Spam Email Getting to You? How to Make Your Account More Spam-Proof

Posted by Viola Eva on October 19, 2020

How to reduce the amount of spam email
Viola Eva

Viola Eva

SEO Consultant from Flow SEO

Published on October 19, 2020

That pesky spam email always finds a way to your inbox, even if it’s a work account. Your personal email account fills with newsletters and promo materials every day. How much time do you spend just reading the subject lines and sending those emails to the bin?

But spam isn’t just the annoying content trying to sell you something. It’s also malicious correspondence sent to you with the intention of stealing your personal data or creating a backdoor to your computer’s system. No one would solicit that.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to avoid receiving spam. In this post, you are going to discover how to stop getting spam emails, or at least reduce the amount of spam you get on a daily basis.

As a bonus, you will also learn about different types of spam and what tools will save your inbox.

What Is a Spam Email?

What is spam email

The terms “spam” and “junk email” refer to a message sent without explicit consent from the recipient, usually in bulk. These messages are repetitive, irrelevant, and sometimes illegal. Note that emails or newsletters you did consent to aren’t inherently spam; however, they can reach spam-level annoyance when they become too frequent and irrelevant.

In March of 2020, 53.95% of email traffic was spam, and it is now reaching epidemic levels on the internet.

Purpose of Spam Email 

Usually, spam is used for commercial purposes. This is because bulk messaging is cheaper and makes it easier to reach a wider audience in comparison to sending physical mail. In this case, companies procure mailing lists and send promo materials in hopes you will become their client.

In other cases, spam is sent to infect your device or mine confidential information. It may intend to steal your credit card details, money, company data, or to use your account for spamming others. Look at it this way: just the fact that you respond to an email (open or delete it) says that your address is real.

Types of Spam

Types of spam email

Spam email ranges from irrelevant gift and prize advertisements intended to lure you into spending your hard-earned cash all the way to adult content. Though it is a bit difficult to create a list of all types of spam, here you’ll find the most common ones. With this information, you will be able to differentiate between dangerous emails and those that are simply for advertisement.

Commercial Advertisements

Businesses always look for ways to advertise or promote their services in a cost-effective manner, and email marketing is one of them. 

You probably receive such emails on a daily basis, from numerous sales and discount opportunities to that real estate ad you never asked for. Whether you subscribed to a mailing list or not, by and large, commercial spam is harmless, albeit annoyingly regular.

You can unsubscribe or opt-out of mailing lists, and if that doesn’t help — report the spam.

Hoax Virus Warnings

You might have received a message that says your computer has been infected with a virus. And if you haven’t, beware. Such emails claim to scan your system for free and fix it simply by following a link.

Of course, you want to keep your system virus-free. But your system will get infected only after you click the “oh so helpful” URL. The moment you do this, a malicious file downloads, and a hacker gets access to your system.

The best antiviral medication for your computer is a legitimate antivirus or in-built email service antiviral protection, not a dubious link.

Email Spoofing

In the case of spoof emails, fraud email senders use forged addresses for big-name brands users trust, like Goldman Sachs, to mislead recipients. Before responding or clicking any links, double-check the exact address. You can do that by clicking on “Show details” under the sender’s name and address when you open the email.

How to check email sender

Sweepstakes Winners

Sometimes, you may receive irrelevant but irresistible emails stating you have won a handsome sum of money or an unbelievably good gift. The sender allows you to claim it by providing conditional details (e.g., full name and bank details) or by clicking on the link. If you didn’t participate in any competitions, don’t even open the email.

Money Scams

Money scams are still a common occurrence even though such cases are highlighted in the media. Usually, the sender creates a tragic backstory and asks for funds. If you get an email like that, at the very least, you can try to validate the story online. However, it’s extremely unlikely to be true considering how many fundraising platforms there are with free access.

Why Do You Get Spam Emails?

How do spammers get your email address

Spammers get hold of large databases of email addresses in several ways. Here are just a few to highlight how your address might have appeared on a spam mailing list.

Email Exposure in a Data Leak

Cybercriminals hack big organizations’ databases to steal confidential and sensitive information for illegal activities. This includes passwords, email IDs, account numbers, names, and other personal information.

Data leaks happen even in well-established companies like Adobe, where a massive breach exposed at least 38 million users and their personal data that was stored in Adobe’s databases.

Use of Specialized Tools to Procure Email IDs

While doing online shopping or when you are subscribing to various other useful services, you give your email ID. Spammers use specialized tools that scan the web for @ signs, so when you enter your email ID publicly, the chances of it getting added to the “junk mail receivers” list increases.

Stealing from Someone Else’s Contact List

You might be very cautious and never post your email IDs publicly. Still, your ID is prone to scams simply because you appear on someone’s contact list.

It could be that a business partner or friend had problems with online security and a spammer got hold of their contact list. But this can also happen to companies that work hard at creating mailing lists and, unfortunately, face breaches of privacy.  

Random Generation of Email by Making Good Guesses

Of course, they don’t do this manually; spammers have specialized tools for generating combinations of names and domains. If a cybercriminal has a list of first and last names, even better (for them), as they can easily generate a list of possible email addresses just by combining the names and different domains.

If the email is delivered without fail and then opened, it signifies that the right email ID has been generated. And then you start receiving spam emails. That’s how you manage to receive scam even in your business account.

Companies Selling Email IDs

Some email marketing companies sell IDs to junk mailers. That’s an unfortunate fact of the business world because some companies will do anything for profit. The most unfortunate part of this fact is that it’s not always illegal to do so. Case in point, if you don’t read the privacy policy when entering your email address, you might be willingly (and unknowingly) signing off on allowing a company to do whatever they please with your address.

A Few Steps to Reduce the Number of Incoming Spam Emails

How to reduce incoming spam email

Knowing about the types of spam and how scammers can obtain your digital address can be helpful in preventing unpleasant situations. So let’s summarize how to stop spam emails.

  • Don’t respond to spam. Never reply or opt-out when you receive a spam message. As soon as you do, spammers get the information that the account is live. They can use this address now for sending more annoying and distracting correspondence.
  • Don’t follow links. Sometimes the links are just there to find out if a randomly generated address is legit, but they often lead you to download malware and create a backdoor to your computer or infect it with a virus.
  • Use a spam filter. There are numerous extensions, integrations, and standalone apps that help protect your inbox from spam. They intercept spam and send it straight into the spam folder.
  • Mark emails as spam. If you find any junk mail in your inbox, actively mark it as spam. Remember to mark “not spam” to all the important emails that accidentally went in the spam folder.This helps train your email service’s in-built spam filters.
  • Learn how to spot phishing emails. When you receive an email, always check for the domain name. For example, if the message is from Microsoft, the mail ID should have “@microsoft.com.”
  • Bump up your online security. Restrict yourself from opening any attachments from unknown email IDs. Think twice, even if you find it’s from a trusted source. Always report spam, scams, and phishing mail.
  • Contain malware. Install a good and legit antivirus. Also, keep track of your computer operations. If you observe it is operating slowly or sluggishly, or your friends inform you about receiving weird messages, then malware is installed on your system.

Also, look out for generic salutations, typos, unusual syntax, and too-good-to-be-true rewards.

Mailbird vs. Spam Emails

Spam is an everyday occurrence. You go to check your inbox, and it’s there in the form of a promo newsletter or scam reward scheme. The best course of action is to ignore them and report spam as much as possible. An even better one is using antivirus software and all the tools you have at hand.

Mailbird isn’t anti-spam software, per se; however, it works with your email provider’s spam filter and has some handy functions that promote email security. Here’s how you can fend off spam with Mailbird:

  • Use the Unsubscribe button. Keep your inbox clean with a one-click email trick. You can find the unsubscribe button at the top of an opened email.
  • Prevent spam by blocking certain email senders. If you find an email you never subscribed to or a suspicious subject line, it would be better to report the spam immediately using the spam button.
  • Create filters. You can filter out emails with trigger words and send them to the bin or spam folder automatically.
How do you stop spam email?

You can stop or reduce the volume of spam emails by using filters or by reporting spam. Also, do not follow the links, and never respond to suspicious emails.

How do I get spam emails?

You receive spam emails because your email address might have been exposed to a data leak, spammers have used specialized tools to extract the email ID, or they simply bought a list of addresses.

Your ID can also be stolen from your friends’ contact lists. Moreover, some companies also sell your ID, and spammers even use random generation techniques to look for active emails.


Viola Eva

Viola Eva

SEO Consultant from Flow SEO

Published on October 19, 2020

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