Even before the advent of the internet, junk mail was still a common complaint all over the globe – but this pesky phenomenon has certainly come into its own in the digital age. With so much of our contact information freely available to anyone who cares to look for it or purchase it, the sheer volume of spam emails (eight billion per day in the USA alone in January 2023!) can quickly become exhausting.
The good news, however, is that there are ways to fight back. While it might not be possible to guarantee you never receive another unsolicited message ever again, you can certainly clamp down on spam and reduce your exposure to it by following these simple steps.
Don’t give away your personal info
It might sound too obvious to be worth mentioning, but voluntarily submitting your personal info is the number one way that spammers access your email address in the first place. As such, you should always be wary of giving out your contact details when petitioned. If possible, use a decoy email account for websites, apps and platforms, reserving your real one for friends, family and business messages. Some providers even offer a bespoke service for doing so within their subscription package.
Opt out of data brokers
It’s all well and good withholding your information going forwards, but what about the countless sites that collect and sell your personal data? Thankfully, it is possible to contact data brokers (those responsible for trading your data for profit) individually and ask them to desist regarding your personal information – this handy list of opt-out guides will give you a head start on doing so. Alternatively, you could hire a third-party company to tackle the job for you.
Enable junk mail filtration
Whichever email service provider you favor, it’s highly likely that they will have a junk mail filtration feature baked into their product. Investigating the settings on your email account can help you to catch these messages before they intrude on your inbox, while you can even toggle which ones make it through the net depending on the name of the sender or the title and content of their messages.
Don’t engage – but do report
It’s advisable that you don’t even open an email you suspect of being spam, since all that action will do is alert the sender to the fact that your account is active. Even if you don’t respond to it, opening a message can make it more likely you’ll receive others of a similar ilk going forwards. On the other hand, you can flag and report suspicious messages to your email provider without opening them, which will not only improve its filtration settings for you personally, but could even prevent others from being exposed to the same barrage of unwanted attention.
Spam is one of the biggest banes of the digital experience. Follow these four tips to reduce your exposure to the spammers and keep your inbox as spick and span as possible in the future.