- Trying to stop all spam is difficult, but there are ways you can prevent the majority of spam from reaching your inbox.
- Spam is junk and often unsolicited, cluttering your inbox with information from businesses, departments, or people you don’t know or are not interested in.
- Unsubscribing from mailing lists and setting up email filters are just two options that can help reduce spam.
- Visit the Business Insider Technical Reference Library for more stories.
If you have an email account, chances are you’ve received a lot of spam. Whether it’s bulk messages from companies, mailing lists you’ve never subscribed to, or just plain nonsense from a strange address that you can’t trace the origin of, spam is annoying at best and potentially dangerous at worst, especially since crooks use spam to exploit the most vulnerable users.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent spam emails from reaching your inbox.
How to stop spam
While you may not be able to stop these unwanted messages completely, taking a few steps will reduce the amount of spam you receive and clean up your inbox so that the messages you want to read get priority.
1. Be careful not to reveal your email address
Treat your email address as valuable personal information. You don’t want anyone to grab it, so try to keep it private and avoid posting it on public forums such as chat rooms or revealing it on websites of questionable legitimacy.
2. Use a disposable email account
If you need to provide an email address to use a site but don’t want it to have your real email address, use a disposable account from a site like TempMail to protect your real account. The Chrome and Firefox plugin Fall out is also a good free alternative that will keep your real address private.
3. Configure email filters to detect spam as it arrives
Depending on the email client you are using, there is usually the option of creating email filters that automatically send messages with a particular subject line or from a particular sender directly to a junk folder or even to your recycle bin. . Consult your client’s user guide to determine how to intelligently train their filters to detect and remove spam. Likewise, you should correct your customer if they mistakenly mark a certain message as spam.
4. Block the senders of spam emails you receive
This step can be implemented with varying degrees of success. Since spammers often use fake email addresses that are different with each send, you may find that spam emails continue even after blocking the sender. However, if you notice that you receive messages from the same address over and over again, you may block it in your email client, which should prevent it from reaching your inbox.
To block emails on Gmail, read our article on how to do this. For AOL, see our article on how to block AOL emails. To learn how to block emails on Yahoo, read our article here. For Microsoft Outlook, read our article on how to block emails from specific senders on Outlook. You can also block emails on your iCloud account to stop spam emails before they arrive.
5. Whatever you do, never respond to spam
While it might be tempting to respond to spam with an angry tirade or even a request to permanently remove yourself from their contacts, it never works. In fact, it could even lead to your account receiving even more spam, as the sender will then know that your account is active.
6. Don’t click any links and don’t buy anything from spam emails
It might sound obvious, but if a message looks like spam, it probably is. Don’t be tempted to buy anything from one or click on any links in the post, even if it seems to offer a way to unsubscribe from the mailing list. This could cause spammers to access your private information and / or share your address with other companies, which could lead to more spam.
7. If all else fails, consider signing up for a new email address.
If you find that the number of spam messages is getting out of hand and following the above steps has not helped, it may be time to consider getting a new email address.