Understanding Spam Email

There are many factors that contribute to how much spam email you will receive. This is some advice and tips, to help limit those pestering emails to a minimum. The first thing to consider is how many email accounts you have. The more email accounts you have, the more likely you are to receive spam messages. This includes aliases of your email account.

For example; joe@example.com is your primary email account, with an alias of joesmith@example.com. Although it is technically one email account, there are 2 email addresses that spammers are able to reach out to. Another thing to keep in mind would be to keep tabs on how many newsletters, articles, blogs, and other websites that you are subscribed to.

There is a chance that when you subscribed to one website, you may have accidentally subscribed to another, just by selecting all of those check boxes that most people don’t bother reading. Most of the time, the fix to some spam messages, is simply unsubscribing to those emails that you no longer read by selecting “unsubscribe” usually toward the bottom of the email. CAREFUL THOUGH! Spammers are getting better each day, and by clicking that “unsubscribe” button, you may have just opened a dangerous website, subscribed to another newsletter, or worse, downloaded a virus to your computer. A possible way to check this, is to hover your mouse over that “unsubscribe” button, without clicking on the link, and see if the website URL matches the business/mailing list that you are unsubscribing from. In most cases it will be the same unless that company is utilizing an email marketing service.

It is key to properly understand what a whitelist and blacklist are, and how they are used. For some, it may be self-explanatory, as the whitelist is for email addresses you trust, while blacklist is for those that you don’t trust. I would highly recommend to familiarize yourself with the whitelist rather than the blacklist and here’s why. I would add all recipients/email users that you communicate with on a regular basis to this whitelist to verify you will always receive their email in your inbox.

The blacklist is great to prevent specific emails/domains from coming into your inbox, however, it is very easy for spammers to change the ‘from’ address and make its way right back into your inbox. Instead, you may want to consider creating “rules” within your email account, if your email provider supports this service (we do!). Rules are great because you can choose to move email messages that come from a specific sender to your trash, or even a specific folder you created for that sender. You may customize rules to filter by subject, from, to, date, message, IP address, Spam score, and more. This is basically a customizable blacklist with more features to limit by. The last item I would recommend is to not reply to senders that you are unfamiliar with. Just a simple delete of the email is the best option, because a reply to the email stating you are no longer interested in the subscription lets spammers know that your email address is valid, is checked regularly, and is an open door to future spammers.