No one likes spam, but other than cutting yourself off from the internet complete, there is no way to completely get rid of it. Spam emails can be very frustrating when they are cluttering your inbox and hiding the normal emails that you want from view.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can use to try and limit the amount of spam email that you get and have to see.
Train Your Filter
All email clients from Gmail to Outlook have a spam filter and they work at keeping a lot of spam from your inbox. The problem is that they are not able to stop everything because they run off algorithms and spammers are able to get around them in a number of ways.
Luckily, it is possible to train your filter to catch more of the spam that enters your inbox.
When most people see a spam message, they automatically delete it.
While this gets rid of that one spam message, it will not stop the other spam messages coming from the same person. Instead of automatically heading to the delete button, you need to mark the message as spam.
The way that you do this will vary depending on the email client that you use.
If you are using Gmail, you simply need to select the message and then click on the report spam button which is an exclamation mark inside a stop sign.
You need to look at the reporting spam options for your email client. All email providers should have a method that you can use to train the filter and you need to take the time to use it.
While it is important to report the spam that lands in your inbox, you should also take a look at the false positives that your email client providers. These are the legitimate emails from people you want to hear from which end up in your spam folder by mistake.
This could happen because certain words have been used in the subject line, but you want to train your email to put these messages in your inbox.
To do this, you will need to look at your spam folder and select the messages that should not be there.
You can then mark them as not being spam.
In Gmail, you can easily do this with the Not Spam button, but other email clients will have different options for this. When you complete these steps, your spam filter will work better.
Have Multiple Email Addresses
Most people have one email address that they use for everything and this can create a lot of spam that you need to work through. One of the ways that you can limit the amount of spam that you get in your primary email is by having multiple email addresses. Setting up multiple email addresses will ensure that you have an email address which has limited amounts of spam in it.
You most likely already have an email address that you use to communicate with your friends and family. This is your primary email address and you should not use it for other activities because it will become cluttered with spam. If you are going to be signing up to email lists or getting freebies, you need to have a separate email for this.
Additionally, if you are going to be posting your address publicly, you need to use one that is different from your primary address.
There are many mining software systems that are used to gather email addresses which have been posted online. These systems will create lists and spammers can buy and use to send you unwanted emails.
If you are going to be completing one-time actions, you should consider getting a temporary email address. Temporary email addresses are often used by people who are signing up for accounts that send a verification link, but that the person does not want to use their primary email address for.
This could be for getting a freebie or an account you know you will never use again. Temporary email addresses are valid for a set amount of time and then they will disappear.
There are many different services that provide temporary email addresses. There are also some add-ons for your browser that will provide you with a disposable email address. Once you have received the verification link and clicked on it, you will never have to worry about getting spam emails from the company.
Use Third Party Anti-Spam Software
As spam emails are a large problem for many people, there are third party anti-spam systems that you can use. Many anti-virus software packages will come with an anti-spam filter that you can add to your email client. However, you need to remember that many of these software systems will only work with local email clients.
This means that if you are using outlook, you will be able to add the software to the Outlook system on your computer. You will not be able to use the software when you use Outlook.com because this is not a local email client. There are some anti-spam software packages which can be used with any email client and you need to consider them.
Do Not Respond To Spam Emails
The worst thing that you could do when dealing with spam emails is to respond to them. If you have opened a spam email because you thought it was a legitimate email, you should send it to spam and train your spam filter to recognize it.
You should never click on any links that are within the email and never respond to the email.
There are some spam emails that have a message at the bottom of the email stating that you should respond to have your name removed from the list and not receive the emails anymore.
In these cases, you should not respond because you will be telling the spammer that they are emailing a valid email address. This will generally result in more spam emails and you will want to avoid this. Legitimate unsubscribe functions will have a link that you click on which will take you to a secure web page where you can unsubscribe from the mailing list. Emails that ask you to respond to unsubscribe are trying to find out if they have hit a valid email address.
Remove Your Address From Directories
There are many people who do not realize that there are directories which spammers use to find email addresses. Directories such as Yahoo! People Search will list your name and email address for people to find. Social media websites can also have a directory of email addresses if you have posted your email address as public.
You need to take the time to look at these directories and see if your email address appears. You can then contact the service and ask for your name to be removed. To have your name removed, you will generally have to email a specified address and it could take a while for your information to be removed. However, if you have requested this, the directory must remove your information.
Encrypt Your Current Email Address
There are many ways that you can protect your email address from spam and one of them is to encrypt your email address. There are a number of tools which you can use for this including Thunderbird, GPGTools and GPG4Win.
These tools will let you encrypt your email address and generally offer a range of other security enhancements for your email.
When you encrypt your email address, you stop spammer being able to find and use it.
However, it is important to note that these tools are not for novice users.
There is a learning curve and you will need to be tech savvy to use them to their full potential.
While looking at encrypting your email address, you should also consider using a secure email provider.
These email providers will offer additional security when compared to the free services such as Yahoo and Gmail for a nominal fee.
The provider could offer a VPN which can be used for all web browsing, free email protection for your mobile devices and a USB-key for accessing your email.
Unsubscribe To Marketing Emails
It is important to note that not all spam emails are from fraudulent sources. There are a lot of marketers and businesses that use email campaigns to get you to buy from them.
These marketing emails are a form of spam, but the problem is that they generally bypass the spam filter as you have signed up for them.
Signing up for these emails can be as easy as buying something from an online store that asks for your email.
Opening an account with a retailer to make a one-time purchase also allows them to send you marketing emails unless you have specifically opted out of this.
The problem that many people find is that opting out is harder than it appears with convoluted wording and other tricks that ensure you are on the marketing list.
To overcome these marketing spam emails, you will need to unsubscribe from them. Unsubscribing is actually one of the best ways to limit the amount of spam email you get because you ensure that marketers are not able to send you information.
This is due to the fact that companies in the United States will need to adhere to the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.
This act set standards for the sending of commercial emails and requires the FTC to enforce it.
The CAN-SPAM Act states that marketers need to make it easy for people to unsubscribe from the mailing list. This is why all legitimate marketing emails will have an unsubscribe option at the bottom of the email. To unsubscribe, you will need to click on the link which takes you to a website which generally asks you why you want to leave and then removes you from the mailing list.
When you reach the website that removes you from the mailing list, you need to ensure that you choose the option that removes you completely. There are many marketers that have the website preselect the option that simply limits the number of emails that you get.
This will not stop the spam emails and will only decrease the overall number that you get.
Blacklist Email Addresses
If there is an email address that you get a lot of spam from, you should consider blacklisting the address. As with training your spam filter, each email client will work differently when it comes to blacklisting addresses. Most email clients will have a section in the settings menu where you can add email addresses that you want to send directly to spam.
This is helpful when you are dealing with spam that you cannot unsubscribe from or do not want to risk opening. When using the setting for this, you will often be able to filter emails based on certain words or subject lines as well.
Of course, you need to be careful with this as it could send legitimate emails to your spam folder.
You should only add specific words if you are sure that you will never have an email that you want to read with this in the subject line.
There are many ways that you can attempt to stop spam emails from entering your primary inbox.
It is important to note that there is no way to completely eradicate all spam email, but if you follow certain tips you can ensure that your spam filter catches the majority of it.
You also need to be careful of where and who you share your primary email address with and have multiple or temporary email addresses for the times when you need to share your email address with people who could send marketing emails.
Using third-party anti-spam software will also help to limit the amount of spam that you receive.