Does your inbox fill up with junk email?
Here’s how to cut down on spam, and what to do when you get it.
- Don’t respond. Learn to recognize junk email and delete it without responding. If the return address is real and you respond, the spammer will know your account is active and you’ll get even more spam.
- Report it. Forward suspected spam to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) – usually to the webmaster address – to alert them to the problem. Many email applications simplify reporting spam by providing a ‘report spam’ or ‘mark as spam’ button. You can also send it to the Federal Trade Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Use filters. Many ISPs block incoming bulk mail from known spammers and those that use false return addresses. Some ISPs also offer tools to scan messages for repeated use of terms such as “get rich” or “XXX” and block them at the user’s request. Others can allow you to receive email only from a list you approve.
- Use a forwarding address. Many companies offer free email accounts that can be used to screen messages and then forward those you want to an account whose address you keep private. Some of these accounts also come equipped with filtering capabilities.
- Unsubscribe. Federal law requires that commercial emails provide recipients an easily-accessible way to opt out of receiving further messages from the sender. This is most often found in the small print at the end of an email message.
- Be careful what you sign up for. When you create a profile with a website or app, companies often request your address and permission to send you emails. Pay attention when you choose your options.