How to Reduce Instances of Spam

We all receive spam emails at one point or another. They are an obnoxious fact of owning an email address, and they don’t always get picked up by a spam filter. If you are being inundated with spam emails, here’s some tricks you can use to reduce and prevent future spam emails.

1.) Be careful about releasing your email address

If they can’t find your email address, spammers can’t send you spam. Minimizing the locations where your email address is posted can help reduce your levels of spam. If you need to use your email address to register for an app, service or product online, be sure to thoroughly read the account creation forms. Normally, there will be a box (pre-checked) authorizing those companies to send you email, ensure it is unchecked before continuing with the form.

2.) Use filters and tags

Most email programs will include spam filters, be sure to customize the settings so you are getting the most out of your spam filters. For emails that get through the filters, most programs will allow you to tag or mark them as junk, which will train the filter to block future emails from that domain or address.

3.) Disable automatic HTML

Many sophisticated spam emails are created with HTML. Using HTML, the authors can hide trackers in images that allows them to receive a hit whenever someone opens and views that email, confirming the validity of your email address. If you disable HTML settings and only view emails in plaintext, spammers ability to see and confirm your address will be blocked. Since many spammers will send out hundreds of thousands of emails to potential addresses, HTML is used to confirm to them that your address is a valid address, and they will thus keep sending you more spam. So disabling HTML in favor of plaintext will protect you from more spam.

4.)  Consider a second email address

Since most non-static domains, apps and programs require an account login to be created these days, it’s a good idea to have a second email address to handle that function. Most of these apps will add the addresses used to create accounts to an email list, and many will bundle and sell addresses that have been used to create accounts to advertisers (i.e. spammers) as an added source of revenue (side note: does not do this as we do not require or request email addresses). By having an email address for account management that is separate from the email address you use for day-to-day communication, you can compartmentalize those roles and manage expectations. This is a technique I’ve been using for about a decade, and it actually is a great way to avoid spam in your primary email account.

5.) Don’t spam other people

If you are guilty of sending out masses of emails and spamming other people, then on top of being inconsiderate, you are spreading your email address out there for other spammers to pick it up and add to their email lists. Not only will you be annoying your fellow netizens, you will be setting yourself up to receive more spam.

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