Spam is any email messages that contain commercial advertising, fishing, scams, virus, etc. In most cases, spam is unsolicited, sent out on an extremely large scale and a nuisance to email users. It is estimated that as much as 95% of all email messages sent are spam of some type.
Spammers, as those who send the messages, are called, typically purchase lists of email recipients or collect email addresses from various places on the web, including information forms as well as public sites with email listings. Additionally, spammers also may use computer programs that randomly “guess” email addresses as well.
Disadvantages of Spam
The spam cluttering up your inbox and is a time waster. First of all, spam is often a source of computer viruses. Malicious people who create viruses often disguise them as emails from legitimate advertising sources to encourage users to open or download content. Secondly, spam is often used as a weapon for theft, fraud, or scams.
Emails that mimic real companies asking for your login information, personal data, or payment information, simply the want your money. So, you have to pay attention and recheck the email address.
The easiest way to protect yourself from the headaches associated with spam is to know how to avoid it altogether. Here are some of the most effective techniques!
Use a Spam Filter
Most email accounts will offer some sort of spam filter. However, it is up to the user to activate this feature and set the parameters of it. Take the time to ensure that a spam filter is in place for all email accounts and review and or adjust the settings to ensure they are effective. Also, an email shows up in your inbox that you identify as spam, take time to mark it as spam instead of just deleting it.
Create A Disposable Email Address
If you must give out your email to sources that will list it publicly, sell it, or that are just questionable in general, it is a great idea to have a disposable email account for this purpose. Basically, this is an email that is only used for spam or sign-ups, and not for important or personal emails.
Have a Unique Email Address
Many spammers use programs that randomly generate email addresses based on “guesses”. To avoid having your account to be “guessed”, use a combination of letters and numbers and make it as uncommon as possible.
Unsubscribe from Unusual Lists
When you sign up for various things around the web, you are often given a chance to uncheck a subscription box for email. Make it a habit to do this at each signup you perform. Also, many online stores, merchants, and advertisers will have directions at the bottom of emails on how to unsubscribe if you desire. Doing this will help to remove your email address from many spamming lists.
Hide Your Email Address
Many people become a target for spam because they post to the web, chat, and perform other online functions with their email address visible. When making comments on blog posts, posting in forums, chatting, or other communications that are public, do not publish your email address, use it in a signature, or create a screen name that is identical to your email address. If you must tell someone your email address on a public site, use a disposable email address instead of your primary email.
Install CAPTCHA on Your Website
CAPTCHA, which stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart,” requires people to enter a randomized code in order to submit an online form. The randomized code is often in the form of distorted, wiggly, or otherwise hard (but not impossible) to read lettering. Spambots – the automatic email generators favored by today’s sophisticated spammers – can’t read the randomized code so they can’t submit the form.
Install a Plugin or Software
By itself, this will eliminate a lot of spam. But the decision has to be weighed against other concerns, such as making it easy for site visitors to contact you. If, like most companies, you decide to include email addresses on your website, install PrivateDaddy. This free, open-source software hides your email address from spam bots while still making it visible to humans. Some web platforms, such as WordPress, even come with a plugin you can install.
Turn off Comments on Your Blog.
Again, not an easy decision. But like leaving your email address off your website, it can help to reduce spam in the right situations. If you have a very active community of readers who post a lot of legitimate responses, the value of that community will outweigh the inconvenience of any spam that comes through. On the other hand, if you tend to get a small number of random comments, chances are that many of them will be spam. Turning off comments will eliminate spammers’ ability to get through using your blog.