How to Stop Spam Email

“Approximately two-thirds of all emails sent are Spam”

Spam is the general term for incoming emails that are sent to your account without your prior consent.  Spam is unsolicited email coming from strangers or unknown organizations and businesses.    Spam emails are nearly never sent by a legitimate business or an honest person. When you find email in your mailbox from a stranger the chances are pretty good that a scam-artist or dishonest person sent it.  Spam is a way for thieves to pass to the public scams and cons hoping to prey on the innocent, the uninitiated, the elderly, and those new to the internet.  Don’t fall for it. Never respond to spam in any way. Just trash it.

Never use the “reply” or “remove” link at the bottom of suspected spam messages!  More likely than not, if you reply to spammers, your email address will be flagged as being current and in-use — this will inevitably sign you up for more spam and may pass your email address on to other spammers in effect multiplying your spam intake.

There are many things you can do to fight spam.  Fighting spam takes more than simply ignoring the incoming spam email — you can actively implement many safe measures to help you avoid the spam in the first place.  Email users hate spam because they clog up a user’s inbox, takes up time to delete them, and often hides important emails among the spam messages.

Not only should you be concerned about emails that you receive in order to avoid viruses and malware, but you should be just as judicious in passing out, submitting, or posting your email address as well.  When nefarious entities are able to steal, collect, received your email address, they will not only start sending our spam, to include harmful files, but these same entities will now spread around or sell your email address illegitimately across the internet to other nefarious players.  Unfortunately, it is a snowball effect in that as your email address gets compromised and added to one spam list, the next thing you know it you are inundated with spam, many of those emails containing viruses or malware.

Protect your Email Address

Do not give out your email address to unknown, unverified, or suspicious entities.  Do not reply to unsolicited emails.  Oftentimes, spam is delivered by hijacking other servers, other email accounts, or spread by viruses that could have infected other people’s address books including your friends and family.  To that end, replying to a spammers email simply verifies that your email address is an active one and marks you as the recipient for future spam attacks.

If you own or operate a web site, or participate online via such things as interactive discussion forums or social networks, absolutely do not post your to email address publicly.  Never publisher or post your email address on a web page itself, within a post on a discussion forum, or on any conversations or public exchanges by social networks.  Doing so will compromise your email address in two ways.  First, any nefarious person browsing the Internet that comes across a post and email address will likely gather that email address and added to their spam list.  Second, the same people are very clever and have created automated robots, or spam bots, that automatically browse scores of web sites for the main purpose of harvesting any email addresses in sight.  As you probably have found out, once an email address is tainted and you begin to receive droves of spam emails, it is very difficult if not impossible to salvage that email account.  Many people eventually have to throw away that email address and start fresh.  This poses many problems in itself in that friends, families, and business associates may not know that you’ve changed email address is.  And any subscriptions, financial accounts, or business related activities that were linked to that original email address will likely be lost.

Be crafty when filling out email ID in forms online.  Many web forms will ask for your name and email ID.  Just type in a series of random letters (such as iwjdhc) in the field provided for name. Then set up a spam filter so that emails from that form or newsletter will arrive in a separate folder. If the email is spam, alter the settings to delete mails coming in from the fake name.

Follow unsubscribe options.  Generally, all commercial spam messages describe some sort of unsubscribing information right at the bottom of the mail, so that you have to scroll down right to the end until you see it. Normally, you just have to select the ‘remove link’ or ‘unsubscribe’ option, which will then redirect you to a page with information regarding how to opt out. Also, some legitimate businesses also provide an opt out link usually saying “if you don’t want to get email from us, reply with the word remove in the subject line.”

Use a Secondary Email Account

Many people are resorting to using two or more to email accounts.  By signing up and maintaining more than one email account, people can do their best to keep one of them private and sanitized, such that this particular email address is only used for correspondence between friends, family, and business associates.  A second or alternate email address is used to sign up for newsletters, online promotions, confirmation emails, and ecommerce.  These are the venues that will most likely start inundating you with spam or at least bulk email and promotions.  By isolating such email in a separate accounts, a crucial family or business email will never be lost in that cluttered inbox.  And eventually when that secondary email becomes compromised, you can simply “throw it away” and sign up for another secondary email account while still preserving the integrity of your main (private) email account.

Before You Receive Spam

>Use Email Blacklists

Using email blacklists is another excellent way to reduce the amount of spam email you receive. Most free email providers offer email blacklists. When you place an email address on a blacklist, your email provider will block all email messages from a specific sender. If you keep getting spam emails from the same email address, you can add that sender to an email blacklist and never receive another spam message from that sender.

>Use Email Whitelists

The opposite of an email blacklist is an email whitelist. Adding a specific email address to an email whitelist will ensure that you receive every message from that sender. Using an email whitelist is a great way to make sure that you receive all of your important emails. When you place a sender on an email whitelist, you will receive every correspondence from that sender in your inbox. No longer will you have to search through your bulk mail folder looking for important emails.

After Your Receive Spam

>How to Use Spam Databases

A spam database is a list of servers, more specifically their IP address, that are known for sending spam. When a server is flagged for sending spam, it is added to a spam database. These spam databases can then be queried by email providers to block all emails coming from a specific server on the internet. If you own your own spam email filter, you will want to add as many spam databases to your filter as possible. This will help reduce the amount of spam email you see in your inbox on a daily basis.

>Spam Firewalls

Spam firewalls are another excellent option to use when trying to fight unwanted spam emails. Spam firewalls allow you to prevent emails originating from a specific server on the internet from being delivered to your inbox. Spam firewalls make use of spam databases and IP reputation services to determine which servers are sending spam emails. Installing a spam firewall is one of the most effective ways to reduce the amount of spam that is delivered to your email address. There are many different spam firewalls available, making it easy to find one that meets your needs.

>Challenge Response Spam Filtering

Challenge response spam filtering is a unique method of filtering unwanted spam emails. Rather than blocking all emails from a certain sender, this spam filter sends a reply with a challenge back to the original sender. In the reply, the sender is asked to perform some type of task to ensure delivery of the message. By asking the sender to perform an action that only a human can do, the spam filter will know that the original message was in fact sent by a person and therefore less likely to be spam. Since most spam emails are sent by computer programs, the challenge response spam filtering method is highly effective in filtering emails that have been sent by humans.

>What to do if you Receive Spam Emails

If you notice an influx of spam emails hitting your inbox, there are a few steps you can take to limit the amount of spam you receive. The first step you will want to take is to add that sender to your email blacklist. Doing this will block any future messages from that sender. Next, you will want to install some type of spam filter to use with your email client. Whether you use a spam firewall or challenge response spam filter is up to you. Both methods are effective when it comes to battling unwanted spam emails.

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