How Can I Minimise The Amount Of Spam I Receive?

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Get spammed!

minimise-spam

Well over half of all the emails sent around the world are unsolicited, worthless and purely junk.

These commercially motivated nuisances are more commonly known as spam.

I don’t know about you but I receive more than my fair share of spam.

For instance, in my gmail account today I have found 3,214 messages flagged as spam – all received in the last 24 hours!

Email providers, such as Google in the case above, have made many advances which have helped control the problem of spam.

In fact, with my gmail account it is quite rare to see a spam email which hasn’t been correctly flagged.

Nonetheless, the sheer volume of email I receive means that some do undoubtedly sneak through.

Spam has reached such epidemic proportions that avoiding it completely is probably now a forlorn hope.

Realistically, controlling and therefore minimising spam is the best any computer user can now hope for.

Here are 4 ways you can minimise the volume of spam that you receive –

Stay In Control Of Your Email Address

As you may imagine, the more often you post your email address online, the more opportunities there are for spammers to harvest it.

Therefore, you should be extremely wary of where you use your main email account.

Where possible, avoid revealing your email address on message boards as these are a popular hunting ground for spammers.

If you need to submit an email address in order to sign up for an offer or newsletter, etc, then create a new, disposable, account that you can employ purely for this purpose.

Only give your main email address to those you know that you can trust with it, such as friends and family.

Tick Or No Tick?

If you ever need to register for anything online then there is a fairly good chance that the process will incorporate check boxes, designed to find out whether you wish the site to remain in contact with you for a number of possible reasons.

In order to avoid this type of mail being sent you may need to either tick or untick one or more of the check boxes.

Be aware that most sites will be set up to include you in their mailing list by default so you will almost certainly need to perform some action to opt out.

As our world becomes more electronic, we are often asked to register in order to use certain websites that we need access to.

Such check boxes on online forms are responsible for a large proportion of the spam people are currently receiving.

Mask Your Email Address

There are some occasions when it will be necessary for you email address to be accessible from the internet.

For instance, if you own your own web site then it may be essential that your visitors have a way of contacting you.

Ideally, you should use a ‘contact form’ which allows messages to be sent to you without the sender ever knowing your address.

(Spammers still try sending me junk through mine but at least it’s only a handful each day).

If you are not able to utilise a contact form then you will need to be more creative.

You could display an image with your email address on as this will be readable by humans but not by the bots which trawl the web looking for new spam targets.

Alternatively, you could mask your address by typing it thus : me AT mysite DOT com

Anyone with even a simple knowledge of the web should be able to work out how to convert that into your true email address.

Always Read Privacy Policies

How many of you have registered for a service online without reading the privacy policy?

I know I have.

Whilst most of these privacy policies probably state that any information you submit will be kept personal, there are always some that don’t.

Obviously, in such cases, you probably wouldn’t want to be signing up to that service under the circumstances.

So ALWAYS read the privacy policy dummy!

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

Comments

  1. Mulligrew says:

    I have so many throw-away email addresses that I have forgotten most of the login details which means I don’t get what I DID sign up for!

  2. M Wilkins says:

    I used to get a lot of spam from one particular site so I emailed to ask them to stop as I never asked for it. They told me I had left a box ticked and had thereby opted in so what you say about ticks is very true. Fortunately they unsubscribed me after I emailed them but I am sure some people wouldnt.

  3. Excellent advice about privacy policies, I bet many of your readers have no idea what they are signing up to.

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