The number of spam emails getting sent has hit a 12-year low, according to security firm Symantec, which said fewer than 50% of emails which it scanned during June were junk – the lowest percentage it had seen in over a decade.
Even so, many of us are still getting loads of emails we don’t want and, to the best of our knowledge, haven’t asked for!
So if you’re getting spam emails, how do you stop them? Read on…
Before we look at how to stop spam emails though, let’s have a look at exactly what they are…
What is spam?
Email spam is any unsolicited email that is sent in bulk to numerous recipients – it’s essentially an online version of the junk mail you get through the post.
And while it can look innocent enough, and sometimes completely ridiculous, it often has more sinister undertones as opening a spam email often sends your details to phishing sites that are hosting malware which is then sent to everyone in your address book.
The same thing applies to clicking on dodgy links in social media.
So is there any way to stop your account being bombarded by spam emails?
How to stop getting spam emails
The best way to avoid getting spam is to be careful about how you use your email account and who you share your address with.
If anything looks spammy or dodgy, just don’t open it or click on any links.
And then follow these rules…
- Don’t reply – it’ll be from an automated the mailbox which is probably unread.
- Avoid ‘unsubscribe’ options – spammers will often include an ‘unsubscribe’ link that, far from removing the menace, will only confirm your address is active and attract even more spam.
- Don’t buy anything from a spammer – this could not only comprise your security and infect your computer with malware and viruses, it could see password and security details swiped and used.
- Use a disposable email address – you could open a separate account for buying online or writing to newsgroups then if you find that you are getting a lot of spam at this address, you can delete it and set up another.
- Never reveal your email address on your website – if you have a website then including your email address on it will be easy fodder for a ‘spambot’ that is harvesting addresses. It’s a good idea to use a web contact form instead.
- Munging – this is simple but effective technique where you present your address in a way that people can easily work out but which will fool spambots. For instance, if you’re address is ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’, display it on your site as ‘conference at call dot co dot uk’.