Email Spam

Email Spam is something that most people with email addresses are or have been exposed to. If you have a website, or advertise on a particular website where your email address is displayed or you have subscribed to mailing lists or newsletters at any point in time, you have more than likely been exposed to the spammers out there and have received 1 or more emails containing content that you either despise, don’t like or are simply are just not interested in.

What is Email Spam?

Spam has been specified on Wikipedia as the following:

“E-mail spam, also known as unsolicited bulk email (UBE) or unsolicited commercial email UCE), is the practice of sending unwanted e-mail messages, frequently with commercial content, in large quantities to an indiscriminate set of recipients.” More on Spam discussed on Wikipedia

How do I reduce the spam I receive?

There’s almost no guaranteed way of reducing the number of spam emails you receive, but we’ve put together a list of ways that may help you reduce it.

  1. Contact your ISP – speak to the company who you use to connect and check your emails and ask them what measures they have put in place to reduce spam. If no measures are in place, consider requesting they implement a spam filter which blocks emails with certain content from getting through to you and possibly their other clients.
  2. Setup Rules – if you are using MS Outlook as your email client, then you can setup rules that check emails when they arrived and delete them before you even need to see them or be aware of them. For more help on setting up rules, do a search in the MS Outlook help file for a step-by-step process of getting your rules setup. The great thing with rules is you can block emails CONTAINING SPECIFIC WORDS and are FROM A PARTICULAR EMAIL ADDRESS which should immediately assist you in reducing your time spent deleting and going through emails.
  3. Update your Website – if you run a website where you display your email address or you have a form submit to your email address, consider doing the following:
    1. Implement a spam control field which displays a random image with characters and / or numbers that the user must enter before submitting the form to ensure the mail goes through. The form does not submit if the user does not enter the characters / numbers in correctly. You will need to ask your web agency or hosting company to setup this functionality up for you.
    2. Remove references to your email address in places such as contact or enquiry forms. Any mailto links should be converted to an “Anti-spam mailto link”. Again, this will need to be done by your web agency.
  4. Get yourself a GMAIL account – if you plan on subscribing to newsletters, a great way of reducing potential spam is using a secondary account to subscribe to newsletters. GMAIL has well implemented spam filters built in.

Is there some form of protection when I keep getting spammed over and over again?

If you are receiving unsolicited emails / spam continuously from a particular website or email address, you can report them to a company called SpamCop.

SpamCop is a free service for the public and offers a form of protection to the public. If a complaint is received about a particular “spammer”, SpamCop will notify the relevant parties to take care of the problem .

Reporting these issues helps get spam filters updated, which in turn helps reduce the chances of you and other people being “attacked”.