If you have an email account, chances are you've received plenty of spam. Whether this consists of bulk messages, mailing lists, or straight-up nonsense from a strange address whose origin you can't trace, spam email is annoying at best and potentially dangerous at worst, especially since scammers use spam to exploit more vulnerable users.
Here is a few tips to maintaining a healthy email inbox.
1. Remove E-mail Addresses On Your Website.
Having your email address publicly visible on your website could allow for a bot scraper or hacker to pick up your address and add it to their list. A lot of these types of programs also categorize your address so they can sell your email to groups targeting your specific field or business type. Instead of having your email visibly on the website we recommend having a contact form (with a captcha enabled) that visitors can fill out that will send you an automatic email.
2. Read Privacy Information During Sign-ups.
Although it is a terrible practice some companies take information you give them and sell that sensitive information to companies looking for lead generation.
Website terms and conditions, also known as terms of service agreements and terms and conditions contracts, are the rules that govern the relationship between a website user and website owner or mobile app.
3. Use E-mail Filtering Service.
There are companies that specialize in email filtering. This provides an additional layer of email filtering on top of the existing mail server anti-spam filtering.
Office 365 mailboxes have powerful anti-spam features built-in. Office 365 spam filtering is part of Exchange Online Protection (EOP). While some of these options are enabled by default, you can use Exchange Admin Center to fine-tune spam filtering to meet your company's needs.
91% of cyberattacks start with an email.
4. Enable WHOIS Privacy.
When you register a domain (such as any .com address) you are also assigning your personal information to be tied to that domain. This is required by ICANN, which is responsible for domain registration guidelines.
Spammers use WHOIS lookups to find the sensitive contact information for each domain that exist on the internet. This includes things such as your name, email, phone number, address, etc..
A common problem for domain owners is receiving more spam calls after registering a new domain, receiving more spam emails or both.
While having your information tied to the domain is required by law it is still possible to hide your information from anyone performing lookups on your domain. To do this you can enable WHOIS privacy for each of your domain registrations.
5. Block the Senders of the Spam E-mails You Receive.
This step can be implemented with varying levels of success. Given that spammers often use fake email addresses that differ with every mailing, you may find that spam emails continue even after blocking the sender. However, if you notice that you're receiving messages from the same address over and over, you can block it within your email client, which should stop it from hitting your inbox.
While it might be tempting to reply to a spam email with an angry tirade or even a request to permanently remove you from their contacts, this never works out. 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. Use a Throwaway E-mail Account.
If you have to provide an email address to use a site or sign-up for something, but don't want it to have your actual email address, use a throwaway account from a free email site like G-mail or Hotmail to keep your real account safe.