Spam is all unsolicited electronic mail sent out in bulk to individuals that have not consented to receive it. ‘Spammers’ use email addresses harvested from websites or procured by means without the owners’ consent.
You can protect yourself from spam in a number of ways:
A filter is kind of software that sorts incoming emails and rejects those it considers spam.
Spam filters can be very useful but are not perfect. Sometimes they block genuine messages (this is called a “false positive”). On other occasions they fail to identify real spam (this is called a “false negative”). Because of this, a good approach is to divert emails that have been identified as spam to a “spam folder”; this way you can manually review the diverted messages to check for any that are genuine.
Protect your Email Address Online
Spammers have typically used two techniques for gathering email addresses: “dictionary attacks” and “harvesting”. While both of these techniques are now outlawed under the Spam Act 2003, you should still exercise caution.
A dictionary attack occurs where a spammer sends out bulk emails to large numbers of possible addresses in the hope of locating a real email recipient. Harvesting refers to the process whereby a spammer finds your email address from a publicly available source, for instance where you have registered a domain name or just posted a message on a bulletin board. If you do supply your email address, try to limit the scope of subsequent communications (eg by ticking a box to indicate that you do not want to receive any further offers or information).
Also, consider using different email addresses for different purposes. This will help to limit the amount of unwanted mail you receive to your main email address.
Protect your Email Address when Publishing it on Your Website
If you want people to be able to be able to get in touch with you through your website, you can limit the risk of spam by using a non-personal email address or setting up an online form for visitors to complete (rather than giving them your email address).
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