Technology Training

Why am I getting unwanted emails?

Why does anyone get spammed? Good question. Here are the most common reasons why:

  • You accidentally subscribed to a company’s newsletter.
    Remember when you visited a company’s new website or tested an app? And you breezed through the Terms & Conditions? Then you clicked some more boxes until you could access the website or mobile service. Well, you might have clicked “agreed” to get regular emails from them.
  • You have posted your email on a public forum or website.
    Anyone or anything (read: bots) trying to scour the internet for email addresses can pick up what you write and include it in a list of emails used for message blasts.
  • A company with details of your email was a victim of data breach.
    You may be using an app or you may have an account with a particular website. If ever those companies had a data breach, your email address is up for grabs to anyone who may need a list of emails. Worse, they may even have other personal information about you! (This is why it’s a good idea to get a cybersecurity software capable of alerting you if any of your email accounts are ever involved in a data breach.)
  • You have clicked on a malicious email before.
    Sometimes, clicking on an email from an unknown sender can alert them that your email is active, making you more attractive for phishing scams.

What are unwanted emails?

Before we try to remove them from our inbox, let’s learn more about the most common types of unwanted emails:

  • Spam emails: Also known as junk mail, most spam emails are sent in bulk to a list of subscribers, usually for promotional purposes.
  • Forced or accidental subscriptions: When using a new app or website, the service may use certain tactics to  confuse you into agreeing to receive messages from them.
  • Phishing emails: These malicious messages pretend to be marketing emails but contain software capable of installing themselves on your device stealthily. The malicious software can then spy on your activities and even gather personal information about you. This can later be used for crimes such as identity theft.
  • Emails with no sender: Known to iOs users as ghost emails, these “no sender” and “no subject” emails may actually be a result of a system glitch.
  • Unwanted personal communication: These are messages sent to you by someone you personally know, of which you have no intention of replying to. Maybe it’s an acquaintance asking for a loan or a past lover still trying to reach out. Either way, they’re cluttering up your inbox.

How do I stop spam emails permanently?

Will spam emails eventually stop? Sadly, if your email address has been compromised in a data breach, as long as someone out there has the list with your email on it, they can always spam you. That is until you have an overall cybersecurity software capable of removing your email address from such databases, like Clario!

 

However,  there are other ways to simply remove unwanted emails from your inbox: For marketing messages, it is recommended you unsubscribe to the email. Legitimate promotional emails have an unsubscribe link at the bottom of their emailers. If you’re using Gmail, you can also find an Unsubscribe link beside the sender’s message.

 

For non-marketing emails, the bad news is they may not even have this link. These non-marketing emails with spammy-looking titles and email addresses can even contain malware or ransomware. You may be endangering your device by simply opening them.

 

This is why you always have to be careful before opening any unwanted email. Err on the side of caution and simply delete them or mark them as spam.

 

Unsubscribe vs. filter unwanted emails

So how do you know if it’s a legitimate marketing emailer or a spammy, dangerous email? There are tell-tale signs to spot phishing emails, including an unclear or unprofessional-looking subject line. Headlines conveying a sense of urgency and danger in exchange for money (“You are in danger! Give money now!”) also scream “scam!”

 

IT experts recommend you simply delete these emails or mark them as spam, even if they contain an Unsubscribe button. This is because when you click on Unsubscribe, you are letting them know someone is actively using this email account. It means you might encourage whoever has your email to send you more junk messages.

 

On the other hand, legit promotional messages use the official email of a company. For example, instead of BankABC@gmail.com, they may use Updates@BankABC.com.

Can you block emails?

Yes, you can block emails from unwanted senders and subscription lists. The process is a bit different for each email provider and device but we’ll give you the step-by-step guide on how to do this:

 

How to block emails on Gmail

Step 1: Open the message sent by the unwanted party

 

Step 2: In the top right corner, click the More option or the three vertical lines

 

Step 3: Click Block [sender]

 

Step 4: Click on the Report as spam option if you want to report the message

 

If you are an Android phone user, since your default email app is Gmail, you can also follow the steps mentioned above to block someone from your phone.

 

Now, in case you want to unblock the sender, simply follow the same steps. Then, instead of clicking Block, click the Unblock button instead.

 

How to block emails on Outlook and Hotmail

Step 1: Choose a message from the unwanted sender you want to block

 

Step 2: From the Outlook menu bar select Message > Junk Mail

 

Step 3: Click on Block Sender. Outlook can then add this sender’s email address to the blocked list and filter out any future messages from them

 

If you want to undo this action, just go to Tools > Junk Email Preferences. Go to the Blocked Senders tab, click on the specific email address then choose Remove Selected Sender.

 

How to block emails on Yahoo!

Step 1: In Yahoo Mail, click on the gear icon and select Settings > Blocked Addresses

 

Step 2: In the Add an address field, select Block

 

Step 3: Type the email address you want to block, then click Block

 

You may also contact Yahoo’s Customer Care if a person or an organization continues to send you unsolicited emails.

 

How to block emails on iPhone and iPad

With iOS13 and iPadOS, you can block unwanted emails under Contacts or using the Mail app.

 

Blocking unwanted emails using iPhone Contacts

Step 1: Make sure the email address of the person you want to block is in the Contacts app. If it’s not there, you should make an entry for this sender

 

Step 2: Open your Settings app > Mail > Threading options. Tap Blocked Sender Options

 

Step 3: Click on Blocked,  then choose Add New

 

Step 4: Tap on the contact you created for the unwanted email sender

 

Step 5: Enable mail in iCloud so it syncs this preference across all your Apple devices.

 

Blocking unwanted emails using the Mail app

Step 1: Open an email from the unwanted contact

 

Step 2: Click on the name of the sender

 

Step 3: Tap From in the header and choose Block This Contact

 

You may unblock senders by going to Settings > Mail > Blocked. Find the name of the blocked sender and simply hit Unblock.

 

How do I permanently block someone from emailing me?

If you have followed the steps above, you should have no problem with specific senders anymore.

 

Does a blocked sender know they are blocked?

No, they won’t know if you have blocked them. They won’t receive a notification you have filtered their messages from your inbox. Their emails simply go straight to spam if they try to send you anything.

 

Although there is no possible way for them to know if you have blocked them, they may suspect this, especially if you’re not replying to their messages.

 

Why am I still getting emails from blocked senders?

Let’s say someone did find out you have blocked their email. They may create another one so they can continue sending you messages. Be sure to check the actual email address, not just the name of the person sending the email. You can always block this new email address, but if they continue sending messages, you can also tell them that you don’t want to be receiving emails from them anymore.

 

For business emails or spam messages you suspect to be phishing, you can also report them to the email provider directly. For example, Google has specific pages where you can report: Harassment From a Gmail User, Spam, Impersonation, Phishing Messages, and Non-Phishing Suspicious Messages.

How to avoid getting unwanted emails

Here are some handy tips to prevent getting unwanted emails in the first place…

  • Read the fine print of apps and websites’ Terms and Conditions.
    Maybe you’re checking on the auto-subscribe option of these tricky text boxes.
  • Only subscribe to trusted companies or websites.
    If you do willingly want to get newsletters and other promotional messages, make sure these are from trustworthy brands. Reputable companies do not spam their subscribers and are less likely to be involved in a data breach.
  • Don’t engage with spammers.
    Maybe you will be tempted to reply to these spammers to stop sending you messages. It would be better not to agitate them.
  • Use a disposable email.
    Another technique tech-savvy individuals do is use another email address when they sign up to new websites. This is called a disposable email and unconnected to your personal accounts. When its security is compromised, you can simply abandon this email address and it doesn’t pose a risk to your other online accounts.
  • Don’t reveal your private email address on public domain websites or social media groups.
    Bots, spammers, and scanners, are always on the lookout for email addresses readily available online. If you still want to post your email address on social media, you may want to limit who can see it to select contacts.
  • Get a cybersecurity software able to proactively send you alerts and protect all aspects of your digital life.
    Unwanted emails may be annoying but they can also pose risks to your digital security.

 

Programs to stop unwanted emails

  1. SolarWinds MSP Mail Assure.

A cloud based edge service that blocks spam, viruses and malware. It incorporates data from millions of mailboxes to defend threats in real time as they emerge. an intelligent mail protection and filtering engine that is used to block spam, viruses, and malware threats from breaching your email. The program is supplied information from over 1.8 million domains to provide the user with better insights into current threats. When using the software, the user can view problematic email messages in quarantine and blacklist suspicious senders from contacting them.

SolarWinds Mail Assure is a cloud-based solution, making it easy to configure and deploy. To start monitoring you just need to add a new domain. Once installed you benefit from SSL/TLS traffic encryption. The tool is ideal for enterprise users because it offers integration for Office 365. If the Office 365 email service goes down then the user can send emails from SolarWinds Mail Assure’s web-based dashboard instead. In the event of an outage, the dashboard allows you to keep your service up and running.

Click here to visit website

 

 

  1. Mailwasher  A spam blocker for Windows Live Mail, Outlook, Outlook Express, Incredimail,  Thunderbird, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, EM Client. Mailwasher is a program that is used to block spam before it reaches your inbox. The tool is compatible with all email providers on desktop and mobile devices. The diverse range of email accounts supported by Mailwasher makes the software versatile in enterprise environments. o stop viruses from entering your inbox, the program allows you to preview and delete emails before they are downloaded to your computer. By blocking emails like this you can view information within the email without opening it and leaving your computer at risk of transmitting a virus.

Filtering is another way that Mailwasher monitors incoming emails for suspicious signs. The filter can spot spam content and offensive words so that the sender can be automatically blacklisted from future correspondence. To stop false              alerts you can add colleagues and clients to your ‘friends’ list.

Click here to visit website

 

  1. SpamTitanA web-based email spam filter that covers Microsoft Office 365. The tool is designed to discover phishing email attacks, spear-phishing attacks, and zero-day attacks. To recognize the latest threats SpamTitan uses a mixture of machine learning and Bayesian analysis to identify new attacks. The powerful email protection against zero-day threats is excellent for minimizing exposure towards emerging email threats.

IP address whitelisting and blacklisting controls whether mail reaches your inbox or gets blocked from future communication. For wider security, you can apply different degrees of Spam Confidence Levels to users, user groups,      and                domains. By segmenting your email environment in this fashion you can manage potential entry points much more effectively.

 

Click here to visit website

 

  1. ZEROSPAMCloud-based spam, ransomware, and phishing blocker. Zerospam is a cloud-based anti-spam solution that protects against spam, ransomwareand email phishing. If someone sends you an email with a bad link or a malicious attachment, Zerospam will block it. For further protection, the program uses TLS encryption to keep your interactions safe from snooping. In the event the client-server goes down, the tool will use automatic mail queuing to help you return to normal operations ASAP.

The low false-positive rate of Zerospam is one of the main reasons to use the product. It strikes a balance between screening out harmful messages without blocking communications from legitimate email users. From an enterprise                         perspective, this is an anti-spam platform that doesn’t get in the way of day-to-day operations.

The solution is also resistant to going down. Zerospam is powered by a network of over 20 filtering nodes hosted across three Canadian data to make sure the service stays online. This means that even if something goes down, your service            stays available when you need it.

Click here to visit website

 

  1. Comodo Dome AntispamAn edge email spam blocking service. Comodo Dome Antispam is a spam prevention tool designed for enterprise users. Comodo Dome Antispam scans and filters emails to keep your inbox safe from cyber attackers. When downloading files from the inbox, Comodo Dome Antispam uses its Valkyrie file verdict platform to analyze files as they are being downloaded. You can open and interact with a file without any risk of infection even from the latest malware attacks.

Email filtering controls the type of messages you see when you open up your email account. Emails with viruses are blocked so you don’t get put offline to make sure you have complete transparency over emails sent to your inbox.                           Through the management consoleyou can view archived and quarantined emails.

Click here to visit website

 

  1. MX GuarddogA spam filter that also blocks DDOS attacks, phishing attacks, malware, and viruses. MX Guarddog is a spam blocker that uses TLS encryption to protect your email inbox. Phishing attacks, malware, DDoS attacks, and viruses are just some of the things that MX Guarddog defends against. Once any communication is blocked, you can view a quarantine report which will show the message content that was blocked.

Legitimate mail is forwarded straight to your email server. MX Guarddog automatically syncs email addresses from Windows AD, LDAP, and cPanel systems for convenience. In the event that your server goes down, your mail will be                      stored and automatically delivered to you the next time you’re online.

MX Guarddog is a great low-cost alternative for stopping spam in its tracks.

 

Click here to visit website

 

  1. SPAMfighterA spam filter for Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail, and Thunderbird. SPAMfighter is a spam filter compatible with Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Windows Mail, and Windows Live Mail. SPAMfighter’sfiltering works in multiple languages and can block spam in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Polish, Danish, and more. Once a suspicious email has been flagged the software will add the sender to the blacklist and block future emails from reaching your inbox.

The user interface is simple to navigate and you can view live statistics on blocked messages. In addition, you also have Spam Abuse Reporting at the click of a button if you need to gather information. Being able to organize all of this                    security information helps to make sure that you know about everything that is trying to reach out to your account.

Click here to visit website

 

  1. ORF FusionA spam filter with a 23-layered testing system. ORF Fusion is a piece of spam filter software designed specifically for business use cases. The tool eliminates false positives and ensures that legitimate email makes its way to your inbox. One of the unique selling points of ORF Fusion is that it has 23 layered tests to check the status of mail. These tests are a mixture of blacklist and whitelist tests that stop malicious mail without affecting genuine mail.

You can create your own whitelists to make sure that your trusted email senders aren’t put through spam filtering. The user also has control over what happens to those emails that are caught by the spam filter. For instance, you can                       bounce them to reject the transmission, keep the mail, or redirect it to a different mailbox.

Click here to visit website

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