SPAM is email that you didn’t ask for. They usually are looking to sell you something. Although SPAM is usually just plain aggravating, it can include malware like viruses or can redirect you to phishing sites in an attempt to obtain your personal information. You can’t stop all spam, but you can reduce it.
- Software geared at fighting viruses will provide a safeguard from spam with ill intent. Make sure that your computer has antivirus software installed. (Some antivirus software includes a spam filter that protects your computer.) Although you will probably realize that you should not open an email with an unknown attachment, because viruses can also be contained in pictures or Word documents.
- Don’t give your email address to people that are untrustworthy. If you have to give your email address to get something from a website, it is best to set up an email address just for the purpose of receiving junk. Hotmail or Gmail web mail is very good for this.
- Don’t reply to any email unless you have asked for that email.
- Most spam contains information, often at the bottom of the message, with directions on how to be removed from their mailing list. Ignore the temptation to respond to this because it alerts the spammer that your email address is indeed live, thus paving the way for future attacks. For just this reason, don’t send your address to opt-out or removal lists.
- Check out any email by first looking at the subject line prior to opening the message.
- If you are sent email messages requesting funds, don’t send it along to anyone. Chances are that it is a scam and an effective method of gaining email addresses used by spammers. A lot of emails warning about viruses are hoaxes too. Prior to letting your friends know about them, you ought to investigate virus alerts so you won’t pass the scam along to them.
- When you forward an email to a group of people, use the BCC field; this will hide their address from the others. Request that your friends deliver emails to you in this manner also.
- Keep your name off mailing lists, chat rooms, and newsletters by having an ‘expendable’ email address (Just like number 2, above).
- If your website gives your email address, see if your developer can encode it to prevent spammer’s web crawlers from being able to decipher it. “Enkoder” is an excellent free encryption program. Search for Enkoder on Google to find it.
- You may make a complaint to the spammer’s ISP or web hosting service via an email message to their administrator or potmaster. The majority of servers feature an email address provided in the WHOIS part of the IP address. You can look in the email’s header, locate the origin of the IP address, and then start a WHOIS lookup. There should be an abuse email address. There is a no-cost lookup service at http://whois.domaintools.com online.