Did you know that the average person spends about 13 hours a week on email? Now imagine how much that number increases when a user’s inbox is inundated with spam. Thankfully there are ways to avoid spam or, if you do get attacked by an unwelcomed emailer, get it under control.
Set up a Spam Filter
The first step in eliminating spam is to set up a spam filter. It’s best to set up your filter as soon as you get your hosting account. That way you can significantly decrease the chances of ever getting spam in the first place. If you have already experienced a spam attack, don’t worry. You can set up a spam filter at any time, and it will start working as soon as it is installed.
For spam filters, we recommend the following:
SpamAssassin — SpamAssassin is a free spam filter that you can activate the very first time you log in to your new hosting account. As soon as you enable this tool, it will work for all of your email accounts. SpamAssassin works by scanning the contents of each message before it even gets to your inbox. It will detect certain phrases and formats that are common in spam and then prohibit any suspicious email from entering your inbox.
SpamExperts — SpamExperts is another spam filter provided by Bluehost. This is a more advanced filtering program that will eliminate 99.98% of all unsolicited bulk email. SpamExpert works at the domain level, but you can also set up rules for individual email addresses.
While both spam filters are effective, we recommend only using one. If your spam filtering needs are greater, then opt for SpamExperts. If you are simply look to protect against basic spam, SpamAssassin is the better choice.
Don’t Click on Links From Unknown Senders
Most of the mail you receive will be either from personal friends or companies whose emails you have subscribed to. In the event that you see an email from an unknown sender, don’t open it. Immediately mark it as spam, so future messages don’t get sent to your inbox.
If you do open the email from an unknown sender, don’t click on any links or reply to the message. When you click through or reply, it sends a message to the spammer letting them know that this account is linked with a real person, and they will end up sending you more spam.
Be Careful With Email Subscriptions
One of the top ways to avoid spam is to simply be careful with your email subscriptions. Any time a brand asks for an email address (be it on a form, at a shopping center, or on a landing page), they are planning to advertise to you via email. If you don’t want emails from this company, then don’t give your email address to them. An alternative idea is to set up a second email address that is reserved solely for subscriptions. You can then use your main email address for personal and business interactions, and dedicate your alternate email address for any potential spam-inducing activities.
Avoid Listing Your Email Address Online
Finally, avoid listing your address openly on your website. Although it’s convenient for your visitors, placing your email address in plain text is an open invitation for spammers to start blasting you. Even if you don’t think your site is a target, a plain text email address will be picked up by the sophisticated bots used by spammers. If you have to keep your email address visible (because, for instance, your users are unlikely to complete to a contact form), use an email obfuscator tool. This will encode your email link and hide it from spam bots.
Spam is one of the most annoying aspects of the internet, but if you take precautions, are careful, and set up spam filters, you can protect your inbox.