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Why Do I Get So Much Spam

Spam, Spam, and More Spam

Spam, Junk Mail, Unsolicited Mail all fall into the same category and can fill your inbox with a ton of unwanted emails.

Even when email clients like Outlook, Gmail, and others can effectively move most Spam to the Junk Mail folder it is still up to you to delete them and ensure valid emails did not mistakenly get marked as spam.

When the total number of junk emails gets out of hand the real question is, why are you getting so much? What might you be doing to make your email address a target for so many spammers? The answer to that is easy. In 95% of all cases, you are giving it out. This happens when you are visiting sites using your regular email address and opportunists are taking advantage of that to gather an obvious working email address and sell it to others.

How Do You Give It Out

Posting your email address in new groups, chat rooms or even innocent looking places like Quorum, Reddit, Facebook, and the long list of cooking sites is a golden opportunity for individuals to gather a list of currently used email addresses.email-collectors

If you ever purchased a service or product from an email advertisement, the chances are you just gave your email to hundreds of potential spammers, even if a site states that it does not share your email you have no guarantee.

How To Stop Spam

Stopping all Spam is difficult and, in some cases, impossible. Understanding the types of Spam can help eliminate them from your inbox and depending on your email client even delete them right away.

Common Spam is what you receive once you purchase something online from a reputable company or sign up for a newsletter from a website like a recipe group like Yummly. Most of these companies will then use your email to send you updates, tips, and advertisements. Because you personally asked for it, you most likely want them in your regular email box. Whenever you decide to stop them, just scroll to the bottom of the email, and click on unsubscribe. If you are a Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook user, you can open your email account and search for “unsubscribe” and a list of all emails with the option to unsubscribe will be listed.stop-spam

However, unsubscribing from an unsolicited email actually notifies scammers that this is still a working email address, and you may actually receive more spam. I personally don’t recommend unsubscribing from an unsolicited email. It is better to block the sender or at the very least, mark that email as junk. Gmail, YahooMail, and Outlook Live all have an extremely easy-to-use Block Sender Option that allows you to prevent an individual from sending any additional email.  AOL Mail does not have a Block Sender option but does allow you to mark a sender as trash or spam. The images below start with Gmail and end with AOL. Blocking an email sender is a great but not perfect way because spammers try to mask the “From” by adding symbols, misspelling or completely changing their name.

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How To Stop Spam, Again…

The best way to prevent your email from being a junk mail target is to stop giving it out. When you visit websites where you feel you need to sign up for their newsletter or you want to leave a comment using your email, use a different email than your regular email or use a temporary email.

Simply go on Gmail or Yahoo or Outlook and create a second or third email account. You can even create a temporary email account with MyTrashMail. You can use the same name if it is available or make a unique name with passwords unique from any of your others. Using a unique email you know you will only use on sites that may share your email or on sites you join forums can be a useful way to keep your main email box free from spam. Also. Remember, a site itself does not have to share your email. If it is visible on the site, it can be captured and sold.

Mytrashmail is a great site for creating a temporary email and works well with most services however, some sites refuse temporary email addresses because of abuse, and in that case, it will be better to have a Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo account.

What can you do with your regular email that is already being spammed? The bad news is that once your email is out there as a target it is difficult to eliminate all spam. It has already been sold to others and the number of potential spammers will continue to grow.

The best advice I can give you depends on the type of email account you have. If you have a POP3 account, any email you delete on your phone or computer will be deleted from the online server. If you are using an IMAP account mail and you delete email from one device it will not remove from all devices. When using IMAP, it is usually better to delete it from the email server.

Summary

It appears that spam is here to stay but there are ways to reduce the amount you receive. Using third-party software can help but most come with fees. Some AV programs have spam blockers, but you are required to mark them as spam first. Try using alternate email accounts for sensitive sites like your banking, stock accounts, and HIPPA sites. Don’t share that email address with anyone else. Remember, your email client, like MSMail, Outlook, or Thunderbird software will allow you to keep multiple Email accounts on one email client so all your accounts are visible and ready to use.

3 thoughts on “Why Do I Get So Much Spam”

  1. You said, “Gmail, YahooMail, and Outlook Live all have an extremely easy-to-use Block Sender Option that allows you to prevent an individual from sending any additional email”. Gmail’s Block Sender option only blocks the message from landing in the main inbox, directing it to Spam instead. I can’t speak authoritatively about the other two.

    At my work email address, I’ve experienced a version of what you described as “Common Spam”. I occasionally subscribe to business-related sites pertaining to my current job function. It quickly reaches a point when they send too often, or they’ve passed my email address on to other similar sites who also bombard me with their offerings.

    As my work mailbox is only 2GB compared to Gmail’s 15GB, I usually need to resolve the over quota issue by unsubscribing from those sites and deleting all their mail.

    1. Tony, with Gmail, it defaults to sending block mail to the spam folder but you can override that by going to the “gear” icon and then go to “create filters and blocked addresses tab” Create a new filter (at the bottom of the page). Enter the name of the email you wish to block and then when the options menu opens select Never send to Spam. You should also check the “Apply filter to matching conversations.+ options. Once the filter is set, you should never see them again.
      Each companies email confirmation is different but if they allow you to search your email, then enter the word “unsubscribe” that should give you a list of every email that has the option to unsubscribe from that sender”

  2. Hi Jim. What frustrates me is when I decide to opt out of something I enjoyed receiving in the past, that site is unable to provide an unsubscribe button, rather asking me to fill in my email address. Sounds like they are angry for my wanting to leave, and they want my email address to span me later. Luckily, Hotmail has a BLOCK sender switch. Honestly, they might have forgotten the unsubscribe button, (right?), Mindblower!

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