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ConsumerWatch: Cutting Out Spam And ‘Bacn’ From Your Email

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(AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — Chances are your email inbox is being filled with spam every day. The unsolicited unwanted messages can definitely clutter your inbox, but so can “bacn.”

The spelling is not a typo. “Bacn” is the term for subscribed emails, for example newsletters and coupons. Just like spam, bacn can stuff your inbox, but in this case you have chosen to subscribe to it.

Here are some tools to help give your inbox a diet of sorts.

Unsubscribe.com provides a free downloadable plug-in for most email services, including Gmail, Hotmail, and Outlook. When you install the program, an “Unsubscribe” icon will appear near the “delete” button. With one click, you can virtually break-up with online retailers and solicitors—whether you subscribe to them or not.

Unsubscribe will automatically scour your inbox to fight junk mail, but also has an added “complaint” feature that allows consumers to submit complaints on senders who may bypass Unsubscribe’s reach.

OtherInbox is another timesaver that will categorize your emails. The program can sort through emails sent by people you know, and file away your spam, bacn, and other emails.

While categorizing, OtherInbox will label folders with logical names, such as “travel” or “shopping” depending on your email’s content. It is also able to  categorize emails dealing with shipping notification and provide a calendar feed to keep track of it.

After some use, OtherInbox will only get smarter, taking note of email activity and adjusting its filing system to match-up. Currently, it is available to Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL email users.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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