What is a spam email? and how to prevent it

  • 2 weeks ago
  • By Srujana
What is a spam email? and how to prevent it

Communication through email is an essential element of every business. It is an efficient, affordable, and swift way to send messages to the customer. Even with the evolution of many communication applications like Slack, and Microsoft Teams, the use of emails is still prevalent in the sphere of business communication. When there is email, there is spam email, too.

Spam emails are usually promotional, while a considerable part of them malignly intend to harm your system. Businesses should take preemptive steps and learn how to identify spam emails.

What is spam email, and how does it work?

Spam emails are unsolicited messages that we usually find in the junk folder of our mail. There are sent in vast sizes to many recipients at a time. Spam email messages can be sent by humans but are usually sent by spambots, which are nothing but a grid of computers.

Botnets are handled by a "bot herder," which is a single attacking party. These spam messages are also shared via social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc, or through text messages.

A Spam email or junk mail is often aggravating as it can clog the inbox. You need to filter and regulate these emails regularly to prevent choking. These emails are used to publicize and advertise services and products. Spammers frequently change their methods of sending emails to mislead customers to download malware, send money, and share their data.

What is the purpose of spam emails?

Cybercriminals and hackers often send spam emails to deceive customers by enabling them to access the recipient's account and computer. Spammers also blackmail the recipients by accessing their data. Once they get hold of all your information, within no time they loot their accounts and acquire all sensitive data on their system and also the other computers that the recipients access.

A hacker uses a spam email as a tool to convince users that they are indebted to a renowned organization. There are several types of other frauds to fool customers into giving money. Every user should conduct a thorough inspection of their emails, and delete them if anything seems doubtful. Never click on or open any link that appears to be misleading and suspicious.

Why do emails go to spam?

  1. The email you send is labeled as spam email because the obvious reason might me your recipients may have marked it as spam. Your receiver might want to clear their cluttered inbox or mistakenly subscribe to you.
  2. Your subject lines might seem deceitful, or the subject lines may be against the CAN-SPAM act. Your content can sometimes be of poor etiquette while addressing the user.
  3. You need to seek permission from your recipients to send emails. Simply purchasing email lists and sending them emails is not a good notion for many reasons.
  4. There are certain words that spam filters check. It could be specifically a word or a combination of words. If your email contains some phrases like
  • Free
  • Low cost
  • Easy returns
  • Additional income.

Words like these might lead to your email getting marked as spam email.

  • If the content appears to be highly promotional or sales-oriented then it is placed in the spam folder.

How do I retrieve spam emails?

  • Log in to your Gmail account and check the spam folder.
  • As you click on the spam folder, you will view many emails.
  • Check for spam emails that you want to move out of the folder.
  • You can simply open the email or select the box that is just to the right of the message.
  • Now, you can move the email to your inbox or any desired folder of your choice.

How do I identify spam emails?

Let us have a look at how to identify spam emails

  • One of the simple methods to identify spam emails is by installing anti-spam software. This software identifies those emails and tags them as spam. It also protects from dangerous malware and phishing attacks.
  • Never open any email that you cannot recognize or anything that you receive from an unknown recipient. If the address of the sender has a group of numbers or a domain that you cannot identify, then it is a spam email.
  • Spammers can send emails by using false email addresses to deceive users. Spammers use characters that appear as actual alphabets. Hackers also create

email addresses by using the name of a renowned company. Always check for the complete contact details of the company to ensure that the email is legit or not.

  • One of the easy methods to check the legitimacy of the email is to check for the subject line in the email. If the subject line contains anything related to investment options and sales, then it is a spam email.
  • If you do not recognize the source of the email you receive, then it is advisable not to click or download any links or attachments. It can harm your system and provide an opportunity for the spammers to steal your data.

How to prevent phishing emails?

The best way to prevent phishing is by installing protective software or setting up a firewall. This will efficiently protect your data from phishing.

When it comes to mobile phones, the best way to prevent phishing is by regularly updating software.

Enable multi-factor authentication to protect yourself from spammers. When a spammer gets access to your account, this MFA will protect you from a data breach.

How to report phishing emails?

When you report a phishing email, you are preventing many users from falling into the trap of that spam email. You can report the phishing attack to various organizations depending on the severity of the attack. Some organizations include law enforcement agencies, the individual or company getting impersonated, security analysts, and your specialized IT team to inhibit additional deterioration.

Advise your team about the spam email and enable them to handle the issue from there. This team will decide whether to caution other employees, report those brands that are being impersonated, or go to a government agency like the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

For example, if the email is received from a renowned brand, you can immediately notify them about the phishing email. There are different methods of reporting spam emails, and it depends on the provider you have an email account with.

How to block unwanted emails in Gmail?

It is very easy to protect yourself from unwanted emails and block them in Gmail.

  • Firstly, you should mark the email as spam to prevent further emails.
  • Open the Gmail app on your phone or website on your computer. Now open the message you want to block
  • In the top right corner of the email, you will find the block option.
  • Click on the block option to stop receiving messages from the sender.

Best spam filters for email

SpamTitan or TitanHQ

This filter is compatible with all kinds of businesses. It monitors all the emails, attachments, and links and immediately blocks if anything appears to be a suspicious email.

ZERO SPAM

You do not require to install anything on your PC as it offers cloud-based service. It also offers a free trial for companies who want to try it out.

Spambrella

Spambrella offers services to all types of customers including end-users and resellers. It hosts everything in the cloud as it is a SaaS organization.

Xeams

Xeams offers services to all sizes of businesses. It declares that it can eliminate 99% of spam emails from your inbox. It has a free trial for those who want to try it out.

Example of spam mail

Advertisements

Everyone receives many unsolicited emails daily. These are mainly promotional messages describing the discounts and offers on various products.

Phishing emails

Phishing is a kind of spam email where spammers try to impersonate a renowned company or someone you know. It is the most destructive spam of all.

Hoaxes

These types of a scam include discounts and fake promises. For say, Earn 100000 in a month by working for 2-3 hours from home. The strategy here is to grab the attention of the recipient.

Money scam

Money scams usually send you an email asking you to donate money through a link to an individual who is ill or suffering from serious ailments.

Summing up

We have provided all the information about spam emails and the methods to prevent them. In this ever-growing digital world, it is essential to be careful and aware of all the mishappenings and cybercrimes. Though a spam email contains dangerous links that can lead to the stealing of your data does not mean that you should quit using email.

You just need to learn about spam emails and how to protect yourself and your organization from them.