I Can’t STAND Spam Email! What Can I Do?

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I find it interesting how much spam emails tend to anger people, myself included! There was a period of time where I was getting at least 6 spam emails per day saying "NOTICE TO APPEAR" with a zip file attachment. I literally found myself aggressively clicking the delete button every single time one of these messages infiltrated my inbox.

Then it occurred to me- I don't get frustrated in such a way when I get ads or junk mail in my snail mail box, and if anything, that's when I should because paper is being wasted, I have to physically throw it away and sometimes even shred it to protect my personal info. At least with spam, I can simply delete the junk with the click of a button and move on with my life.

Nevertheless, there's just something about spam that makes people shudder. I tend to think it's because it's more than just a nuisance email; rather typically, they're an invasion and an attempt at trickery. It's not just about getting unwanted messages and advertisements; it's the fact that most of these emails are sent with the intention of trying to get you to do something that will compromise you and/or your system in one way or another.

So what can you do?

1.       Avoid giving out your email address online wherever possible. When you provide your email address through the internet, not only can your information be sold or distributed, but there may be hidden scripts within the page that can quickly gather email addresses and then make them available to the public.

2.       Use a disposable email address. Create an email address that you use specifically when you MUST provide your information online. This way your primary inbox doesn’t get flooded.

3.       Never respond/reply to spam emails. Replying will only generate more spam as your response is an indicator to the spammer that your email address is legitimate.

4.       Be mindful of check boxes when signing up for things. Sometimes, websites are nice enough to ask you if you’d like to receive correspondence from their company and/or third parties. Often times, these check boxes are checked off by default and the website expects you to take the time to read and uncheck them. For the safety of your inbox, please do.

5.       Block or report spam. If you use Microsoft Outlook, I have found that the best way to combat unwanted emails is to create a rule. Instructions for doing so can be found here (https://support.office.com/en-US/article/Manage-messages-by-using-rules-80CC1F28-533D-4879-A8CC-EF83E9AF0495). If you use Gmail, select the unwanted email by clicking the check box to the left of the message. A button that looks like an octagon symbol with an exclamation point will appear across the top, which will allow you to report the message as spam.

If you are using a business email, most businesses should have a spam filter, but it is important to understand that there is no such thing as a spam filter that is 100% effective. If you have an IT administrator, you can contact them and they can handle the rest, and if you're in the market for an IT administrator, contact us at Electro-America, Inc., and we will be happy to help!

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