Phishing. Advertising. Scams. Inappropriate content. Everybody has been on the receiving end of spam emails, but nobody wants it. It clogs your inbox, makes it difficult to find important emails, and potentially puts your computer, finances, or identity at risk. The good news is that you don’t just have to accept spam as part of everyday modern life. Follow these tips for how to reduce the amount of spam you receive and regain control of your inbox.
Use a Spam Filter
The most efficient way of stopping spam is to use a spam filter, which does the legwork for you. They scan incoming emails, checking the sender information and any attachments against known threats, automatically deleting or sending those it flags to the spam folder. This neutralizes potential threats whilst saving you or your employees from going through emails manually. You can choose to ‘whitelist’ certain individuals or organizations to prevent their emails from being perceived as a threat and potentially missing important communications.
Be Careful where you Display your Email Address
Make sure you don’t give out your email address to just anyone – only individuals or organizations that you trust, and never post your email publicly on forums or social media, for example, as anyone could access it. Also, try to avoid signing up to things you don’t really need, such as newsletters, and unsubscribe from those you no longer have an interest in.
Use a Reputable Provider
Certain email providers provide higher levels of email security, such as spam filtering and spam reporting or blocking functions to reduce the amount of spam your inbox receives. Some providers block automatic picture downloads and read or delivery receipts, which reduces the chance of malicious senders verifying your email address, enabling them to send you more spam in the future.
Use Different Emails for Different Things
It’s a good idea to have different email addresses for different purposes. It may seem obvious to have separate work and personal emails, but you should also consider having a separate email address that you use to sign up for things such as newsletters or competitions, which will reduce the amount of spam your personal email receives.
Be Aware when Signing up to Services or Making Purchases
Almost everyone signs up to things online these days, but that doesn’t mean that you have to accept potential privacy breaches. Ensure that the websites you use have a privacy statement, which lets you know how your data will be used. Also, make sure when inputting your details that any checkboxes aren’t automatically checked, as a lot of sites are now doing this and sending your email address to third parties – increasing the chances of you receiving spam.
You can take all possible precautions, but there is still a chance that the occasional spam email will get through. Remember, you shouldn’t open emails that you believe are spam, but if you do get caught out and only realize an email is spam after opening it, don’t reply or open any attachments. If you are an employer, ensure that all your employees are also aware of how to treat spam emails.