What is a bot? An automated program used to perform simple and repetitive tasks that would normally take a lot of time to complete. While bots can be useful for multiple tasks, they are frequently used for malicious purposes. In this instance, bots are used by spammers to get your email address.
We can all agree that spam is undesirable and extremely annoying! Here are a few things you can do to stop unwanted email:
Stop signing up for free products, samples and services
We all love the word “free”. However, most of the time when you sign up for these free products, samples and services, your email is given out to companies that buy email lists and in turn, those same companies will also sell your email address to more spammers. Our best advice? look away!
Posting your email on forums
Most forums want your email address. Make sure that these forums have a setting to HIDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. Otherwise, you should expect more spam. Bots are always scanning websites for email addresses to capture and then sell to more spammers. Ideally, make it so your email address does not appear on the visible internet at all.
Use your spam filter
Every mail server or service should use a form of spam prevention. Typically, mail that is flagged as spam by your server/service will automatically filter out these messages by either removing them, or by placing them into your junk mail folder. Depending on your mail settings you may have additional filter settings that you can manually set to blacklist unwanted mail. These settings can allow you to block individual email senders or even the entire sender’s domain. Take note that spammers rotate addresses and domains as part of their operation. So you may need to blacklist each domain.
Unsubscribing to unwanted email
When you receive email from a mailing list, a company that you recognize, it is normally safe to use the unsubscribe link within the email. Once done, you may receive a notification when you should be removed from the list. If you receive additional emails after your removal request, then mark it as spam, or blacklist it in your spam filter.
Unsolicited email is an entirely different matter. When receiving unsolicited email, mark it as spam and or delete it right away. By responding or unsubscribing to the email, you are technically notifying the unsolicited senders that you and your email address exists. This leads to even more spam.
Use More Than One Email Address
Sometimes it may be wise to use more than one email address. For example, you can use an email address for business and/or personal and another email address for all your miscellaneous online activity. Often these various online entities will sign you up on other types of mailing lists that can get extremely annoying. Having a separate email address for personal contacts that you do not use for your online activity will stop forcing you to weed through all the junk on a daily basis.