How To Be Proactive Against SPAM
In this, the final part of the series, we are going to look at ways to fight back, develop good habits and gain better control of our inboxes.
Never Respond To SPAM
If you’re certain an email is spam before you open it, don’t open it. If you open it and then realise it’s spam, close it. Avoid clicking any link from a message that you even remotely suspect is spam.
If you opened a spam because it appeared to be coming from a friend or co-worker, contact them immediately and let them know that their account has been compromised and/or contact your service provider for assistance.
Don’t Open Suspicious Emails
Spammer’s new technique; collect email addresses by sending emails that contain a tracking pixel, typically a 1x1px image, that tracks whether or not an email was opened. If you open a spam email that contains a tracking pixel, the spammer gets a notification that the email was opened and now knows your email address is active. Even if you realise after opening the mail that it’s spam and didn’t click any links in the email, it’s too late.
The best way to avoid having your email address captured in this way is simply to avoid opening emails from senders you don’t recognise.
However, that’s not always practical—an email from an unknown sender could be a potential customer, job offer, or other unexpected but important message. If you need to open emails from senders you don’t recognise, here are some ways to avoid getting your email addresses captured by tracking pixels:
Hide Your Email Address
It’s a sad fact; as more people have your email address, the more spam you’ll get. So keep your address as hidden as possible.
Unless it is necessary, don’t publish it on the web. If it is necessary, use a disposable address for the purpose.
Use ‘burner’ email addresses when you’re required to enter an email address for subscriptions, trials etc.. Some examples of disposable email address providers:
If you absolutely have to publish your email address online, at least write it in a nontraditional format (e.g., name [at] domain [dot] com). Humans can figure out what your email address, but it’s more difficult for scrapers , spiders , and crawlers.
Train Your Junk Mail Filters
All good email applications, and some web based email applications have their own version of ‘Junk’ mail filtering.
When a spam email makes its way into your inbox, never just delete it. Always mark it as spam. This is how the automatic spam filters learn to identify spam and filter it out.
Here’s how to mark an email as spam in the more commonly used email applications; Gmail, Outlook, and Mail for Mac:
Change your email address
Email addresses that have been in use for several years can sometimes receive so much spam there may be only one option; to change your email address. This is a drastic option, but if you’ve responded to spam in the past or haven’t hidden your address, and are therefore overloaded with spam, it may be your only choice.
If your situation has reached the breaking point with old email accounts overwhelmed with spam, contact our support department and we will assist with the transition from an old account to a freshly minted new one.
With that we conclude our series on SPAM. We hope that the articles have been informative and useful. Please do leave any comments below.
Be vigilant, click safe!