Do you open your email to find an endless stream of spam? If so, here are 7 easy ways to cut back or even block spam emails.
- Create a throwaway email address. Yahoo Mail and Gmail are both great alternatives to using your work or personal email address on the web. Both have “junk mail” or “spam” folders that catch a considerable portion of unwanted messages. I’ve started forwarding my work email to my Gmail account because the spam filter is so much better than what I was previously using.
- Create email filters. Virtually all email applications have an option to create filters that automatically send email with subject lines like “make money” or “viagra” to the trash. While you won’t block all of them this way, you can cut back on subject lines you get repeatedly.
- Use “block sender” filters. Microsoft Outlook allows you to click on an email and set up a filter to block the sender. This can be effective if you repeatedly get spam from the same email address.
- Never post your email address online. Avoid posting your email address on websites, message boards, blog comments, guest books, and social media sites. Spammers use software programs to extract email addresses from millions of websites. If you really want to display your email address, type your email address into an image design software program like Photoshop and save it as a gif or jpg. Spammers may be good, but they usually can’t extract email addresses from images.
- Try Spam Arrest. For a few bucks a month, you can sign up for Spam Arrest. The service provides you with a special email address to use that blocks virtually all automated emails. You can protect your existing accounts by forwarding them to your Spam Arrest email and eliminating about 90% of your junk mail.
- Never respond to spam. Some spam message provide you with a link to opt-out or reply to the email to “unsubscribe.” Don’t respond. Spammers use these techniques to check if the email address is legitimate.
- Never open attachments. If you receive a file with the spam message, don’t open it. Most times, this is some type of virus that can harm your computer. Even if you receive an exe or zip file from your friends or business colleagues, make sure to scan the document with your anti-virus software before you open it. If you have a Yahoo or Gmail account, they will automatically scan attachments for you.
Blocking spam emails is an ongoing task. Every time you think you’ve made progress, spammers come up with a new way to get around filters to deliver unwanted junk mail. By following these seven steps, you can cut back on the amount of spam you receive.