Spam (or junk/unsolicited email) has existed for as long as email has been around. It can be frustrating, but yes, it can be managed quite effectively.
Largely everyone gets some spam, but many users report getting so much that they have difficulty in identifying legitimate email messages in their inbox. Spam can range from merely annoying, where you get an email offering unsolicited goods or services, or more malicious, where you get an email containing dangerous malware, which can impact your entire network.
Email programs, such as Gmail, have in-built spam filtering which (in theory anyway) routes most spam to a junk or spam folder.
Here are 7 steps you can take to reduce spam:
- Mark as junk: While it is tempting to just delete spam from your inbox, this does nothing to reduce the likelihood that you will receive similar mail in the future. You should right click the errant message and select ‘Mark as junk’. This increases the chance that this and similar messages are properly routed to your junkmail folder in the future.
- Ensure your antivirus is up to date, as this has tools for reducing the amount of spam you receive.
- Newsletters: If you currently get lots of emails from sources to which you previously subscribed, this is not technically spam, as you gave permission to receive this at some point. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, the most effective method is to simply unsubscribe. Most newsletters have a very easy and clear unsubscribe feature built in the message itself. However, some spam may trick you to click an Unsubscribe link in order to confirm your email, so only unsubscribe to legitimate newsletters you would have signed up with in the past.
- Rather than opening potential spam messages, use the Preview pane in your email program to preview messages without opening them. If you need help with this, drop me a line and I’ll show you how!
- Don’t reply to spam, or click any links contained therein. You might be downloading a nasty piece of malware. If you accidentally open the message, this is OK, as long as you don’t click on any links.
- Be careful where you browse: Even reputable news and social media sites might contain links to ‘spammy’ content. Minimise your browsing to trusted business and news sources, and avoid clicking those “You’ll never believe what this…” type clickbait articles.
- Even if after you follow these steps, and you still get a lot of spam, it might be appropriate to start from scratch with a new email address which you strictly share only with trusted contacts.
Now, even if you cut down on spam so that 95% of it is directed to your junk folder, you still need to manage the legitimate emails effectively! While this is not necessarily our forte, here is a great resource on how to deal with this. If you liked this article, please consider subscribing to our blog or adding a comment. And if you have any questions on any of this, please get in touch at 091 395413.