How to Prevent Spam

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Keeping Safe in the Age of Information

The advancement of technology has also created a need for increased security. As new threats, security breaches, and data leaks occur, ensuring that networks are secure and that users are practicing a safe, healthy browsing habits becomes critical.

At one point or another, almost everyone has had to deal with spam in their email. While in most cases it is just a nuisance to receive an email from a supposed Nigerian prince that just wants your bank account info to wire you $42 million, for some spam can be much more insidious. Phishing and other methods have caused massive issues for both companies and individuals, and even the most cautious person can find themselves victim to a convincing spam email posing as something legitimate.

Because of this, it is necessary to be vigilant and aware of what kind of messages you are receiving in your inbox. There are many ways that spam and malware emails get sent to people, keeping track of what methods are being used can better equip you to spot when an email is not all it is supposed to be.

Keeping an Eye Out for Spam Email

When determining whether a message received is legitimate or not there are a few things to look out for. Compiled here are some of the things you can do to root out suspicious emails and keep your inbox secure.

  • Take the time to check the sender’s history. Once you find a high number of unsubscribe requests, you may be wise to block that address as well. And, the only way to do this is to run a search on Google.
  • If a new domain name is registered to a business email address, go through the list and see who is using it to send spam. It is also best to see if the email has been changed with a new phone number.
  • Make sure that the sending methods are secure. Though the transfer of sensitive files through emails is protected by the Electronic Commerce Security Act (ECSA), most are not. The federal government would like you to use the conventional mail for sending any such data.
  • If a company or institution is offering a survey program, ensure that the survey tools are tamper-proof. A scammer will most probably try to make money by giving out a fake survey online.
  • Stay away from websites that offer to give out tips on how to avoid spam. This advice is a good one, but some can be phishing websites in disguise. Be careful with those sources and always do your research. Even with an article such as this, you want to vet your sources with other people and publications to see if multiple sources are saying the same thing.
  • Block by IP address is the best form of spam blocking. Although this is not as easy as IP-blocking, it still comes in handy for the limited number of email addresses that are getting caught in the net. Most email programs have this option, so check your email client.
  • Usually, it is possible to block an IP address by company. Look into your spam folder and see if any new messages are being sent from the organization. Sometimes, only the necessary steps are required to be taken to remove this annoying address.
  • Block all sites that you receive messages from that are generators of spam content. Of course, it is important to have the freedom to switch between blocking and unblocking the site should the need ever arise to. But, it would be helpful to know which websites are creating the spam content when you are determining how to handle them within your security.
  • Know who owns a particular address. If you get any spams from a business address, go ahead and report it. It may be a waste of your time, but it is essential should the message be coming from a fake account posing as a legitimate organization.

Spam has always been a part of our lives. Whatever the reason for these malicious messages, there are always going to be people out there looking to take advantage of unsuspecting people that don’t know any better.

Yet, you can use your abilities to protect yourself from it and keep from getting taken advantage of. Whether you are just a person at home, a solo business owner, or part of a company with multiple employees, practicing safe email habits can benefit you and everyone you connect with to prevent harmful messages from being spread. In a business setting, it is wise to consult your IT department to determine what you can do to futher protect yourself from spam emails.