What is spam?
If you are someone who uses technology daily, then this term is not new for you. For the uninitiated, spam refers to the unwanted and unsolicited messages sent in large numbers. In the early years of tech, one of the most popular forms of spam was done through email. Luckily, developers are continuously creating ways to filter out these messages. However, other forms of spam are being done to target individuals. Some of the modern types of spam are done through texts, calls, links, ads, websites, and more.
What is the purpose of spam?
Some harmless spam messages are advertisements for a service or good. Sending out emails is one of the cheapest alternatives to market your goods. It can get annoying since it is harder to sift through your emails. Some spam messages or files are used to entice receivers to download or click them. These spams may contain malware that could be used for phishing. With your privacy compromised, data retrieved can be used for different crimes, such as identity theft and fraud.
In some cases, spam messages are used to scam the receiver. Another effective form that cyber-criminals use to do this is through email spoofing. Email spoofing is defined as forging an email header and body to trick the recipient that the email is from a reliable source. Cyber-criminals usually copy from well-known institutions, like banks and big companies. In some cases, the fabricated email will usually ask for the recipient’s personal information. For example, name, credit card number, birthday, and other security questions. If the recipient replied with the information asked, he will be in serious security threat.
How can I protect myself from getting spammed?
There are different ways to protect yourself from spam messages. Keep in mind these precautionary measures:
Be mindful of where you use your email and who you give it to.
Nowadays, it is easier to get someone’s email by doing a quick Google search. If you’re signing up to use a website, some will automatically subscribe you to their mailing list. You can easily unsubscribe from them if you don’t want to get messages from them. Don’t post your email publicly online as this will make you an easy target for spam.
Download antivirus software.
Aside from using a spam filter, antivirus software with an anti-spambot will help you block these unwanted messages. The software will also notify you if the email contains malicious content or malware. Sometimes, some antivirus software will notify you as well when it comes to any suspicious websites.
Don’t reply to spam mails.
Replying to a spam mail will only authenticate that your email is active and responsive. This will often lead to more spam messages. Email spoofing can be detected if you read thoroughly the email sent to you. A misspelled word or a wrong grammar in the header and body of the email usually means that it is a scam.
Use a different email address.
Getting spam emails from advertisements can’t be avoided sometimes. If you are someone who shops online or someone who frequently creates accounts for different websites and services, you may want to delegate a specific email for that. This way, your personal and business emails will not get flooded with emails.
Read the email thoroughly.
Some spam messages include irresistible offers, discounts, ways to get money, and other eye-catching content for the sole purpose of tricking the recipient into clicking them. Don’t download file attachments and images right away or click on links. If you don’t know the sender, best not to do any action.