5 Steps to Protect Against Spam and Phishing Scams

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An estimated 1.6 billion pieces of email spam are sent each day globally. On average, 20% of the mail you receive will be spam. In North America, 80% of the spam can be traced 200 known spammers. Spam is a problem also because it is ground zero for phishing attacks. Spam is annoying but phishing is outright dangerous to your identity and bank account.

Here are 5 ways to protect yourself against spam.

Set up multiple email addresses.

      Start with a personal email address and use it only for personal correspondence to a limited set of friends and family. Spammers will often build email lists by combining obvious names and words and numbers. So, as much as you’d like to use your first and last name as your email address, resist the urge to do so. Ideally, you want your personal email address to be difficult to derive. Now, create a public email address and use that for instances online where you need to register for a forum or subscribe to a mailing list or other web services. Try to do the following with your public email address. Change it often. Use multiple public email addresses – that will also help you determine who’s selling your email address to spammers.

NEVER respond to any spam. Most spammers verify receipt and log responses to their spam emails to measure performance. The more you respond, the more spam you’ll get.

Think before you click ‘unsubscribe.’ Spammers will send fake unsubscribe emails containing bogus unsubscribe links. Clicking on them will simply increase the amount of spam you receive. NEVER click on an unsubscribe link in an email that comes from an unknown source.

Keep your web browser updated. Make sure you’re using the latest version containing all of the latest security patches.

Use anti-spam filters. Don’t use an email account from a provider that doesn’t include robust anti-spam features.