I used to hear people complaining about telemarketers who always seemed to call at dinnertime. Fortunately, we don’t get as many phone calls from people trying to sell us something, but those calls have been replaced by a plague of junk email – spam. It clutters up our inboxes and can prevent us from seeing all of the important email that needs our attention. Worse yet, some spam contains viruses that can infect our computers.
Never fear, though. These 7 steps will help you eliminate spam permanently!
- Use Gmail. It’s simple. Gmail is the best email service in terms of automatically blocking spam. It sorts known spam producing addresses into your spam folder without your having to lift a finger, and it also lets you identify senders you want sent to that folder in the future. Gmail also sorts promotional emails – ones with offers you may actually want to see – into a Promotions folder, keeping your inbox reserved for more important emails.
- Unsubscribe. It may take you a few minutes and you may have to go through a couple of steps, but reputable companies will respect your unsubscribe request. Just make sure you unsubscribe from all of the emails each sender generates. Some companies make it a little tricky to completely unsubscribe, so take your time and make sure you do it right.
- Blacklist spammers. Blacklists permanently block emails from particular domains, servers, and senders, and if you use a blacklist, you’ll never hear from the senders on your list again.
- Use a spam filter. You’d be surprised how many people complain about junk mail and don’t bother to use a filter. Mailwasher Pro and SPAMfighter Pro are both great products that give you flexible and comprehensive protection
- Report spam. If you take just a few seconds to mark unwanted messages for Gmail, your email service will work behind the scenes to make everyone’s email experience more efficient and pleasant. Think of it as one way to make the world a better place.
- Use your own filters. This step is more involved and requires a little more work, but it’s very effective if you’re really plagued by persistent spam. You list addresses from which you no longer want to see mail, and those messages get shifted to your spam file. When you’re using custom filters, it’s a good idea to scan your spam file periodically, just in case messages you do want to see end up there by mistake.
- Change your email address. This step is a pain, but it’s the last resort for folks whose emails have been hacked or otherwise compromised and who simply can’t eradicate all of their spam. You have to notify all the people you correspond with, and you’re likely to end up missing some messages from lazy folks who don’t change your address in their contacts, but you will be able to start fresh without any spam, at least when you first open the account. Practicing good email hygiene can help you protect the new account from the spam buildup you had in your old account.
Don’t let a cluttered inbox frustrate you for a minute longer. A few simple steps can clear out the clutter and make your email far more efficient and secure.