How to Avoid Spam Online

Spam can be exceptionally annoying and difficult to deal with. Many people fail understanding how their online activities jeopardize privacy.

According to official Cisco 2013 statistics:

- More than 173 billion spam messages are sent on a daily basis.

- The spam messages represent 86.2 percent of the global email volume.

- More than 85 percent of the spam is sent automatically.

- More than 70 percent of these messages target identity theft.

Do you receive a lot of spam? You could have committed a number of mistakes that make you more susceptible. The following tips and ideas will help you have fun online without having to deal with dozens of spam messages.

Use Several Emails

Spammers use emails published online to add to their mailing lists. Unfortunately, businesses and organizations have to provide their contact information.

Using a personal and a professional email is an easy and efficient way to avoid spam online. The professional email will be provided on the company’s website and the personal email will remain safe and private.

It is also a good idea to present emails in text rather than with active links – for example, yourname(at)

Refrain from Posting Your Email Online

The email should never be included in forum postings, website comments or blog articles. Keeping it private is one of the most efficient ways of avoiding spam.

According to some professionals, more than 90 percent of the spam results from the public disclosure of the email address. Automatic scripts are used to detect such information and to begin delivering spam to the recipient address.

If you absolutely have to provide your email, write it in text form, which will disable the automatic creation of a link.

Know Which Websites to Avoid

Certain websites, applications and programs should be avoided.

Spam bots scan popular websites for email information. News groups and chat rooms are the most common targets. Staying away from these will ensure the privacy of your contact information.

Use Anti-Spam Programs and Filters

Sometimes, you will have to list your email online and you will have to participate in groups or forums. This is when you will have to consider the usage of effective spam filters and anti-spam programs.

This type of software is the last line of defense. It is the only thing that will keep the spam messages away from your inbox. Most web-based email service providers offer some kind of defense but very often, the filters are inefficient and easy to cheat by spam messages.

Always report spam to increase the efficiency of the built-in filter. Numerous plugins are available, as well. You will simply have to download those and install them through the email platform of your preference.

Finally, introduce harsh limits and receive solely messages from the people included in your address book. This adjustment, however, is quite aggressive and you may miss an important mail that was accidentally delivered to the junk folder.

Unsubscribe Yourself from Old Mailing Lists

Many people refrain from unsubscribing from old mailing lists. They simply ignore such messages but the mistake is a major one.

Unsubscribe yourself from old mailing lists every now and then. It will be impossible to keep spam under control, in case you are unwilling to protect your contact information. The procedure will take only a couple of minutes and it will deliver excellent results.


  About Rick Broida  

 A technology writer for over 25 years, Rick Broida is a regular  
 contributor to CNET, eHow, Wired, Time, and other outlets,  
 and has written thousands of product reviews, technology features, 
 how-to guides, and He’s the author of “The Cheapskate Rules: 
 21 Easy Money-Saving Tech Secrets” 
  blog posts. and over a dozen other books. His most recent venture:  
 the room-escape adventure “Trapped in a Room with a Zombie,” 
 now playing in Detroit, MI. 



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