Managing spam & phishing emails

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Spam & phishing emails are an unfortunate side effect of having an online presence. Modern spam filters may be good, but there are constantly new solutions that spammers are using to get their emails into your inbox. Below we’re going to investigate how you can do your part to help reduce the number of spam emails you receive. 

Harness the power of your Junk/Spam folder

Teach your spam folder which emails shouldn’t come through to you. Before emails are sent to your inbox, your spam filter is busy stopping malicious emails from even reaching you at all. There are some that still make it through, however. If the filter isn’t sure whether an email is legitimate, it’ll pass it over to you to check – and these emails go into Junk/Spam. Here’s an example of some spam we’ve received today:

Any emails that are left in the junk folder will teach the filter what shouldn’t come through to you. We’re going to leave this email in the junk folder, so the filter learns that we don’t want to see these kinds of emails.

On the flip side, here’s an email in our Junk folder that we do want to see:

This is a notification from one of our sites that has come through to Spam. It’s warning us that a plugin on our site is outdated, and needs to be upgraded. 

We certainly do want to see these kinds of notifications come through, and we trust the sender, so we’re going to move it into our Inbox by dragging the email into place:

Moving this email into the Inbox, we’ll teach the filter that this email should be sent to us, and it is something we want to see.

If you ever have spam show up in your Inbox, drag it straight into your Junk/Spam folder, to teach the filter that you don’t want that email being sent to you. The filter will learn what you don’t want to see.

Never interact with a spam or phishing email

Each time you respond to a spam email, or click on a link inside a spam email, you’re signalling to the sender that there’s a real person at the end of the account. You don’t want to do that!

If you respond to a spam email, your email account is logged & sold to other businesses, increasing the spam you will get in the long run.

The same applies on links too! Some links have tracking info so they know if you’ve clicked on them:

Clicking on this link could cause the spammer to track your email account.

Reporting phishing emails

Phishing emails are malicious spam emails. Most advertisements that come through will simply want you to sign up to their newsletter, or buy their product. Phishing emails pretend to be companies you already use in the hope you’ll give them your details.

If you ever spot a phishing email, move it straight to your Junk folder. If you’ve got a bit of extra time & want to do your good deed for the day, report it to HMRC:

Not sure how to spot a phishing email? Click on our blog post below on how to spot a risky email.