If you feel like you are getting more spam than ever before, you are not alone. Spam is at an all-time high. It seems that with the popularity of internet communications and mobile phones, everyone is more vulnerable to spam than ever before. While this is frustrating, you do have options. Here are some effective tips on how to avoid getting spam altogether.
Set Email Filters
A lot of spam today happens via email. This is likely because so much of communication online still happens via email, whereas social media sites seem to come and go. Email is the tried and true “digital address” of people that doesn’t change that often. No wonder would-be scammers love to send you unsolicited messages for products and services you don’t need.
Luckily, you can stop this email abuse. You can set filters in your email account to block common spam senders. Big email providers like Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail offer guides on how to do this on their websites. Keep in mind that when you do sign up for new email subscriptions on purpose though that you want to “whitelist” them so you continue to get their emails. Not getting a key email from your banker or insurance rep can be a hassle if you miss deadlines.
Don’t Click on Suspicious Links
A lot of preventing spam online comes to your digital “hygiene.” This means first and foremost that you shouldn’t click on emails that look suspicious. For instance, if a long lost relative all of the sudden messages you about an event or emergency, it could be a trap. Be weary of people who shouldn’t have your email address suddenly popping up and needing financial assistance of any kind.
Furthermore, phishing scams are another danger to be prepared for. Many times, these phishers will act like they are your workplace, or bank, or even the government. They can even spoof address to mimic the same name as these institutions. In the spam email, they might request personal banking info, your social security number, or other private data. You should never give these things out over an email, and most reputable entities won’t ask you to. If in doubt, give them a call to verify they were the ones who sent the email in the first place.
Disguise Your Email Address
Spammers can find your email address pretty easily if it’s pasted on the net somewhere. If you have a personal website, don’t just put your email address in plain text. Disguise it by changing up how it appears so that only a human could understand what it means.
For example, instead of “JaneSmith@gmail.com” you can put “JaneSmith AT Gmail dot com.” The automated software they use to find accounts to spam often cannot detect the difference. If you hide your email address by disguising it, you can avoid getting a lot spam you would otherwise have to deal with.
Do Not Call List
Robocallers are becoming all too common. Whether it is for political, business, or other reasons, they tend to call anyone and everyone that they can. You can sign up for the national do not call registry. This is a registry that lets you choose who you will receive calls from, and it blocks many common spammers. However, keep in mind that it won’t protect you from illegal scammers. For that kind of protection, consider the next tip:
You can use reverse lookup services to check the caller ID of the person who called you. Never answer a call from a number you don’t recognize. Spammers today can fake area codes and they use software to change their number. Using a service eliminates the guessing game altogether.
Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up to check your email and be able to answer your phone without fearing that it is spam? This can be a reality for you. However, you need to take action on the tips above. That way your digital and phone communications can stay within your family, friends, and work associates so you don’t have to worry about staying in touch while avoiding getting scammed any longer.