Managing Spam

Spam is the common term for electronic 'junk mail' - unwanted messages sent to a person's email account or mobile phone.

The definition of spam is an unsolicited email. Some spam messages promote products or services, while others (known as phishing emails) are an attempt to trick users into providing important personal information. Offensive or fraudulent material is common in spam messages, while others spread computer viruses in an attempt to create "Zombie PCs" to send further spam.

As with Viruses, Spam is unfortunately part of everyday Internet life. In a perfect world we would be able to track down every spam email and stop them at their source. The reality is that with the number of spam emails sent everyday, it has become increasingly difficult to report and trace every spam email you receive.

Step 1: Anti-Spam Filters

As a first line of defence Optus Internet provides a free opt-in server-side filter that is applied to your account before the email reaches your mailbox. Click here to activate Spam Filtering on your Optus email account.

The filter aims to reduce the spam, without filtering out legitimate emails. Occasionally however, legitimate emails may be picked up by the spam filter and placed in your spam folder. For this reason Optus recommends that you periodically check the spam folder.

There are a number of companies that provide very good anti-spam and anti-phishing programs. These act as extra protection against spam on your computer.

Optus Internet provides all post paid broadband customers with access to the Optus Internet Security Suite. This software is available for download and the subscription can be added to your monthly internet account.

What to do if you have been spammed
Often you may be tempted to reply to the spam, or take other action against the sender. In most cases the email sender has been faked, therefore replying to the email will be a waste of time.

It is very important not to click on any links in a spam email as they could be linked to a harmful attachment.

Australian law makes it illegal for people to send some types of spam - specifically, emails which are unsolicited marketing messages where the sender of the message has no direct business relationship with you. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is the government agency that investigates spam complaints. To find out if the spam you have received can be reported to the ACMA, check the information on their website at: www.acma.gov.au/spam.

To report spam to the ACMA you can follow the below link from their website http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_310301

Step 2: Avoiding Spam

The more sites you provide your email address to, the higher the chances are of receiving spam. Optus recommends that you only provide your primary email address to people/organisations you have an established relationship with. You can create additional email addresses for use online.

In this way your main mailbox will be protected for use as a contact address for your friends, family and work.

Optus provides a free Spam Filtering service, which is available on every Optus email address and the Optus Internet Security Suite. You can activate Spam Filtering on your Optus email account, and download the Optus Internet Security Suite.