5 Best Ways To Avoid Webmail Spam
Your webmail account is an important communication tool. You use it to stay in touch with friends and family, as well as make business contacts. Nothing is more frustrating than having to clean your webmail inbox of unwanted junk mail every day. Thankfully, there are ways you can avoid spam in your inbox.
1. Use Webmail Spam Filters
Your webmail service likely has gatekeeper spam catchers that prevent unwanted junk mail from ever entering your inbox. However, some spam will still get through to your inbox. In this case, most major webmail services also provide user tools to help filter and report spam.
Be sure to check your webmail service spam tools. Usually they are located in the "Settings" or "Options" link. Choose a spam filter setting that suits you best. You can set a low filter to catch only obvious spam or select the highest level that sends everything that is not in your contacts or "safe" list to a spam folder.
If you do receive spam, be sure you report it to your webmail service. The more they know about how spam gets through their own filters, the better they can improve their technology and keep spam away from you.
2. Do Not Respond to Spam
Spammers use "beacon" technology to let them know which email address has successfully opened a spam email. Clicking a link, or even opening an email to reveal images, may send a notice to a spammer that the email attempt was successful. Do not open known spam. If you are unsure of an email and discover it is spam only after you open it, be sure your webmail spam setting does not allow images, and never click any links.
3. Do Not Post Your Email on the Internet
Many people make use of the communication functions of Web 2.0. This means they may post their email link in a bulletin board discussion or even on their social media account. The best practice is never to leave you email link anywhere on the internet where a "bot" can find it and add it to a spam list. If you do like to leave you email contact, obfuscate it in a form that is not read by web crawlers, i.e. "yourname (at) yahoo (dot) com.
4. Create a "Subscription" Webmail Account
There are many internet services that require you to provide an email. Such services might be a news subscription or a business website newsletter. Rather than using a single email for all personal and subscription use, create two emails with your webmail service. One you can provide only to family and trusted contacts, and the other you can use for subscription or membership services.
5. Uncheck Boxes at Checkout
If you make online purchases you will likely encounter a subtle notice when you checkout. Usually before you make payment for goods or services, you are given an option to receive updates from the company. This box is usually checked by default. Be sure you always uncheck it, and assure that your email is used only for sign-in purposes.