Online Safety Tips

Tips to Reduce the Amount of Spam You Receive

Spam is the electronic version of “junk mail”. The term refers to unsolicited, often unwanted, email messages. Spam does not necessarily contain viruses – valid messages from legitimate sources could fall into this category.

Steps to reduce the amount of spam you receive:

*Don’t give your email address out arbitrarily – Email addresses have become so common that a space for them is often included on any form that asks for your address – even comment cards at restaurants.  It seems harmless; so many people write them in the space provided without realizing what could happen to that information.  Sometimes this information is sold or shared with other companies, and suddenly you are receiving email that you didn’t request.


*Be aware of options selected by default – When you sign up for some online accounts or services, there may be a section that provides you with the option to receive email about other products and services.  Sometimes there are options selected by default, so if you do not deselect them, you could begin to receive email from those lists as well.


*Report messages as spam – Most email clients offer an option to report a message as spam or junk.  Take advantage of it.  Reporting messages as spam or junk helps to train the mail filter so that the messages aren’t delivered to your inbox.  However, check your junk or spam folders occasionally to look for legitimate messages that were incorrectly classified as spam.


*Don’t follow links in spam messages – Some spam relies on generators that try variations of email addresses at certain domains.  If you click a link within an email message or reply to a certain address, you are just confirming that your email address is valid.  Unwanted messages that offer an “unsubscribe” option are particularly tempting, but this is often just a method for collecting valid addresses and you are confirming the validity by unsubscribing. Often it will only increase the amount of spam you receive.


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