In the previous post dedicated to the email spam statistics for August 2012, we have highlighted the 7 most important tips to stop junk mail. This list of spam prevention techniques definitely has to be extended and requires a dedicated blog post, so here we go!
Be careful with the email addresses that you use
1. Do not use your primary email addresses when registering online. If you don’t want to have your corporate or private email address jammed with spam – do not use them when registering for online promotions, contests, giveaways, download sites, etc.
2. Use a “disposable” email address for online registrations and one-time downloads. You can always create a new email account using free email providers like Gmail, Yahoo!, or Hotmail. You don’t even need to waste time checking this email account for new messages, since you only provide the address to websites and forums as a log-in, and not to your friends or work contacts. If you are your own IT administrator, you can ask your email provider for a catchall service and then, when you signup anywhere, you can describe where you’re signing up before the @ sign with your domain name following (example: firstname.lastname@example.org). With this method, you can just block all emails to that email address if you start getting spam for it.
3. Do not post your email address in public profiles visible by everyone. Keep from posting your email address on forums, blogs and public profiles. To automate the process, spammers use automatic programs to harvest emails, so you provide them with easy food when posting your email here and there.
If you really need to post your address, disguise it from the robots. You can choose to substitute some characters and separate them by brackets – so that your email address no longer looks like one. For example, if your email is “email@example.com”, write it out as “jack.rabbit [at] example [dot] com”.
4. Make your email address hard to guess. Some spam-sending programs coin email addresses using a combination of the randomly-used names and last names, and then send spam to the list of the newly created email addresses. If you don’t want to be included in such a list by accident, make sure to create an email address that is unique.
Remember the three NO’s: no opening, no clicking and no responding
6. Keep away from opening spam messages. When you open an email with graphics rendering turned on, the sender might receive an email delivery receipt which lets them know that your email address is valid. If you were using EmailTray, described below, spam messages would appear in the lower priority Inboxes where graphics rendering is automatically shut off.
7. Do not follow the links in a spam email. Such links might include malware which might result in identity theft. Even if you believe an email is legit, hover over the link with your cursor first to verify that the URL you’re being sent to is also legit.