If you have an email account, you’ve probably gotten a lot of spam. Whether it’s mass communications from organizations, mailing lists you’ve never signed up for, or straight-up gibberish from an unknown address, spam email is unpleasant at best and possibly harmful at worst, mainly because fraudsters utilize spam to abuse more susceptible individuals.
Every day, over 320 billion spam emails are generated, and this medium is used to spread 94 percent of malware. By clicking on links in such spam emails, the receiver may be sent to phishing websites or sites that download viruses to the victim’s machine.
What is spam? A brief history of it ….
The history of spam starts with the first email spam being sent on May 3rd, 1978, by Gary Thuerk. Thuerk, who was working at Digital Computer Corp. at the time, wrote an email inviting people to an open house to show off the company’s new VAX computer. It was sent to around 400 of the 2,600 persons who had ARPANET email accounts (The DARPA-funded military computer network that preceded the Internet). Thuerk said that his email resulted in around $12 million in new sales.
Spam is increasing at an almost exponential pace, eventually accounting for the great majority (80 to 85 percent) of email communications transmitted globally. Every day, up to 320 billion emails are sent/received globally.
How to Prevent Spam Email?
While you may not eliminate these unwelcomed communications, implementing a few techniques can limit the quantity of spam you get and clean up your inbox so that messages you want to read are prioritized.
Here are five easy strategies to prevent spam and be safe online:
Be cautious about disclosing your email address.
Consider your email address to be a precious piece of personal data. You don’t want it to get into the hands of just anybody, so keep it secret and avoid publishing it in public venues such as message boards or disclosing it on websites of questionable validity. You should keep in mind that anybody may readily access the Internet. That implies spammers are also stalking on the Internet, looking for accessible email addresses to send spam emails to.
Posting your email address publicly enables people to send you spam emails or, worse, break into your account if you choose a weak password.
2. Consider your options before you click.
It may seem apparent, but it most certainly is if a communication appears to be spam. Don’t be lured into buying anything from one or clicking on any links in the letter, even if it seems to give a method to unsubscribe from the mailing list. This might allow spammers to acquire access to your personal information and/or share your address with other firms, resulting in even more spam.
Your email service provider’s automatic email filter may wrongly designate valid emails as spam emails due to their content. However, most emails labeled as “SPAM” or routed to your mailbox’s spam folder are sent by spammers. Spam messages’ subjects often include offers of low-cost prescription pharmaceuticals, promotions for new medications, and the status of parcels from shipping providers. Analyze the content of spam emails before opening any images or content attached to them or clicking on hyperlinks. In such emails, refrain from downloading any material that your email service provider has restricted.
3. Install email filters to identify spam as it arrives.
Depending on the email server you use, you can set up email filters to automatically route messages with a specific subject line or from a specific sender to a junk folder or even your trash folder. Examine your client’s user guide to learn how to train its filters to identify and eliminate spam intelligently. Similarly, if your client incorrectly marks a message as spam, you should fix it.
Spam filtering software and anti-virus software may assist you in scanning emails for infection. If the emails you receive contain malware, the dangerous information will be quarantined, and you will be unable to access them. This reduces the likelihood of malware-infected emails infecting your machine. As a result, choose spam filtering solutions and anti-virus software that have such functions to alleviate the burden of analyzing email content.
4. Make a backup email address.
When you purchase a product or subscribe to a mailing list, the firm immediately signs you up to get unsolicited marketing updates or shares your contact information with an advertiser, resulting in a flood of unwanted messages in your inbox. One solution is to establish a secondary email account that you may use for these digital acts, such as online e-commerce shopping or booking a hotel. Treat your spare email address as public, and use it in forums, chat rooms, and when signing up for mailing lists and promotions.
Remember that your spare email address is temporary; don’t be scared to change it often. Also, keep in mind that if you are currently a WebHostingWorld client, you may establish an infinite number of email addresses, allowing you to change your email address as often as you wish.
5. Never, ever, ever reply to a scam email.
While it may be enticing to respond to a spam email with a furious outburst or even a request to be permanently removed from their contact list, this rarely succeeds. It may result in your account getting even more spam since the sender will now know that your account is active. You should never react to any email address you suspect is spam; doing so informs the spammers that you are present and that their emails reach your inbox! You should also think about disabling read receipts, often used to establish if emails reach a live mailbox.
Finally, NEVER utilize the unsubscribe link unless you recall signing up to receive an email from the sender in the first place. This is one additional method for spammers to detect which emails are sent to the sender.
Even if you get a lot of spam and garbage communications, you shouldn’t be too concerned. The only thing you need to remember is to take adequate precautions and never react to any emails that you suspect are questionable. Even if you only do these two things, you’ll be fine!