SPAM is unavoidable in our online lives. Although it can be easy to recognise SPAM in your inbox, accidently clicking a SPAM link or downloading an attachment can infect your machine with a virus or lead to identity theft.
In 2014 60% of all email was SPAM, which accounts for 28 billion spam emails.
There are few things you can do to prevent SPAM email getting into your inbox:
- Don’t make your email address public on different websites. “Robots” (scripts created to scrape websites for addresses) can quickly gather thousands of emails at a time from websites where the email addresses are made public.
- Make your email address invisible to “robots”. If you must provide an email address, try not to use the character “@”: instead of firstname.lastname@example.org you can write username [at] gmail [dot] com
- Use alternative email addresses for different websites. Use one main account for your personal communication with friends and family and create other email accounts to sign up on different websites that you can change frequently.
- Never respond to SPAM. Don’t even click the unsubscribe link from a SPAM email as this will generate more SPAM because you have let spammers know that the email address is active.
If you accidentally click a link or download an attachment from a SPAM email and you think your email password has been compromised, clean your PC with an antivirus and change your password immediately.
In October 2013, 153 million Adobe accounts were breached. Each contained an internal ID, username, email, encrypted password and a password hint in plain text. The password programme used by Adobe was poor and criminals quickly identified many passwords. The password hints also told criminals much about the Adobe customer’s passwords exposing them to additional security risk in other accounts they may have had.
Find out if your email has been compromised using this tool: https://haveibeenpwned.com/.