While it’s not possible to completely eliminate spam messages, these 5 tips will reduce the number of junk emails in your inbox.
1) Use a spam filter.
It sounds obvious, but it is surprising how many people do not use spam filters to protect their inbox from spam and phishing emails.
2) Keep your email address private.
Don’t publish your email address anywhere on the web. If your email address is posted on a public guestbook, blog, or forum your inbox could very soon be cluttered with junk email. Automated bots crawl the web collecting these addresses 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
3) Create a spare email address.
Treat your spare email address as your public one. Use it online in forums, chat rooms, and when subscribing to mailing lists and promotions. Remember your spare email address is a temporary one. Don’t be afraid to change it often.
4) Handle with care.
You should never respond to any email address that you believe to be spam. This just tells the spammers that their email addresses are reaching your inbox! You should also consider turning read receipts off. These are often used to determine whether the emails are reaching a live inbox. Finally, never use the unsubscribe link unless you actually remember signing up to receive mail from the sender originally. Again, this is just another way for spammers to determine which emails are reaching an actual person.
5) Use disposable mail.
If you are forced to enter an email address somewhere on the web where the authenticity of the website is questionable, use a temporary email address! A service like 10minutemail.com will give you access to a working email address so that you do not have to risk using your personal address on a website you do not trust. Once you have finished, simply exit the website and you can leave knowing you will never receive any unwanted mail as a result of it.
The fight against spam has been ongoing since the first recorded incident in 1978 which affected 393 individuals. More than 30 years later, spam is reaches billions of internet users worldwide. It may not be possible to completely eliminate spam, but we can all do our bit to reduce the impact it has on our inbox.
Just be vigilant online and treat your email address like your house number and zip code; you wouldn’t post that everywhere would you?