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6 tips to finally get rid of annoying spam mails
VonTECHBOOK|Dec 11, 2022 1:32 p.m
Have you once again received a suspiciously cheap Viagra offer or inherited a lot of money in a distant country? Then you can congratulate yourself on the one hand - or take care of the obvious spam in the e-mail inbox. TECHBOOK gives 6 tips.
Pretty much everyone who has an email address has received spam at some point. In terms of content, the news sometimes seems quite adventurous: a stranger informed you about winning the lottery in Spain? Your neighbor you've never heard of has fallen madly in love with you and now she wants you to follow her profile on a dating site? Even if the spam mails are sometimes quite entertaining to read, they are above all annoying. On the one hand they clutter up the mailbox and on the other hand they often contain hidden dangers. TECHBOOK gives six tips on how to react to spam mails and how to noticeably reduce the number of unwanted messages in the inbox.
- What exactly is a spam email?
- There are these types of spam emails
- Tips against spam mails
- Keep your email address as secret as possible
- The spam filter can learn
- Click prohibited
- Numbers and special characters help against bots
- Never reply to or forward spam emails
- Entry on a "Robinson list"
- Sometimes only a change helps
- The legal situation regarding spam messages
What exactly is a spam email?
So-called spam mails are unwanted (bulk) mails. As a rule, the messages have a commercial background; the recipient should be encouraged to buy a certain product. Other common spam mail types are the so-called phishing mails, which primarily want to steal user data, and virus-infected spam. In Germany in 2018, the average volume of spam mails per day was loudStatesmanat around 150 million - so more than half of all daily hidden mails consist of unwanted bulk messages. By 2026 could be noisyThe prognosisincrease the number of spam emails sent worldwide to 392 million per day.
Fun fact on the side: The term "spam" originally comes from the so-called "breakfast meat" of the Hormel brand. As part of a customer competition, the canned meat was renamed from "Hormels Spiced Ham" to "Spam" - a made-up word derived from "Spiced Ham". After a popular sketch by the Monty Python group, the term was increasingly used for unsolicited mass advertising emails. Alternatively, there is also talk of junk mail.
Also interesting:What to do when the email inbox is full
There are these types of spam emails
According to the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), there are certain types of spam emails that appear particularly frequently. A fraudulent e-mail (or “scam”) is usually about what is known as advance payment fraud. Such e-mails promise fast money if a comparatively small amount is paid. This advance should first be transferred to the sender so that the large sums of money can supposedly flow. The scammers mainly demand alleged legal fees for an inheritance abroad or money for a plane ticket for a womanonline acquaintanceon a dating platform.
False reports, also known as hoaxes, are usually a bad joke and are associated with a request to forward the mail to other recipients. This is a special type of chain letter. Even if the news seems harmless, a certain amount of caution applies, since the scam is used, among other things, to spread fake news.
At aPhishing-MailCybercriminals try to get personal information, such as your bank account credentials. In addition, the fraudsters do not shy away from linking carefully copied websites. These usually look deceptively real like the original website of a company - but are completely fake.
Tips against spam mails
Keep your email address as secret as possible
Never give your email address to strangers or people you don't trust. Treat the email address like a home address or phone number. Also avoid using your e-mail address in forums or comment columns on blogs, and if you do, pay attention to how the website operators handle your user data when registering. It may be worth creating a separate mail account for orders, competitions and forums. If your e-mail address is on a public website, you should, if possible, insert it there not in text form but as an image or at least put the @ symbol in brackets or otherwise alienate it. In this way, you can make it difficult for bots to read the data.
Also read:The importance of CC and BCC in emails
The spam filter can learn
Delete spam emails? Yes, but not necessarily immediately. Most mail operators now work with spam filters. Google, for example, integrated artificial intelligence into its filter at the beginning of 2019. To let your spam filter learn, mark unwanted mail as spam or move it to the appropriate junk mail folder. That way, the unwanted ads are likely to end up right there next time. Of course, mistakes can also happen, so that regular messages also end up in the spam folder. In this case, the filter usually also learns more over time if you consistently check the corresponding mails and push them back into your inbox.
Most important rule: never click on links! In the best-case scenario, this only confirms to the sender that your email address exists. The consequence is even more spam. You should also never (!) download attachments from unknown senders. In the worst case, dangerous malicious programs hide in the data sent. Sometimes you get spam emails from colleagues or friends. Here, too, you should exercise caution and, if necessary, reinsure yourself with the sender.
Incidentally, caution also applies to links that claim to remove the recipient from the addressee list when activated! Often these do the exact opposite and they simply verify your address. Of course, this does not apply to cancellations of regular newsletters for which you have registered yourself in the past.
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Numbers and special characters help against bots
The spammers usually send their emails around with the help of bots that randomly generate the email addresses, i.e. combine well-known names with various domains. So if your email address also contains numbers or special characters, you make it harder for bots to find you.
Never reply to or forward spam emails
Don't reply and don't forward the email to anyone. In this case, the same principle applies as in point 3: Every interaction with the email only confirms to the spammer that the email address actually exists and is being used. It is better to note tip 2 and mark unwanted messages as spam or junk mail.
The BSI also recommends never opening attachments to messages that seem dubious. Because even Word documents, PDFs or images can be infected with a virus. And if the sender asks for data to be entered, even sensitive data such as the account number, or even asks for payment, it is important to act with caution.
Entry on a "Robinson list"
The so-called"Robinson list" of the German Internet interest group(I.D.I.) also offers some protection against junk mail. Users enter their email address, name and address in this list. Registered companies then delete the names entered there from their databases. However, companies are not obliged to compare the lists with each other, so the effect is comparatively small. But it usually can't do any harm either.
Sometimes only a change helps
Has the flood of spam e-mails become unmanageable and absolutely unbearable for you? Then you should think about a mail move including a new address. Some of the tips above are most effective in this case. If you have a new address, you can then take a few of the tips mentioned above into account, such as number 4, by including numbers or special characters in the address.
The legal situation regarding spam messages
SeaParagraph 7 of the law against unfair competition (UWG)Only those who have given their express consent may receive advertising by e-mail. However, to a certain extent advertising may still be carried out specifically via "electronic mail" if the customer has not expressly objected to the use of his e-mail address for advertising purposes or if a similar product is being advertised to one in which the customer was already explicitly interested . In such a case, however, the advertiser must clearly mark his identity and also clearly communicate to the customer that he can unsubscribe from the advertising at any time.
Spam messages that are generated automatically, especially with dubious content such as winning the lottery or invitations to porn sites, are therefore illegal contacts that violate general personal rights. Those affected can, for example,complain to the eco association.