How to stop spam emails on popular email services
Learning how to stop spam emails means junk messages no longer overfill users’ inboxes. They might have already tried the unsubscribe buttons in marketing letters or providing disposable contact information. However, keeping your inbox spam-free takes more since many messages come unsolicited.
Companies send their spam emails in bulk. You may not even know how your email address ends up on various mailing lists. More disturbingly, scammers send millions of messages containing dangerous links and misleading information.
Therefore, learning how to stop spam emails is crucial for protecting your data and inbox.
Spam is not only annoying but dangerous
Marketing letters from companies are only one side of spam. While they are irritating and unwanted, they originate from somewhat reliable sources. However, the darker side of spam consists of suspicious emails that are likely infused with social engineering.
So, your inbox can flood with fake offers, fraudulent security notifications, or messages mimicking social media platforms. Deceitful spam emails will likely propose non-existent physical, emotional, or financial gain. Some red flags do exist, like leaving the subject line empty. However, scammers tend to adopt new techniques.
Here are some facts that should motivate you to take action and stop spam emails from reaching your inbox:
- Unwanted emails are common and persistent. According to statistics, spam can take around 45% of email traffic in a month.
- Our research shows that 39% of spam messages present offers for fake medical products.
- Many fraudulent emails contain Microsoft Office Word or Google Docs documents.
- The US and Russia are responsible for the biggest percentages of global spam.
- Suspicious emails are likely after users’ personal information, including financial details or Social Security numbers.
- Scammers can see whether you open their spam emails. It is a sign that the email account is active. Therefore, more disturbing messages are likely to follow.
Past attempts to stop spam emails
Figuring out the best technique to stop spam emails has been around for decades. Spam blacklists were one of the attempts. However, blocking emails according to IP addresses proved faulty. It unwittingly blocked innocent emails since users and scammers used the same ISPs.
Other means to stop spam emails include spam filtering solutions. They would judge the senders’ reputations and look for specific keywords. For instance, spam trigger words are phrases that email providers deem suspicious.
How to permanently stop spam emails
Luckily, modern email applications have a dedicated spam/junk folder. So, you usually do not have to deal with suspicious emails in your main inbox.
Machine learning algorithms distinguish whether a message should end up buried in the spam folder.
For instance, Google operates spam filter algorithms that can detect spam with approximately 99.9% accuracy. However, considering the billions of spam messages sent, some emails still manage to remain undetected.
So, you can contribute to the attempts to stop spam emails. Here are some actions to take to make your email client safer.
Users might feel the urge to delete spam messages as soon as possible. However, you should know that reporting spam helps stop spam emails in the future.
Most email providers have buttons for flagging specific messages as spam. Such reports get analyzed, and their characteristics improve spam filters and algorithms.
So, your action can help providers know what clues to look for in other emails. Since email phishing continues evolving, feeding algorithms new data is crucial.
Follow these steps on popular email providers to report spam.
Stop spam emails on Gmail:
- Open Gmail.
- Open the unwanted spam letter.
- Click the Report spam button.
Stop spam emails on Microsoft Outlook:
- Open Outlook.
- Open the email you wish to report.
- Find Junk.
- Select what you want to report: Junk or Phishing.
Stop spam emails on Yahoo Mail:
- Open Yahoo Mail.
- Mark the checkbox next to the message you wish to report.
- Select Spam from the toolbar above.
Create multiple email accounts
Spam marketing letters can frequently overfill your inbox. Some unwanted email messages will always reach it. Thus, you can create a dedicated email account to sign up for various services.
So, you will have an email account to waste on marketing letters and other unwanted correspondence. Therefore, your primary inbox can feature only important messages from banks, insurance, tax, or other services.
Unsubscribe from various mailing lists
One way to stop spam letters is by requiring that companies remove you from their mailing lists. Respectable services are bound to respect your wishes and stop sending you marketing messages or other junk emails.
There are two main techniques to stop spam emails from services you have subscribed to willingly or not. Yes, businesses can include your email address in their mailing lists because they see you as a possible client. They can retrieve such email addresses from data brokers or partners.
- Unsubscribe from one service via buttons for unsubscribing in their footers. Click it to stop this stream of messages in the future.
- Unsubscribe from multiple services. There are third-party services that automatically unsubscribe you from marketing messages. So, consider this option if you want to leave a dozen or so campaigns.
Block specific senders to stop spam emails
In addition to reporting spam, you can block senders who repeatedly send suspicious emails. The downside is that motivated scammers can operate dozens of individual accounts. Therefore, you can receive identical messages from a different source after blocking initial senders.
Blocking fraudulent senders is one way to stop spam emails from smaller campaigns.
- Open Gmail.
- Open the suspicious spam message.
- Click the three-dot button on the right side.
- Select Block….
- Open Outlook.
- Use your mouse to right-click on the message from the suspicious sender.
- In the menu, click Junk and Block Sender to stop receiving emails from it.
- Open Yahoo Mail.
- Click on the settings icon on the right side.
- Choose More Settings.
- Navigate to the Security and Privacy section.
- Click the +Add button next to the Blocked addresses section.
- Type in the suspicious email address and add it.
Do not open spam emails
Scammers can pick up email addresses from databases of breached personal information. Therefore, they might not know whether those accounts are still actively used.
Here are some risks of opening spam emails that might make it tricky to stop spam emails in the future:
- Scammers will know your account is active. Senders can likely see whether you open the message and when.
- Scammers can receive certain information about you. Depending on your email provider, you can reveal specific details by opening a message (like location).
- There are chances of getting infected simply by opening an email. If your email provider permits scripting, it is possible to get malware by opening messages.
Notice an increase in junk mail
An unusual number of unsolicited messages can start filling your inbox. Such developments are possible if, for instance, your email address has recently been involved in a data breach.
Depending on its severity, you might need to change the password for your email. However, you might need to create a new account to stop spam emails.
Privacy and security options for email accounts
You should always avoid revealing your email address. Additionally, email providers have built-in security and privacy options you should check.
For instance, here are some examples of privacy and security settings on Gmail and Microsoft Outlook.
- Open your Gmail account and click Settings. Choose the See all settings option.
- In Accounts and Import, verify that no one else has access to your account via Grant access to your account.
- In the Accounts and Import tab, look through addresses in Send mail as and see if they all belong to you.
- In the Filters and Blocked addresses tab, check whether there are no unknown accounts using the Forward to filter.
- In the Filters and Blocked addresses tab, see whether there are no unknown filters set to delete messages automatically.
- In the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab, see whether an unknown account does not receive your messages.
- Open Outlook.
- Click File.
- Pick Options.
- Pick Trust Center and Trust Center Settings.
- You can manage the Automatic Download tab to prevent automatic email file downloads.
- In the Email Security tab, you can choose to encrypt contents and attachments for outgoing messages. Also, you can request a S/MIME receipt for all S/MIME messages.
Depending on your provider, similar settings might be available to you.
Final notes on ways to stop spam emails
Sadly, users are unlikely to stop spam emails from ever reaching their inboxes. Therefore, you should know how to recognize and react to them.
Avoid opening them, downloading files, or following links. Also, never reply to unknown senders. If suspicious emails claim to be from a reputable source, contact that service via official contacts.