Spam & Email

Education & Help

What you should know about spam

Spam is mass-distributed, unsolicited e-mail and instant messaging advertising. Spam is very cheap for the sender to distribute, and a heavy burden to recipients and Internet service providers (ISPs). It can also be dangerous. Cyber-criminals use spam to deliver deceptive or fraudulent messages in the hopes of gaining access to your private information.

What you should do about spam

Reduce spam by following these tips.

  • Set your e-mail filter. An e-mail filter and spam blocking software are absolutely critical. Set these security measures to update automatically to ensure that you are protected from the latest threats.
  • NEVER reply to spam. Replying to spam, even to "unsubscribe," could set you up for more spam.
  • Protect your e-mail address and instant message ID. If you must post this information online, set up two identities, one for real use and one for online activities.
  • Be wary of e-mail attachments. Change the settings on your e-mail program so that images and attachments are not opened automatically. Only open attachments from users known to you.
  • Watch out for phishing scams. Don't click on links in e-mails or instant messages unless the sender is known to you. Instead, open a separate web browser and visit the site directly.
  • Create smart and strong passwords. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Never enter your personal information in a pop-up window. You may not be able to tell when a scammer has hijacked a seemingly legitimate site.
  • Don't fill out online surveys, or register for contests or fan clubs. These may be fronts for spammers trying to collect your e-mail address.