With more and more ways to communicate with the world at our fingertips, there are more and more ways to become inundated with spam or junk mail. The presence of dozens of unwanted or inappropriate messages online or increasing amounts of junk mail to our office or home mailbox is a waste of time and frustrating. Here are some simple ways to eliminate spam or junk mail from your life so you can spend more time doing what is important to you.

Text Messages

With most people owning a cell phone or other devices with the capability of sending and receiving text messages, there is now a new world of unwanted or inappropriate text messaging happening. If you are concerned about or have experienced an increase in these types of text messages, consider downloading a sms filter application to help you reduce this form of spam. The application is available for both Android and Apple devices. An additional benefit for using this type of application is its additional ability to also block unwanted calls.

Mail and Email Direct Marketing

Consider registering at the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) consumer website where you can decide what direct mail and email you want to receive. Because the DMA membership includes most major marketing firms you can drastically change the amount of unwanted mail or email you receive. There is a small cost for processing ($2.00-$3.00) and there are options for registering online or by mail. The registration period lasts for 10 years before needing to be renewed again.

Email Spam Filters

Depending on which email service you utilize, there are already spam filters in place but certain items may still sneak past it. Do not worry, there are ways to add and customize your spam filters so those unwanted pieces do not slip by the filter again. For Gmail, you would utilize the “Report Spam” button (looks like an exclamation mark) near the top of the message. In Outlook you right-click on the message, choose “Junk”, and then “Block Sender” to filter it as spam. If you utilize another email service, simply do a basic internet search about how to “block spam” and the name of your email service.

Credit and Insurance Offers

The major credit reporting agencies can send you credit and insurance offers you are pre-screened for through them. If you wish to opt out of these offers you can choose a 5-year period of time or permanently and you have options to start the process online or through mail. For more information about how to do this you can visit the Federal Trade Commission website for instructions on how to complete the process.

Telemarketing Calls

Whether a landline or cell phone number, it is not long before you start receiving regular phone calls from unwanted and unsolicited telemarketing companies. While you cannot stop scammers who disregard lists, legitimate sales calls from companies must stop calling you if your number is registered to the Do Not Call Registry which is managed by the Federal Trade Commission. Please note other types of calls such as political calls, charitable calls, surveys, debt collection or informational calls are not part of this list. In order to register you can go to this website to register your phone number or call a 1-800 number. This registry is permanent until the number is disconnected and reassigned or you opt to remove the number. For additional information, visit this website.

While there is no way to stop every single unwanted or inappropriate form of communication to us, there are many ways to manage the majority of the unwanted communication. While it may take an initial investment of time to set up the registries and blocks, in the end you will save a lot of time when you are receiving little to no junk mail and spam.