If you have an email account, chances are you’ve received plenty of spam. Whether this consists of bulk messages from companies, mailing lists you’ve never signed up for, or straight-up nonsense from a strange address whose origin you can’t trace, spam email is annoying at best and potentially dangerous at worst, especially since scammers use spam to exploit more vulnerable users.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to stop spam email from reaching your inbox.
Ways You Can Fight Spam
Be careful about revealing your email address
Think of your email address as a valuable piece of personal information. You don’t want just anyone getting a hold of it, so try to keep it private and avoid posting it in public forums such as message boards or revealing it on websites that have questionable legitimacy.
Never give out or post your email address publicly
You should remember that everyone can easily access the Internet. That means, spammers are also lurking on the Internet and are constantly seeking available email addresses which they will send spam emails to. Posting your email address publicly allows others to send spam emails to you, or worse, hack your account if you are using a weak password.
Think before you click
There might be instances where your email service providers’ automated email filter mistakenly mark legitimate emails as spam email due to its content (e.g. the email contains a hyperlink). However, in most cases, emails marked as “SPAM” or redirected to the spam folder of your mailbox are sent by spammers. Subject of spam messages usually include offer of cheap prescription drugs, advertisements on new medicines, and status of packages from shipping companies. Make sure that you scrutinize the content of spam emails before opening any attachments (even if it looks like an innocent text or image file) or clicking on hyperlinks. Refrain from downloading contents blocked by your email service providers in such emails too.
Avoid using your personal or business email address
Do not use your personal or business email address when registering in any online contest or service such as applications, deal updates, etc. Many spammers watch these groups or emailing lists to harvest new email addresses.
Don’t Post Your Email Address
If you want to keep your inbox clean and reduce the number of spam emails landing in your account, you should consider not posting your email address in public spaces. These include social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and professional growth spaces like LinkedIn. But what if your job requires you to publicize your contact details, including your email address? In this situation, you may want to create an alternate address to filter out the junk.
Unsubscribe from Mailing Lists
A good way to avoid spam is to unsubscribe from marketing emails. This way, your inbox won’t fill up too quickly with unwanted messages. Once you’ve unsubscribed, marketers will exclude you from future mailing lists. But even if they don’t, their messages will no longer find their way into your inbox. Most companies include an unsubscribe button at the bottom of the email. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission requires companies to include an opt-out link in their marketing campaigns. However, there are a few unscrupulous marketers that won’t do so. If your spam emails don’t have the unsubscribe button, you can block them.
Use a throwaway email account
If you have to provide an email address to use a site but don’t want it to have your actual email address, use a throwaway account from a site like TempMail to keep your real account safe. The Chrome and Firefox plugin Blur is also a good, free alternative that will keep your real address private.
Never respond to a spam email
While it might be tempting to reply to a spam email with an angry tirade or even a request to permanently remove you from their contacts, this never works out. In fact, it could even lead to your account receiving even more spam as the sender will then know that your account is active.
Don’t click on any links or buy anything from spam emails
It may seem obvious, but if a message seems like spam, it likely is. Don’t be tempted to purchase anything from one or click on any links contained within the message, even if it seems to offer a way to unsubscribe to the mailing list. Doing so could lead spammers to gain access to your private information and/or share your address with other companies that could lead to more spam.
If you follow these guidelines and carefully guard how you use your email, these tips should help reduce those annoying spam emails.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
We’re here to help.
~ Michael Murray