Tips for reducing spam

email tips: 15 things you can do to help reduce spam

  1. Use the Junk e-mail filters built into your email applications. These filters are designed to adapt to the ever changing spam attacks, and will automatically help protect you from spam by doings things such as deleting spam without notifying the sender. Here are help pages for a few of the most popular email applications: Outlook  |  iPhone | Gmail | Mac Mail | Yahoo! Mail | Windows Mail | Thunderbird | Android Email |
  2. Avoid using generic email addresses such as info@__________ or sales@_________. Spammers will attempt to brute force send email to you using generic names.
  3. Block pictures in HTML email by default. Spammers can tell when you load images within their email, thus you inadvertently are verifying to the spammers that your email address is a valid address. You can then unblock images and external content from sources you trust.
  4. Keep your email clients and virus software up-to-date. Your email client that worked okay against spammers two years ago may no longer be up to par. Spammers have adapted. You need to as well, by keeping your operating systems, email clients, and local spam software up-to-date.
  5. Adjust Spam Filtering on your account. Our anti-spam system can block some spam from ever reaching your email client. It is designed to work without input, but you can make some adjustments: How to adjust SPAM Options
  6. Use forwarding and alias features with care. Email forwarding can be a convenient tool; but when used, it tends to increase the distribution of spam. It can also make the process of flagging spam more difficult. see also: forwarding vs mailbox
  7. Turn off automated read and delivery replies. Some spammers may use these replies to verify your email address as authentic.
  8. Don’t reply to spam. Replying to a spam email only lets the spammer know that your email address is an authentic email address. Use your email app’s junk tools to mark and delete the spam.
  9. Don’t unsubscribe from spammers blasts. ‘Unsubscribing’ from a spam email only lets the spammer know that your email address is an authentic email address. Only unsubscribe from newsletters and associations that you know are real.
  10. Look at the underlying link before clinking any link embedded in an email. Some spammers are very sophisticated at mimicking real email. Before you click on any link from an email, hover over the link and view the link properties. A link that reads “login to your credit card account” but actually links to is easy to spot as a fake.
  11. Limit the places where you post your e-mail address. In other words, don’t be your own ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. The more you make your email address publicly available, the greater your chances become of your email address falling into the hands of spammers.
  12. Use multiple email addresses & temporary ‘throwaway’ email address when needed. Sign up for a free Gmail, Yahoo! or other free email account. Use it for unimportant transactions such as Craig’s List posts or one-time only online store buys. Keep your important email accounts reserved for family and important business.
  13. Don’t send or forward chain e-mail messages. If you cc lots of people in your email messages you are increasing the opportunity for your email address to get compromised. And yes, Dad, I am talking to you directly, and asking you to stop including me in your cc chain-mail list for all things Amway or melaleuca oil.
  14. Maintain strong email passwords, and update them every 6 months or so. While this will not directly keep you from getting spammed, it will help make sure your email accounts don’t get hacked. Once an email account is hacked and has been used as a spam generating tool, chances are good that even after you re-secure your account, it will be the target of spam attacks.
  15. If all else fails, it may be time to change your email address. We all love the email address we’ve used forever, but if your account has become seriously compromised (for example, your ex-boyfriend used your email address to sign you up for everything mean he could think of) it may be time to bit the bullet and change your email address. A little work now can save you a lot of tedium down the road.
  16. Pull out the last straw. Throw away your computer. Drop your phone in the toilet. Cancel your internet service. Move to an off-the-grid yurt in the Fort Pierre National Grassland in South Dakota.
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