As more people rely on email, marketers are increasingly using email messages to pitch their products and services. Some consumers find unsolicited commercial email – also known as spam – annoying and time consuming. But, it can be dangerous, too. Some consumers have lost money due to bogus offers that arrived by email.
- Check with your email provider or Internet service provider to see if they offer tools that filter spam or channel spam to a junk email folder.
- Try not to display your email address in public. This includes social networks, newsgroup postings, chat rooms and websites.
- Some websites allow you to opt out of receiving promotional emails, offers and solicitations from them or their “partners.” Be watchful for opt-out checkboxes before you submit your information.
- Consider using two email addresses – one for personal and financial messages and another for social networking, newsgroups or chat rooms.
- Use a unique email address. Spammers use dictionary attacks to sort through possible name combinations at large Internet service providers or email services, hoping to find a valid address. Common names, such as “bobsmith,” may get more spam than a unique name.
If you receive spam in your email inbox, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can send a copy of the unwanted email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The FTC uses these unsolicited emails to pursue law enforcement actions against spammers. You may also consider contacting your Internet service provider so they can take steps in the future to reduce spam abuse on their system.