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How to Avoid Spam and Junk Email

Last week Tech Talker explained why you get spam email. This week, he has 6 tips for how to keep spam and junk from cluttering your inbox.

By
Eric Escobar,
April 23, 2015
Episode #170

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Last week I talked about exactly how spammers get your email address and why they keep sending you those emails about ransoming the Nigerian prince. If you haven’t already listened to that episode, I highly recommend doing so because it will act as a primer to this whole world of spam email.

But knowing where spam comes from and why is only half the battle. That's why today we're going to discuss the steps you can take to avoid spam cluttering your inbox.;

Use Disposable Email Addresses

First and foremost, use a disposable email address for any temporary account, or for when you need to provide and email address for something you’re likely to use only once. There are a ton of websites that will give you a free temporary email address, such as 10minutemail.com or mailinator.com. These websites don’t require anything to sign up and they are completely free to use.

I could do a whole episode just on the uses of a disposable email address and how they work, but in a nutshell what happens is you visit the website and it will generate an email address that’s completely random. From there, you copy that address into whatever website or program is asking for your email. When an email arrives, it will show up in the window you originally copied your random email from.

Once you close your browser window,the email address is destroyed, so don’t use this for anything that you may need in the future. What’s awesome about disposable email addresses is is that you’re not giving out your real email to anyone! I’ve been using this tactic for years and it works wonders to keep my actual email inbox spam-free.

Unsubscribe from Newsletters and Alerts

The next step in clearing up your inbox and cutting down on spam is to unsubscribe from any news emails or alerts that may show up in your inbox on a regular basis. If you just search your inbox for the word "unsubscribe," you’ll typically see a list of alerts and news-based emails that you may not want to receive anymore, or that just clutter your inbox up.

See also: Unsubscribe from Everything to Take Charge of Your Inbox

 

I typically only allow Quick and Dirty Tips newsletters and critical alerts in my inbox (such as messages from my bank). I’ve completely unsubscribed from notifications from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other web sites. It keeps my inbox clutter-free and much easier to navigate.

Mark Spam as Spam

If you use an internet-based email provider such as Yahoo or Gmail, you should mark spam or junk mail as such. This helps the email provider to improve their algorithms in detecting spam messages across the board for every user.

For example, if a message gets marked as spam by 100 users, it may be flagged as spam for everyone else. This is a reason why you should never mark a newsletter as spam. If enough people do this, you could send legitimate newsletters that people rely on to junk mail. Not good.

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