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Sree Tips: Junk Mail Prevention Apps

(credit: CBS2)

(credit: CBS2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – They say there’s an app for everything, but you may not have expected an app for this… using your smartphone to reduce the amount of printed junk mail you get!

Sree Sreenivasan, tech expert from our partner network CNET and Columbia University’s chief digital officer, was here with some apps many of you will want to know about.

What are talking about, exactly?

We are using new-fangled technology to curb and old-fashioned problem – getting too much junk mail (not the e-mail kind, the snail mail kind).

Just keep in mind, though, that if no one got junk mail, the U.S. Postal Service would be in even worse shape than it is now.

The first app is PaperKarma (free, iPhone & Android).

What this free app does is lets you take a photo of a piece of junk mail with your smartphone that you then send to the app’s servers. The company will then work to get taken off that list.

The second app is CatalogSpree (free, iPhone/iPad).

This app is for people who like catalogs – and there are many who do. It doesn’t take you off lists, but helps you find great catalogs in digital formats and avoid the need for signing up for paper versions.

Up third isn’t an app, but an online service – CatalogChoice.org’s MailStop Shield ($35/year).

This is a different way to go and is meant for folks who really hate snail mail junk mail – and hate it so much they are willing to pay $35 for this service.

Here’s how CatalogChoice describes how it works.

Once you sign up for MailStop Shield, you will choose the identities you want us to submit for suppression. They will contact companies involved in trading personal information for marketing purposes and follow the opt-out procedures specified in their privacy policies.

This will suppress your name and address from the lists they sell to marketers, according to the company.

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Sree Sreenivasan is CBS2′s technology expert, appearing every Wednesday morning at 6:50 am to discuss ways to save you time, money and aggravation. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook  and on his personal siteE-mail your questions with “CBS New York” as the subject line.