Spam: the bane of every email user’s existence. These pesky messages somehow end up in your inbox, regardless of how many times you delete them. Don’t let your frustration get the best of you! Instead, follow these guidelines to beefing up your cyber security, and reducing the amount of spam in your inbox.
Block Email Addresses of Frequent Offenders
Over time, a number of culprits appear in your inbox day-in and day-out. A pattern will emerge, and you’ll be able to recognize any that fit it. These annoying messages can easily be removed from your inbox. Copy the email address of the offender, and paste it into the “Blocked Senders” list, usually found under the “settings” tab of your email provider. Once an address has been added to this list, it will no longer be able to send you any communications. This will also be applied to the email client, should you be using one. It’s important to note, however, that you may still receive the same message with this method, but it will not be from the blocked address.
Don’t Sign-Up With Your “Real” Email Address
By far, the easiest way to reduce spam is to create a “junk” email address. Instead of allowing websites to contact you via your personal or business email–where you regularly communicate with colleagues, or friends and family–set-up an email specifically for signing up on websites. Separating these two types of electronic interactions will allow you to keep the amount of spam to a minimum.
In addition to using a “junk” email, remember to uncheck the “subscribe to newsletter” box when you sign up with a new site. This small, easy step greatly reduces the amount of spam email you receive, right from the beginning. Limiting the amount of communication prior to signing up for a website, helps mitigate the potentially overwhelming amount of junk.
Set Up Spam Filters
Most email programs allow you to set up “different inboxes”. More or less, it gives you the ability to separate email by importance or sender. This allows you to mark the most time-sensitive emails and receive them all in one place–without the extra clutter of spam.
These filters are created using keywords. Compiling a comprehensive list is easy. Take a look at the spam email you currently receive and scan it for common or recurring keywords. Enter those phrases and terms into the filter, save, and you’re all set. These emails will no longer arrive in your inbox! In addition to reducing spam, this technique also organizes your emails in a very accessible manner. You’ll never miss a bill again!
Yes, it is quite a tedious task, but it’s well worth the effort. Going through each individual email and unsubscribing is time-consuming, but very effective. If you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate, just unsubscribe each time an undesirable email arrives in your inbox. However, if time isn’t an issue, the simplest way to tackle it is to head to the search bar and type “unsubscribe”. This pulls up all emails with an unsubscribe link. Scroll through the list and unsubscribe at will!
Please note, if you find an email from a company you know you didn’t subscribe to, do NOT unsubscribe from it. Clicking that link will alert the spammer that it’s an active email address. In turn, the spammer will continue bombarding you with junk. Instead of unsubscribing yourself, you’ve essentially subscribed to a whole host of junk. If you accidentally unsubscribe from one of these emails, don’t worry! Simply follow the next step.
While unsubscribing from undesirable messages is certainly effective, it doesn’t always provide a feeling of “satisfaction”. Reporting a message gives you that feeling, and it’s very helpful to your email provider. It submits data to the developers, to improve user experience. It also sheds light on how spammers evolve with new email security updates within the system. When you feel like you’ve tried everything under the sun to remove spam, this is a phenomenal way to workaround that issue.
Change Your Email on Public Forums
When posting on online classified sections or other public forums, always alter your email slightly. Spambots crawl public forums for viable email address, and if yours is “readable”, you could potentially be added to new junk mail lists. For example, if your email is Malia@Newcompany.com, type it as _Malia_at_Newcompany_dot_com, along with a note to remove the underscores. Underscores and other special characters cannot be “translated” by these bots. By changing your email to remain legible to humans, but not spambots, you’ll reduce the amount of junk mail associated with your public post.
While spam email can be downright irritating, taking proper precautions from the beginning of each new website you sign up on, will greatly reduce the amount you receive. The reduction in clutter comes with a sense of ease and organization in your inbox. This new year, increase your happiness and cyber security!
Any questions or feedback you would like to add? Leave them in the comment section below.