How to avoid spam

Use email filtering software at your email gateway

You should run email filtering software at the email gateway to protect your organization from spam as well as email-borne spyware, viruses and worms.

Never make a purchase from an unsolicited email

By making a purchase, you are funding future spam. Spammers may add your email address to lists to sell to other spammers, so that you receive even more junk email. Worse still, you could be the victim of a fraud.

If you do not know the sender of an unsolicited email, delete it

Spam can contain malware that damages or compromises the computer when the email is opened.

Don’t use the preview mode in your email viewer

Many spammers can track when a message is viewed, even if you don’t click on the email. The preview setting effectively opens the email and lets spammers know that you receive their messages. When you check your email, try to decide whether a message is spam on the basis of the subject line only.

Don’t overexpose your email address

How much online exposure you give your email address is the biggest factor in how much spam you receive. Here are some bad habits that expose your email address to spammers:

  • Posting to mailing lists that are archived online
  • Submitting your address to online services with questionable privacy practices
  • Exposing your address publicly on social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
  • Using an easily guessable address based on first name, last name and company
  • Not keeping your work and personal email separate

Use the bcc field if you email many people at once

The bcc or blind carbon copy field hides the list of recipients from other users. If you put the addresses in the To field, spammers may harvest them and add them to mailing lists.

Use one or two secondary email addresses

If you fill out web registration forms or surveys on sites from which you don’t want further information, use a secondary email address. This protects your main address from spam.

Opt out of further information or offers

When you fill out forms on websites, look for the checkbox that lets you choose whether to accept further information or offers. Check or uncheck the box as appropriate.

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