. Maybe it’s a newsletter from your college, or a marketing push from the online catalog where you bought a present last Christmas. I buy a lot online, so I get a lot of BACN. To get them to stop sending the bacn, you need to unsubscribe.  But doing this manually — hitting the unsubscribe button on the bottom of every one of these emails is extremely time-consuming — so you need an unsubscriber.

In Yahoo Mail, the unsubscriber is easy to activate. Simply click on the Unsubscriber application on the lower left hand side of your Yahoo Mail (hint: if you don’t see it right away, look within the “Applications” folder in that lower-left area). Then click to “Create my Unsubscribe Folder,” and an unsubscribe folder will automatically appear in your folder list. Now, just drag unwanted emails into that folder, and an app called OtherInbox will work to unsubscribe you from those email lists. Even if you can’t be safely unsubscribed, emails from these senders will be moved automatically into the unsubscribe folder, so you never have to see those emails again.
If you use other mail clients, there are third party browser extensions like unsubscribe.com that basically do the same thing.

Spam

When you get junk that’s completely foreign to you, offensive, or an obvious scam, do not unsubscribe. Use the Spam or Junk button instead. When you click the Spam button, Yahoo and other email providers prevent subsequent emails sent by the same sender from getting into your inbox. They also use your actions as feedback to improve the various filters of their spam defenses.

Trying to unsubscribe from spam, especially the obviously smarmy emails, is possibly the worst thing you can do. You are basically emailing back to a spammer telling them that your address is a live one; they will then sell it to other spammers, so you’ll get even more junk!

Organizing The Email You Want

You may or may not know all about creating folders to organize your inbox. But you may not know that you can use a free web app to comb through your inbox and for example find all those receipts from online purchases that you’re supposed to keep track of?

Slice organizes everything you’ve bought online from large merchants, such as Amazon and Apple, as well as daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. They take care of tasks like tracking packages and giving you all the info you need to facilitate a return. Neat and just a glimpse into the future of exacting administration.

Managing Large Files

I don’t know about you but I often have people wanting to send or receive very large files from me. You know when you have a really big photo or video file you want to send, but either your email client or theirs has a size limit and won’t let it though?  Services like relayit.net and whalemail will allow you to send them. And Yahoo Mail users have a program built right in that lets you send files up to 100 MB in size. You can find the Attach Large Files app in the Applications section underneath your folders. (If you don’t see it listed, you can add it to your list by clicking the plus sign.)

Yahoo! Mail Shortcuts
 (learn them…they make life online much easier)

If you’re one of the nearly 300 million or so Yahoo Mail users, here are a few new keyboard shortcuts just for you:
Want to switch between preview mode and the complete list view? Easiest way is to just use hit the “V” key, and it instantly toggles your view.
Want to write a new message? Hit the n key; to reply, hit the r key.
And a real neat one: Shift-K — it lets you take an email you have read and mark it as unread so you don’t forget to go back and actually answer the person. You can also hit the Mark as Unread button if you are reading on a mobile device and want to remember to go back later to answer when you are on a computer. Another way to do this is to flag a message for follow up. In that case, hit the “L” button to mark it. Shift-L unflags it.

Enhanced Yahoo Mail Security

Maybe your password has been hacked in the past or maybe you just like to keep your email super safe. For you, Yahoo introduced a new feature last December that enables you to add a second sign-in verification. Once this feature is activated, any suspicious account sign-in attempt will be challenged by an additional query beyond the initial password validation. Favorite pet, singer, first grade teacher etc. Learn more about it by clicking here.

Now remember. I only served up Yahoo’s options in this article. Use the same terminology but change the name to Google (f.e. Enhanced Google Mail Security) and you’ll get similar results if your email address reads Gmail.

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