Spam is the collective name for unwanted messages and advertisements.
Getting too much spam in your mailbox is very annoying. The chances are that your e-mail address has ended up on a list of e-mail addresses that is used by different spammers. That explains why you're getting more and more spam: they all use the same lists. That's why you keep getting these messages, even though you've blocked a number of senders, as other spammers can still use the lists.
Fortunately, you can do a lot to reduce the number of spam mails. We will help you on your way with some tips: It’s always better to prevent spam.
Use multiple e-mail addresses
If you want to become a member of a website or forum where you have to provide an email address to receive a confirmation email, or if you want to participate in contests, you can use a different email address. This way, your most important mailbox will be protected against spam.
You can create an alias of your official email address or you can create a temporary email address:
Many e-mail providers give you the option of creating some extra e-mail addresses (aliases) for free:
Manage your mailbox spam filter
Your e-mail provider already applies a spam filter for your incoming e-mails. You can adjust the settings yourself (and make them stricter). You will usually be able to block e-mails with a 'rule' based on:
- Senders (remember that spammers like to use different addresses!)
- Origin (e.g. block e-mails from certain countries entirely)
- Content (certain words that appear over and over again).
More information can be found on the website of your e-mail provider.
Install an additional spam filter
By installing a spam filter in your mailbox, your e-mail provider will mark certain messages as spam. Depending on the filter, the spam e-mails will automatically disappear into a separate folder or will be deleted. There are free spam filters, and others that you pay for.
- Proximus spam filtering with NORTON antivirus
- Telenet anti-spam
- Mailwasher Free
and many more besides
Block the sender via your mailbox
Don't be a spammer yourself
- Put e-mail addresses in Bcc when you send an e-mail to a large group of people. If you send an email to multiple people, you can choose to enter the e-mail addresses in Cc or Bcc. If you put them in Cc, all recipients can see who else received the e-mail, but if you put them in Bcc, the recipients cannot see to whom else the e-mail has been sent. This way you minimize the chance that unwanted messages will be spread.
- Don't forward chain letters. Forwarding a chain letter causes your e-mail address and that of your contacts to be spread, so you will receive more spam.
- Spam messages can also appear to be coming from your own account. You can find more information on this here: Spoofing: your own email address shows up as the sender
Spam often has a commercial purpose and contains a reference to a product.
Phishing is an online scam involving fake e-mails, websites or messages. Cybercriminals lure you to a fake website that is a copy of the real website to steal login details, password or bank details. Never click on a link in a phishing message.
But how do you recognize these fake e-mails and how do you distinguish them from actual messages? More information can be found on our page about phishing.