As if your email inbox isn’t full enough, now it appears that spammers have gotten ahold of your email address and your inbox is bursting at the seams with unwanted messages. How did this happen? How can you keep it from happening again?
The truth is you can’t keep spammers out of your email 100 percent of the time. But there are some tricks to keep in mind as you are putting your email address out in the world that can help keep spammers at bay.
There are a few different ways spammers get their hands on your email in the first place and steps you can take to counteract these tactics.
- Guessing: Yes, that’s right, spammers will make up whole lists of email addresses and if your email address is a common name at a common domain (ie: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org), they could very easily happen upon your email address. Because email is free, it costs nothing for spammers to send out thousands of emails, hoping to hit a few legitimate addresses. Use an email address that is more difficult to determine, such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Using harvesting programs: Spammers use tools to scan the web and collect email addresses. They can pull email addresses from websites, chat rooms, mailing lists and more. Essentially, any text on a web page that has the @ sign in it will attract the attention of the spammers and their collection strategies. To combat this tactic, make your email harder to simply scan and re-use by the spammers. Put extra spaces into your email address: j o h n 3 6 5 @ g m a i l . c o m. Or replace the @ sign and the (.) with the word: john365(at)gmail(dot)com.
While there is virtually no way to keep spammers out of your email completely, these steps can go a long way toward keeping your inbox a little lighter.