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Email Security: How to Keep Your Inbox Safe and Spam-Free

Statistician states that over the past five years, we received on average about 55% of spam emails. Unfortunately, that annoying stuff continues to land in our inbox every day. As when you’re on the internet, spam is like that pesky neighbor who just won’t go away.

Sure, the email companies are always trying to outsmart those spam messages. But no matter the strategies they use, those emails still manage to sneak into our inboxes and mess up our day. 

What makes things worse, sometimes the important emails we actually want to see still end up in that dreaded spam folder. So, let’s explore top 5 effective strategies to keep your inboxes secure — and spam-free.

1. Pick reputable email service providers

The frequency of receiving spam emails makes email users worldwide get creative with ways to stay safe. And to start with, one of the most obvious strategies to protect your email account is to use a trustworthy email service. Your choice of email provider affects how secure your mailbox is. Incoming mail is filtered by this provider’s strong security measures to help weed out spam email.

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Incoming messages can also be restricted using filters depending on particular criteria, such as the subject line, the sender’s email address, or specified keywords. You can always delete or archive emails that come from blacklisted senders, or simply mark them as spam. This will educate your chosen email provider, and in the future it will archive emails from a suspicious sender without your knowledge.

Speaking of trustworthy email providers, these include such reputable names as Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, Zoho, AOL Mail, and other services. Among these, Outlook and Gmail are considered to have the most rigorous spam filters.

2. Configure your privacy settings

By changing your email privacy settings, you can also stop receiving spam emails. If you wish to preserve your privacy, most email applications’ default settings aren’t always sufficient. 

But luckily, you can make your email settings stronger with some simple adjustments:

  • Privacy settings in Google. The privacy settings of your Google account, which cover all Google services including YouTube and Search, can be easily modified in Gmail. For managing your Google Account, click on your profile icon. You can decide whether to keep your history in these services, turn off personalized adverts, and change who has access to your information under the Data and Privacy area.
  • Location tracking and advertising in Outlook/Yahoo. You may alter personalized advertising and location tracking in Outlook and Yahoo Mail by going to the Privacy dashboard in Outlook and the Privacy Controls in Yahoo.
  • Two-factor authentication (all services). By enabling two-factor authentication and including a phone number and email for recovery, you may further strengthen the security of your email. This measure is available in all email service providers, but specific instructions for setting it up vary.

3. Make an alias email for general use

Making a separate email account that is just used for general purposes is one of the simplest ways to protect your primary one without any additional expenses. This will make sure that all of your crucial emails have already been pre-filtered to remove spam and undesirable messages.

You can easily join up for newsletters, subscriptions, and receive critical information for a limited time by having a separate email account, preventing it from getting mixed up with your primary inbox. By doing this, you can forget about the problem of having a full inbox and weeding through pointless emails to find those that are really important.

Now, there are various types of disposable email addresses, and you should selected this type depending on your needs:

  • Throwaway email. This email type provides an instant and anonymous email address, which is ideal for receiving sign-up verification emails you may not need later. However, free services often only allow receiving messages, requiring a premium for sending emails.
  • Forwarding address. This type offers an alternative to using temporary emails. It adds an extra layer of privacy by funneling incoming mail from another address to your primary email inbox. It also allows you to manage multiple email sources in one place, enhancing convenience. And lastly, it enables the addition of extra spam filters for added security.
  • Alias address. While this email type is similar to a forwarding address, it is set up differently. Its built-in features with many email service providers let you create alternate email addresses within your existing server. An alias address also provides control over the emails you receive, allowing for automatic categorization and organization.

You can select the type of email suited for your use — and never bother with spam in your personal email again.

4. Create secure passwords

Make long passwords with at least eight characters that are complicated. For a truly complex password, at least three of the following components should be present:

  • Capital letters
  • Letters in lowercase
  • Numerology symbols
  • Special characters

Source: Unsplash

Sure thing, such obvious ideas as names of your pets, your address, name, and date of birth should not be used. However, if you still use them, consider replacing regular letters with capital or lowercase letters or special characters. For instance, instead of using “Jassie123” as a password, use “J@ss!e” The password should be as complicated as possible.

5. Educate the spam filters of your email provider

You may improve your email provider’s spam filtering as one practical step. By doing this, you can instruct your email service provider to mark certain emails as spam right away in the future.

For educating your email provider, simply demonstrate which emails you don’t want to receive by filtering them as spam. This way, your email provider will learn to independently identify such emails and automatically label them. And instead of being shown in your inbox, any suspicious emails will be sent directly to the spam bin.

You should remember though that your email provider’s spam filter isn’t flawless and won’t be able to catch 100% of spam. But with some time and patience, it will learn to properly identify messages from suspicious senders, or those containing dangerous links or even malware.

Wrapping up

In the never-ending battle against spam invading our inboxes, it’s time to get proactive about email security. Here are some practical strategies:

  1. Choose reliable email providers: Go for the big guns like Gmail and Outlook – they’re known for their awesome spam filters.
  2. Configure your privacy settings. Modify your advertising, location tracking, two-factor authentication, and general privacy settings for an extra layer of security.
  3. Get a sidekick email: Create a separate email for your everyday stuff to keep spam out of your main inbox.
  4. Mind password security. Make your passwords beefy with a mix of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and funky characters.
  5. Educate your spam filters: Label suspicious emails as spam to train your email provider to identify them independently.

Remember, even with these tricks, there’s no foolproof defense. Stay sharp when dealing with unknown senders, and you’ll have a safer, spam-free inbox.

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