The digital age has provided us with so many conveniences, email communication being one of them. Unfortunately, it has also brought upon the nuisance that is junk email. It’s no coincidence that as cybercrimes are on the rise, as is the spam email that you’re receiving on a daily basis.
According to the Kaspersky Spam and Phishing in 2022 report, 48.6 percent of all emails were spam. You can reduce the risk of falling victim to a phishing attack or to identity theft by minimizing the junk email you receive in your email inbox.
What are the dangers of spam emails?
Unwanted emails, otherwise known as spam emails, pose a number of risks. While not all spam emails are malicious, some pose genuine risks.
Some spam emails are designed to trick you, the recipient, into revealing sensitive information. This is known as phishing. This information may be personal identification details, login credentials, or credit card numbers. Phishing emails often impersonate legitimate businesses such as your bank or credit card company, encouraging you to click on a link or open an attachment.
A spam email may contain a malicious link or attachment that, if clicked or opened, downloads and installs malware such as ransomware and spyware on your device. This could result in data theft or hardware failure.
Through phishing emails, cybercriminals may be able to gain enough information to steal your identity. This is achieved by tricking you into sending your Social Security number or banking details. The consequences of identity theft can be severe and include emptied bank accounts and ruined credit scores.
How can I block spam emails?
The good news is that there are things you can do to dramatically reduce the spam email you receive to your email inbox. However, some of this can be quite time-consuming. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to block unwanted emails, take a look at our information on Incogni further below.
Use a reputable email service provider
Quality email service providers offer robust spam filtering and blocking features. You can find built-in spam filters with the likes of Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo Mail. These email providers will scan emails for spam by default.
Mark emails as spam
While your email provider may well have a spam filter, some spam emails can slip through the cracks. When this happens, it’s important to mark the spam email as spam before deleting it. This helps train the spam filter to recognize similar emails in future. Once you’ve marked an email as spam, make sure you delete it to help keep your inbox clear.
Create blacklists to block email addresses
Creating a whitelist ensures that emails from specific senders always arrive in your inbox. At the same time, blacklists prevent emails from designated senders from reaching your inbox.
Remove yourself from data broker websites
There’s a lot of money in data which is why data brokers collect and sell your personal data. As such, your contact information may be circulating the web. This allows spammers to send you even more spam emails. You can go to the largest data brokers and request to opt out. However, this can be complicated and time-consuming. Fortunately, data removal services such as Incogni can do the hard work for you.
Unsubscribe from mailing lists
Unsubscribing from mailing lists is another great way to free up your inbox. While such emails can be from legitimate organizations, it may be you’re receiving far more communications than you’d like. It’s a good idea to unsubscribe via the official website in question. This reduces the risk of clicking on a malicious link within a fake marketing email.
How can I protect my inbox in future?
The above information focused on reducing the amount of spam emails you’re currently receiving. Below, we’ll focus on things you can do to prevent it from happening again.
Avoid sharing your email widely
It’s important to exercise caution when giving out your email address. Avoid sharing it in places where spammers can easily find it such as public forums and social media platforms.
Create a secondary email address
By creating a secondary, disposable email address when signing up for websites and services, you can reserve your primary inbox for the emails you actually want to receive.
Avoid clicking suspicious links
Remember that you should only use unsubscribe links from legitimate senders. Failing to do so only confirms your email address to spammers (which will likely result in even more unwanted emails).
Don’t reply to spam emails
While it might be tempting to reply to spam emails with an angry or witty comment, doing so only confirms to the sender that your email address is active. This may lead to even more spam emails as a result.
Remove your primary email address from websites
It’s good practice to remove your primary email address from as many websites and services as you realistically can. You can always provide a secondary email address instead, protecting your primary inbox.
You can stop junk email from clogging your inbox and keep your data off the market for as little as $6.49 a month with Incogni. This is a small price to pay for what would otherwise be a frustrating, time-consuming task. Indeed, Incogni estimates that it would take the average person 304 hours to manually complete all data removal requests. Data brokers often intentionally make it difficult for you to opt out.
Instead, Incogni removes personal data on your behalf. This subscription-based service starts by creating a list of data brokers who are likely to possess your email address (as well as other information such as your Social Security num ber and phone number). If a data broker has your email address, it can easily fall into the hands of those who would send you spam emails.
Using relevant data privacy laws such as the GDPR and CCPA, Incogni sends out data removal requests on your behalf. What’s more, it does this on a regular basis because data brokers have a habit of collecting your information time and again. If any data brokers are newly added to Incogni’s list, it sends out requests to them too.
You can quickly and easily monitor the whole process on the user-friendly Incogni dashboard. This lets you see potential databases found, requests that have been sent, and those requests that have been successfully completed.
Spam emails aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, but you can stop them from taking over your inbox. Not only does this make your inbox more navigable, it reduces the risks of you becoming the victim of a scam. Incogni allows you to take control of your data and stop unwanted emails, ultimately reducing the risk of security threats including identity theft and malware.
Incogni is currently offering 50 percent off its one-year plan, meaning you’ll effectively pay just $6.49 USD per month.