Spam is unwanted and unsolicited email that is sent to your email address. Sometimes these emails try to get you to click on a link or buy a product. They might try to get you to open an attachment or forward the email to other people. Sometimes these emails look like bounced emails or are disguised as real mail from legitimate companies or from friends. Usually these emails contain viruses or scams. In this article we will discuss everything you need to know about spam.
Spammers get your email address by one of many different methods. Some companies and/or websites will gather email addresses from people who sign up on their website, and will sell these email lists to spammers. Spammers can also write programs that “crawl” around the Internet looking for email addresses on websites. So if your email address is visible on a website- odds are you’ll get tons of spam. Another method spammers use is to send email to millions of randomly created addresses, hoping they will hit a real one. If your email address is a common one, like sales@ or info@ or johnsmith@ then you are likely to get spam.
Spam can fool people into giving out their account numbers, login info or personal data- to enable the spammer to commit identity theft or fraud. Sometimes people are tricked into sending money to spammers. Or they buy products that don’t really work and can even be dangerous. Spam that contains viruses can cause problems with your computer and spy on your computer activities. Spam can also become a huge problem when it gets so numerous that it clogs up your inbox and takes a long time to sort through. Some people get so much spam that they give up on email completely- spam can be very disruptive to business activities.
The most important thing you can do is to keep your main email address private- don’t give it out to websites or to companies you don’t trust. A good idea is to have a secondary address created (for example a gmail or yahoo free email account) that you can use for signing up for things online. Then the spammers won’t get your real address. Another important thing is to choose an email address that is not a common one. For example: contact@ will get lots of spam guaranteed.
Avinus and some other web hosting companies provide spam protection services with your web hosting account. We can enable virus scanning of emails and spam protection which can be adjusted from 1 to 10 for weaker or stronger protection. You can even block specific senders.
Don’t read spam, don’t click on spam links and don’t open attachments. Just delete all your spam emails. Usually the opt-out / unsubscribe links on the bottom of spam emails don’t work- they just tell the spammer that your address reaches a real person. If we all ignore spam and don’t buy anything from spammers, then it will no longer be worthwhile for them to keep sending spam. However, it only takes one person out of millions of spam sent to make a purchase or fall for a scam, for it to be worthwhile to the spammers- the cost to the sender of sending spam is very low.
Lobby your government for strong laws against spam and punishments for spammers found in your country. Ask your web services provider what else you can do.
Spam is one of those things where despite all our efforts, we probably can’t stop 100% of it. Anti-spam technology is not perfect, and it can only help to a small extent. The best thing you can do is to be picky about who you give your email address to. If we all collectively delete and ignore spam, we can make it a waste of the spammers’ time.