But what can we do?
Email has been the cornerstone of the Internet for years. It's easy to keep in touch with business contacts, friends and family, but it does mean we're threatened by the curse of spam email. The curse of spam email is part of being on the Internet, but there are things you can do!
Spam is anything you receive that is unsolicited. You didn't sign up for that list, but you still get email. Most of it harmless, but annoying. However, phishing emails are a different kettle of fish because they're trying to trick you into giving them personal information such as social media passwords or online banking details.
"You're getting spam because you entered your email address in a website!"
Maybe it was to win a competition or to register for a special offer? Regardless, your email address is 'out there' (it may have been sold) and so both marketing teams and scammers are making good use of it!
So, here are my top tips to help you get less spam:
- Don't check (or make sure you uncheck) the 'add me to your mailing list' tick box when you fill out forms. These should be opt-in by law (ie: they're left unchecked by default), but many webmasters check them as they want to build their mailing list.
- If you receive a spam email, look for an unsubscribe link. If there is one, the sender should happily remove you from their list and you'll never hear from them again.
- If there isn't an unsubscribe link then there's definitely something dodgy about the sender. It may be better to just flag it as junk (so it never hits your inbox again) rather than hitting reply and querying why they sent it because it proves that your email address is active, and you may start getting much more spam.
- Never click a link in an email unless you're absolutely sure where it's going to take you. Even an email from a trusted friend could be dodgy, so think before you click!
- Your bank will never ask you to confirm your online banking details by email (or by text either). This is definitely a phishing attack!
- Regularly change password on your social media accounts and never use the same one across different platforms. If someone hacks your password and gets into your account they'll find your email address.
- Make sure your firewall and antivirus software is always up to date. It's worth considering a paid-for version because sometimes the developers of the free ones don't keep as up to date as they should.
Most email providers will flag spam email and send it directly to your junk folder, but when you've got a clever marketing team and leading-edge email creation and sending software, then sometimes these 'rules' get bypassed; unwanted messages appear in your inbox instead.
But conversely, sometimes messages you do want to receive end up in your spam folder so don't just ignore what's in there. Most email clients disable links and images when they're in the junk folder so it's useful to scan its contents from time to time.
And if you end up being flooded with spam, it's very easy to get a new email address from your domain host. Sometimes, starting afresh can be a great thing! Just remember to tell all of your important contacts the new address as you switch it or you'll never hear from them again.
As always, if you're one of our customers and need any further advice about the curse of spam email, we're happy to help and you can be sure you'll receive the best possible advice.
Call us on 0845 287 3622 or click here to send an email enquiry and we'll get in touch with you as soon as we can.