Spam Emails and Getting Rid of Them

June 1, 2018 by
Spam Emails and Getting Rid of Them
Lighthouse IT Solutions, Matthew Almendinger

Email spam, also known as junk, refers to all the unsolicited emails you receive and do not want to deal with (usually because they contain malicious links or viruses.) These shady emails are the ones that ask you to send money with the promise of bigger returns later, or offer to show you β€œsexy singles in your area”, or even just give you a link to a virus infested website. These can be in the forms of a forward from your grandma (chain-mail) or even just an email from your boss where the From Address has been spoofed. Phishing attempts made on your email address can lead to things like Ransomware or worse forms of malicious software. Obviously no one wants to deal with these so what is the best way to get them to stop showing up in your inbox?

Establishing a filter

Most email clients these days have a built-in spam filter, but they are not perfect. You can always try to teach these filters to remove what you do not like coming in, however. This can be accomplished using two methods. The first is whenever a spam email does make it through the spam-filter, instead of just deleting it, you should mark it as "junk" or block the sender. This helps the spam filter recognize future emails like the one you marked and stop them in their tracks. The second step is to go through your spam folder and find emails that are not spam but got marked as such, then correct the mistake. These spam-filters need to learn what to sort, and you are the one to teach them. Various third-parties also offer spam filters you can use, some of which you might have to pay for, just remember if you are going to use a third-party product, to make sure it is reliable first. Our contract clients all use the Microsoft spam-filter that comes with Office 365. It is smart, easy and rarely fails.

Do not engage

No matter how good of a deal is in the subject line you, should never open an email that you do not recognize. In addition to that, you should certainly never respond to a spam email as you are basically pointing a giant, neon arrow at yourself. This only encourages them to send even more your way. There is one exception to this rule however and that is if you are part of a mailing list for a newsletter or alerts that you signed up for. No longer want to receive an email that you did in-fact signup for? Then you should go ahead and unsubscribe and get yourself removed from the mailing list. The CAN-SPAM Act legally states that all emails sent in mass need to have (among other things) away to unsubscribe, removing them from the mailing list.

Shelter your email

One final good method to use is to be protective of your email address. By avoiding putting it on different sites or entering it into random fields, it is less likely that people have it in immediate view and will send spam to it. What could help is to set up alternative email accounts used solely for registering on sites that might spam you with marketing ads. This account should include very little about yourself. In this scenario you will still get spam, but it will all be in your other account keeping your primary email that much cleaner. This this alternative account, you can be much more careful with which emails you look at, resulting in a lot less spam.

Want to learn more about spams?

Check out "The Essential Cybersecurity Toolkit for SMBs"

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