Remember that survey you filled out about where you do your grocery shopping? What about last week at the mall when you gave the cashier your email address to start receiving coupons on your birthday? In today’s world, there are so many cases when our email address is collected or freely given out by us for even the smallest incentive.
Just giving your email address out once can increase the spam in your inbox, whether it’s harmful to your computer or not. It might start with a monthly newsletter or a few exclusive deals, but can get out of control before you have time to manage it!
Your neighborhood credit union wants to help you say sayonara to spam for good with these quick tips.
UNSUBSCRIBE AND BLOCK SENDERS
Because so many of us unknowingly subscribe to advertising and email lists when we do something like order a pizza online, it’s not hard to just delete and ignore these messages when they make it to our inboxes. But deleting them doesn’t stop them from coming. To do this, simply scroll to the bottom of the message and hit unsubscribe. After unsubscribing, be sure to block addresses that send you spam, too. That way they won’t have the ability to send anything at all in the future whether you’ve unsubscribed or not.
Sometimes it takes just one click, other times there may be a couple of steps to follow. If you’re diligent about it, you can drastically reduce your spam intake in a short amount of time.
PROTECT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
If you’re like other internet users, you’ve probably commented on a Twitter or blog post once or twice. When you use social networks and other online communication platforms, make sure your email address is not displayed. If you don’t ensure this information is private, all it takes is a quick click, copy and paste and suddenly you’ve been added to dozens of email lists.
Another precaution you might take is making your email address a bit more unique. For example, if your email address is JohnAnderson@gmail.com, it’s likely you will receive spam no matter what measures you take. If your email address is something popular like this, consider changing it to something a bit more uncommon that cannot be easily guessed. Another option you might consider is to create an email address specifically for promotional emails. In other words, this is the email you’d give at a store checkout, so you don’t have to worry about spam getting mixed in with your regular emails.
READ PRIVACY POLICIES
Though privacy policies may seem convoluted and confusing, they are very important. If you go through these policies, you can usually find options for opting out of emails from both the site you’re on and its partners.
DON’T FALL FOR SCAMS
Have you ever received an email notifying you about $3 million you inherited from a relative you’ve never heard of? Mass emails like this are sent out daily and are scams. Whatever you do, do not reply to these emails. Answering them will usually just encourage other scam senders to target you.
UTILIZE AVAILABLE RESOURCES
From anti-spam software to an email client with a good filter, there are many different ways you can direct spam emails away from your inbox. A good email service will have an automatic spam folder that should detect the majority of spam emails, but don’t forget promotional emails that you sign up for (whether you’re aware of it or not) may not be filtered out of your inbox. Those messages may still require a manual unsubscribe. Look for tips from your email provider to see how they can help you manage spam and other unwanted emails.
For more tips and tricks to keep your identity and data secure, visit trustonefinancial.org/protect.
Editor’s Note: Segments of this article were taken from kenneymyers.com and ClubNorton.