How to Stop Spam Emails
By Nick Anderson 5 minutes
We have all been a victim of unsolicited emails when it comes to the online experience. The more common term is “spam,”; a type of content that provides no relevancy to you. Spam emails are unwanted emails, often harmless, only going as far as to annoy you with an advertisement. But spam emails can also include malicious software.
The malicious software – if downloaded – can cause damage to your system. Hence, you need to know how to stop spam emails.
How Spammers Obtain Your Email Address
The internet is a giant – seemingly infinite – a repository of information. That includes millions of email addresses, IP addresses, phone numbers, physical addresses, names – whatnot.
Spammers program bots that scour websites for email addresses. Public forums are one of the places were emails are likely to be available easily. When a bot finds an email address, it adds records, which then goes on to be used in mass spam blasts.
They have other ways of obtaining email addresses, one of them being through third-parties. The third parties may have collected user information through newsletter sign-ups, giveaways, or program/add-on installs. Such data is available to advertisers – that’s how they target you based on interest.
So, now that you have a basic understanding of how spammers reach you, let’s see what you can do to stop email spamming.
How to Stop Spam Emails
Ignore Spam Emails
This should be the first step for you. Once you have identified the email is indeed a spam email address by checking the sender’s email address, don’t click on anything in the email. For example, if you receive a password reset request or an email claiming that your bank or any other account has been temporarily suspended, it’s most likely spam.
Report Spammers in Gmail/Outlook
Mailing providers are active when it comes to making their platform a safe place for users. Email platforms such as Gmail and Outlook allow users to report spammers, which then works towards filtering out future spam. Future emails will go straight to the spam folder if the same sender contacts again.
Gmail lets you block a sender. Simply open the email, click on the three-dot icon on the right, and select Block.
Mark as Junk
Email providers allow you to mark emails as Spam/Junk to send emails to the spam folder. Gmail and Outlook let you not only block a sender but identify the contents as spam emails or phishing emails. It allows them to blacklist the sender in their database by acquiring feedback from users. The sender will not be able to bother other users once the email address gets flagged by enough reports.
And similarly, you need to let them know what’s not spam – for you. Regularly check your Junk box for emails that may have been wrongfully flagged. Approve the sender by sending the email to your Inbox. Then, delete the rest to get rid of junk email.
Unsubscribe to Stop Receiving Unwanted Emails
It could be newsletters; you may have signed up for them. These are for marketing purposes and don’t fall under the spam category if you allowed yourself to be on the mailing list. Regardless, newsletters have the option to let users opt-out, it’s situated at the very end of the message. Click on the unsubscribe link. Most links will remove you from the mailing list at this point, but the sender might have you on for other newsletters. Unsubscribe from all of them.
Identify Phishing Attempts
Phishing emails are fraudulent attempts to seek information or cause monetary damage to you. Emails that allege your bank account needs reactivation is a phishing attempt. Never click on such links and certainly do not enter any information at the links.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is witnessing many related phishing scams. Emails impersonating the Center for Disease Control (CDC) are asking users to download PDF that promise to contain important information but is actually malware.
Another important tip is to never log in to your email account if it appears you have been signed out just after you click on a link. It’s a fabricated login page designed to steal credentials.
Install an Anti-Virus
One of the features of modern Anti-Virus is the ability to scan downloaded files. It can scan emails and alert you if it contains malicious objects. It’s an effective way for email spam blocking.
An anti-virus will also enable you to surf the web safely by scanning web links. Now, pair that with FastestVPN, and your internet communication will be secured with military-grade encryption, preventing third parties from sniffing data packets or your browsing history.
How to Hide Your Email Address
It’s not always possible to hold back on sharing an email address to receive important information. For example, services like Uber allows users to sign in using an existing Google or Facebook account instead of going through a registration process.
There is a better way to hide your email address. Sign in With Apple and Firefox Relay are two functions that allow you to sign-up without revealing the email address.
Firefox Relay generates a pseudo email address that acts as a relay to your actual email address. You can download the Relay extension for Firefox from here. Similarly, when signing up with an Apple ID, you can choose to hide email address. The newly-generated pseudo email address will forward emails directly to your email address.
Your email important is part of your digital identity, and it’s valuable data. As a rule of thumb, you should never share your email address publically – that’s how bots can collect information for spam emails.
If you must then break the email address, use words instead of numbers, and replace “@” with “at”. So, instead of writing [email protected], write hannah montana ninety two at gmail dot com.