Spam is considered to be any unsolicited commercial electronic message(e-mail). It is often a source of scams, computer viruses and offensive content that takes up valuable time and increases costs for consumers, business, and governments.
Spam emails are sent out in mass quantities by spammers and cyber criminals that are looking to do one or more of the following:
- Make money from the small percentage of recipients that respond to the message
- Run phishing scams – to obtain passwords, credit card numbers, bank account details, and more
- Spread malicious code onto recipients computers
How to protect yourself against spam email and phishing
- Never publish your private email address on publicly accessible online resources.
- If you must publish your private address electronically, try to mask it – in order to avoid having the address picked up by spammers. For example, ‘[email protected]’ is an easy address for spammers to find. Try writing it as ‘Joe-dot-Smith-at-yahoo.com’ instead.
- When you need to publish your private address on a website, it’s safer to do this as a graphics file rather than as a link.
- If your private address is discovered by spammers – you should change it. Although this may be inconvenient, changing your email address will help you to avoid spam.
- Make sure that you use the latest version of your web browser and that all of the latest Internet security patches have been applied.
- Only open email accounts with providers that include spam filtering.