Spam is a problem to everyone with an email address. No matter how much you try and protect it, spammers will eventually find it.
It’s been a real challenge for me over the years because I have several websites which means lots different email addresses, which means lots of spam.
At one time a few years ago, I received 1,700 spam emails in one day.
That was bad.
Since then I’ve put in place several different measures which have helped to drastically reduce my spam from 17 hundred a day to 10 or 20 a week - and often less than that.
And the things I do can (hopefully) help you too.
Firstly don’t let friends and relatives send you emails that they send to all their contacts.
By this I mean where you can see over 100 email addresses in the “To” heading of the email and yours is in there amongst them.
Sending emails this way means that all those other people now have your email address.
Next, set your email preferences up so that images don’t get downloaded with your emails. Images are sometimes referred as “remote content” in your email settings.
On my Mac computer, I go into Mail on the top menu, then Preferences, Security, and un-tick “load remote content.”
Another way is to change your email settings to only receive text emails and not HTML.
The reason for this is so that spammers won’t know your email address is current.
tracks how many people open each email and the way they do this is by placing a small 1 pixel image within the email which is so small that no one will notice it and they track email ‘opens’ is by recording how many times the image is downloaded.
But because some subscribers receive text-only emails and others, like me, stop images from downloading, this type of tracking isn’t always accurate. But it still shows which people opened each email.
Spammers track email ‘opens’ the same way. So if you stop images displaying in your emails, spammers don’t know if your email address is current or not.
Another thing I do is never click on a link in an email if I don’t know the sender.
I do this for 3 reasons.
Firstly, clicking a link could open malware that could infect my computer.
Planting viruses in people’s computers is what many spammers do for kicks.
Secondly, it alerts the spammer that your email address is active.
Thirdly, some of these links are Pay Per Click links so the spammer earns money if you click on it.
Some spammers also earn money for every email that gets ‘read’ so if you don’t download images and never click a link if the email is from someone you don’t know, spammers won’t benefit at all
And the last thing I do is report every spam email I receive.
I use a company called SpamCop https://www.spamcop.net (and no, that’s not an affiliate link).
It’s a service that’s free to use.
You simply copy and paste the email, complete with headers and all the html code, into a text box and the software figures out who sent it and who the ISP is of any websites referenced in the email. Then you simply click ‘report spam’ and it does it for you.
As a safety net, I also copy the email addresses where the spam is reported to and forward the email to them myself as well.
To date, using SpamCop has really helped to clear my inbox of spam and many spammers have lost their email accounts and had their websites shut down because of my reporting.
Of course, nothing will ever stop spammers because they’re always looking for an easy way to make money, but, as I’ve shown you, there are several ways you can slow them down.
And who knows, if we all keep taking steps to make spamming non-profitable, then one day they might just give up.
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