Being a business owner, glancing at your email every 60 minutes is a daily routine. Email is an important channel for business communications. Companies use email to connect with their customers. Businesses use email to communicate with other companies. But spammers use email to spam naive email users and you need to avoid spam emails.
Email spams have been out there for years, and their instances are only increasing. In this post, we’ll talk about email spams. We’ll discuss what email spams are, how they occur, and how you can avoid spam emails from breaking into your inbox.
What are spam emails?
A spam email is an unwanted or unsolicited junk email sent out in bulk to an indiscriminate list of recipients. Botnets or networks of infected computers can send these emails. In most cases, spam emails are sent for commercial purposes. But they can also be used for spoofing and phishing attacks.
Types of spam emails
Typically, spam emails are of the following types:
- Commercial advertisements: When you submit your email address to a website, you automatically subscribe to their newsletter. Since you’ve agreed to receive emails, you will receive them once in a while in your inbox. But sometimes, you receive these emails even if you haven’t subscribed to the list. These emails are referred to as advertisement spam emails.
- Antivirus warnings: Antivirus warnings are a common spam technique. Spammers send you emails warning you about a severe security threat in your system. They also provide a solution in the form of a link or downloadable file. If you take the bait and click the link, you’d grant the hacker access to your system.
- Email spoofing: Scammers often send emails by the name of reputed companies to get you to take action. Similar to the antivirus warnings, these emails will contain tempting offers. If you take action, the hacker will get access to your system.
- Sweepstakes winners: These emails claim that you’ve won a prize, such as a sweepstake or a lottery. Such messages often include a sense of urgency to urge you to respond quickly. If you do, you’ll grant hackers access they desire.
- Money scams: Some scammers also send emails claiming that they need help. It could be for urgent surgery or a tragic life event. Some scam schemes also promise to give you money if you send your bank account information.
Spam vs. promotional emails: The difference
Not all promotional emails are spams. In fact, promoting your business via emails delivers a strong return on investment of $42 per every $1 spent.
Spam is essentially an unsolicited bulk email (UBE). Pay attention to the word unsolicited here.
Let’s understand this with an example. Let’s say you visited a website and download a free eBook in exchange for your email address. While subscribing, the website clearly mentioned that they’d send you daily or weekly emails to share content and offers.
Now, although the emails you receive may be unwanted and irrelevant, they’re not spam because you’ve solicited them by giving your email address. If you don’t want to receive emails from the company, you can simply unsubscribe to their newsletter.
However, it’s spam if you’ve never shared your email with a company, but still, you’re receiving emails.
Now you might be wondering, how did the sender get my email address?
How can spammers get your email address?
The internet is a vast realm, but it’s not necessarily the most secure one. Spammers can get your email address without even you knowing about it. Some common causes include:
- Infected computer: The computer or laptop you are using is affected by a malware or virus. In that case, all your information is at risk, including your email addresses.
- Virus on the network: Using a shared or public network is risky. If any other computer on the network is infected, your system is also at the risk of getting infected.
- Vulnerabilities in website script: A script running on the website could have vulnerability. Hackers identify and utilize these vulnerabilities to get information on the site’s hosting account and email address.
- Easy email address to guess: Many spammers just guess an email address. If you have an obvious email address, you’d be at a higher risk of receiving spam messages.
- Your email address got misused: You may have signed up on a site’s mailing list, and the sender forwarded your email information to some other person. Some fraudulent businesses take your email information and sell it to third-parties.
- Your email address got leaked: Spammers can get your email address if you provided it on a site that’s been hacked. This way, any details you had provided would’ve gone directly to the spammer.
How to avoid spam emails?
As discussed, the internet is huge. No matter how many precautions you take, a few spammers will break through your inbox. If that happens, simply mark those emails as spam and remove them from your inbox.
That said, here are a few tips to reduce the occurrence of spam emails in your inbox.
- Don’t publish your email address. Share your email address only with people you trust and know them.
- If you have a website, using a contact form instead of disclosing your email address is a better option.
- Be aware of spams on the internet. If an action requires you to provide your email, use an alternative email address. Never use your professional email for signing up for free downloads or other actions with high spam intent.
- Use a credible email client like Eltris. Email clients have Spam Filter and Virus Protection to prevent spam emails from entering your inbox.
Spam emails are not mere annoying promotions. They’re a threat to your privacy and security. The spammers can use your email information to carry out cyber-attacks and data thefts. Therefore, be mindful of how you use email and with whom you share your email address. Also, don’t forget to check out Eltris for a superior email hosting service with spam protection.