As of the end of 2019, the number of worldwide email users surpassed 2.9 billion, and the number of spam email messages continues to grow. Some days it can be an overwhelming experience just to sift through the spam email messages to get to the relevant, important messages you want to read. But, alas, there are steps we can take to extricate ourselves from the endless email notifications to spam email messages. Yes, you can restore order to your chaotic emails!
If you ever wanted to feel truly wanted and sought after, go take a look at your email inbox. It seems that there are scores of companies, organizations, and individuals that are trying to court us and win our favor for the tradeoff of opening and reading their email messages. We are being constantly bombarded with email marketing and at some point, you have to just say enough is enough, and stop spam emails and declutter your inbox once and for all!
The good news is that it doesn’t require much effort to eliminate junk email, nor does it require expert knowledge.
One helpful way to get on top of these annoying email messages is being able to identify spam.
Ways to Identify Spam Email
Check the Subject Line
If you read in the subject line messages that present themselves as super assertive or intimidating – like your life depends on opening this email – it is most likely spam. Anything that promises something too good to be true, or seems like gossip, you can be sure is spam and not worth your time.
Look for the Sender’s Address
The vast majority of spam comes from complex or nonsensical emails that can sometimes seem like letters and numbers jumbled together. When you hover over the name of the sender, you likely will notice strange capitalization and spelling that doesn’t make sense. Find out if the email address is authentic and Google the specific email address.
Real Companies Use Your Real Name
If you receive an email and it omits your name or misspells your name, that is a clear indication this is spam email. If a company really did need you to update your account or take action in general, they would address you by your correct name.
Look for Correct Spelling and Grammar
If you spot strange phrasing, misuse of words and generally poor syntax and sentence structure, it is likely a bogus email message. Also, if the message contains broken sentences and rambles, it is very likely not a legitimate email.
Beware of being Asked for Personal Information
If you open the email message and you immediately are asked for personal information such as your social security number, an account number, or other sensitive information, it is a scam. Think of it this way: entities that you want to have this sensitive information already have it. You never should have a new company or organization in their first missive to you ask for such personal information. It is a clear sign of spam email.
Verify Unconfirmed Information Independently
If you receive an email message about “suspicious activity” with one of your accounts, you’re better off logging onto your account with that entity or calling the company directly to address this information appropriately. Always go directly to the source to resolve issues like this rather than responding to a vague or intimidating email.
How to Prevent Spam Email from Reaching Your Inbox
Be Hesitant to Enter Your Email Address
When you prepare to register or sign up for various entities and you are not sure if they are legitimate, then go with your better judgement and decide not to enter your email address. You never know who will have access to your information and you could likely be asking for trouble by divulging your email address to entities whose legitimacy you can’t verify.
Hold Off on Posting Your Email Address
You might think twice about posting your email address in public spaces such as social media accounts or personal websites. If you are in a job that calls for you to disclose your email address to certain entities, then write your email address out in different ways. For example, Steve Jones at Yahoo dot com, or Betty Maddox @ Google email. Publicizing these variations of your email address could save your inbox from being besieged with unwanted spam.
Install a Third-Party App
Consider a plugin like Blur that basically creates a specious middleman so websites are not able to collect your authentic information. So if you purchase an item at an online store, you could use Blur, and that online retailer will record the fake address provided by Blur instead of your real email address. From there, that store transmits this phony address to your real inbox where you can choose to open or decline the message.
Effectively Eliminate Spam From Your Inbox
Prepare Your Inbox
As much as we would like to think so – and as much as it feels good doing it – deleting spam emails will not stop them from showing up in the future. What you can do is get your email client to identify which messages you want to view and which messages you consider junk.
You simply utilize your server’s spam reporting features.
For example, in Gmail, you can click on the square to the immediate left of the email message you want to filter. You then find the “Report Spam” icon in the top row above your email messages – it looks like a stop sign with an exclamation point. For Yahoo email users, select your email messages you don’t want, then click the More icon and select “Mark as Spam.”
Taking these actions signals to your email client that you do not acknowledge the sender and you do not want to receive messages from that sender. Eventually, your inbox will automatically filter all email messages like the messages you have been flagging into your spam folder. Your spam folder automatically deletes messages that have been in there for longer than 30 days.
Unsubscribe From Spam Email
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, and later updated in 2008, requires that companies sending email as a way of advertising are mandated to make it easy to opt out – or unsubscribe – from receiving their emails. Once you unsubscribe, they should remove you from their list in a reasonable amount of time.
Unsubscribing can seem like a tedious and time-consuming task, but this is a sure-fire way to rid your inbox of these annoying emails. Don’t forget, however, to also delete the existing messages from this entity you have unsubscribed from.
Use a Third-Party Tool to Get Rid of Spam and Declutter Your Inbox
Try using the free service Unroll.me. It will browse through your email messages and pull up those that can be unsubscribed. You then can choose to identify the sender to unsubscribe, keep it in your email inbox, or add the message to a “Rollup” list. This operates like a daily digest. This tool provides you with an easy and efficient way to unsubscribe from these spam emails and declutter your inbox.
Other third-party programs will help, as well. Consider Mailwasher and SpamSieve as two effective ways to head off spam before it arrives. They each enable you to preview incoming mail before it reaches your inbox. After a while, these apps will begin to sort the messages you want to receive from the ones you consider spam.
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