Cutting back on spam
It’s one of those days to day nuisances many of us have trained ourselves to ignore, but spam email can be a lot more than just an annoyance. Whether a spam message contains malicious intentions or is just an ad for something we don’t need – wouldn’t having less spam make the day just a little nicer?
Here’s a few tips for you and your end users to clean up that inbox and declutter your day, and even keep some malicious content out of your email account.
Take advantage of modern email features for reporting spam. Prominently displayed in most email clients is the option to report something spam (depending on how you have your view set up, it might even be a little too easy to click that button and report non-spam by accident). The more you use this, the more your filters will know what you do and don’t want to see. Whether your client calls it spam, junk, or something else, let your filters know what you don’t want to see.
And don’t stop there – take some time to go into your spam folder and see what’s been flagged that shouldn’t have been. Chances are you’ll find some messages in there you actually want to see alongside Nigerian princes looking for money laundering partners, or deals from a legitimate vendor who got a little marketing-happy and were flagged as spam. It’s worth a look. Tell the filters if there’s anything in there you don’t consider spam, as it’ll help create better accuracy later on.
Have an alias. No, seriously – set up a free secondary email account to use when doing something that will inevitably lead to clutter in your inbox, like booking travel. This won’t stop the spam from coming your way, but it will send it where you want it, and where you want it is not in your primary inbox.
Depending on which email client you use, you may not even need to create a whole secondary account – many major email clients let you set up variations of your own account, which you can then train your filters to redirect to, so these messages aren’t landing in your inbox.
Never, ever respond to spam. This only serves to prove to the sender that they’ve found a “live” person on the other end. It’s better to not even open the message, but the less interaction the better to discourage further messages – and in the case of spam that is malicious rather than just annoying, the best thing you can do is never interact with the message at all.
It’s okay to unsubscribe. While a lot of legitimate, if annoying, senders do their very best to hide it, there’s a reason why the unsubscribe link is included in so many emails. You can opt out, and you should when you want to. True, these messages aren’t exactly traditional spam, but they’re clutter, and they eat up time, space, and, depending on how many you receive, maybe a bit of your mental well-being, too.
Plus, there are plenty of third-party options to take care of this for you as well if you don’t want to hand-curate the marketing you receive.
Limit how public your email address is. There’s a temptation, particularly if you use your email address for business, to make it as public as possible, from websites to Twitter bios and more. But simple tricks like spelling out “at” to make your email less discoverable by bots, for example, is an easy way to make your address a little less visible.
Third-party apps can help. Is your spam problem reaching epic proportions? A trusted third-party app can be beneficial, going above and beyond your email’s built-in filtering abilities.