If you’ve ever owned a mailbox before you’re probably all too familiar with spam. And no, I am not referring to the (questionably) edible variety. Rather, spam is unsolicited email that has been sent indiscriminately to multiple recipients. Spam can range from mail from legitimate companies to malicious mail containing viruses. You may have heard in the news recently of ‘phishing’ scams from senders who appear to be banks asking for your account information and ultimately stealing your money or identity (or both!).
Dealing with spam is an ongoing challenge. We get billions of individual pieces of mail going through our servers each year that classify as spam. The vast majority of them we cut off at the pass. However, spammers are always working to sneak through the nets and despite everyone’s best efforts, sometimes they will succeed.
There are ways to eliminate spam in your inbox. Should to occasional piece slip through, there are also ways to avoid falling victim.
The title speaks for itself. Never, ever reply to a spam message. If you can tell that a message is spam in your inbox folder, delete it rather than opening it. Spam subject lines notoriously contain attention-grabbing words and punctuation in order to get you to open.
Only give your personal address to family, friends and other trusted contacts. If you need to register for mailing lists, enter a contest, purchase things online, etc., a free Gmail, Yahoo! or Outlook account is a great way to route potential spammers away from your main mailbox.
Hover webmail uses a powerful but simple spam tool – the Spam button. If you select a spam email in your Inbox and click on the Spam button, it will send us a detailed report of the message you received. This information is used to improve and test updates to our spam filtering software.
The one thing to remember when dealing with unsolicited mail is to not open mail from a sender you don’t recognize. Use anti-virus software to help protect you from email viruses and always be alert to phishing scams. As always, be very cautious of the personal information you share online; don’t post your email address in forums or on Facebook, for example.