Akin to plagues, spam emails are pervasive, virulent and something we could all do without. As unwitting spam victims, we are buried under heaps of digital trash in our mail boxes and forced to spend an inordinate length of time sieving the emails which actually matter. But what exactly is a spam email and why do people get so upset about it?

An email spam targets individual email accounts with repeated copies of the same message, disregarding the holder’s choice of wanting to receive it or not. Imagine yourself receiving plenty of junk emails that you have not subscribed for, how irksome is that? Furthermore, one wrong click could bring about serious ramifications due to its hidden “booby-traps” (e.g. adware, malware).

However, all is not lost; this article will teach you 4 simple steps how to detect and avoid fictitious email spams.

1) Give your personal email a break

  • It is advisable that you create an additional email account solely for online subscriptions/shopping. Having another account improves organisation and de-clutters your mail while you peruse through your mail. It makes no sense to mix our tops and bottoms in the same closet, don’t mix your emails too.
  • Only use your personal email for lucky draws organised by established and trustworthy corporations(e.g. Sheng Shiong, NTUC, Changi Airport). This way, any other congratulatory emails you receive claiming you as a winner is often spam. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Never give out your personal email online.
  • If you are selling items online(e.g. ebay, gumtree), we recommend you use your alternative email account too. Should you need to publicise your alternative email address, display in an unusual manner (e.g. [name]{at}hotmail{dot}com) so that the programme that spammers use are unable to recognise and pick your email as their next target.

2) Never respond to spam

  • The golden rule is: Never respond to spams.
  • Spammers can get really sly at times and they can think of 101 ways to trick you into opening their mails or replying them. Clicking the “Unsubscribe” link will only generate even more spams since they now realise that the email account is valid.
  • Therefore, the best way to deal with this is to report and delete the spams.

3) Say “No” to “Lucky Draws”

  • If you are not capable of discerning between a spam and an authentic email, do some background research first before replying. Oftentimes, users fall prey to online perpetrators by replying to their “Lucky Draw” notifications too quickly, without realising that they are not participants. Remember not be tempted to accept their “heartiest congratulations”.
  • Don’t be tricked by cunning spammers who may leech on other established brands’ names and their logos. Check the source of the email, if the address is bizarre; you know something is not right.

4) Time to kick their ass

  • You shouldn’t keep quiet when you receive spams, fight back by reporting them! Before you delete those annoying spam mails, forward them to spam@uce.gov.
  • This is the Spam Box for FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and mails sent to this box are investigated and scrutinised. If it is indeed a spam, the original sender can be charged $500 per email.

Stop suffering in silence and stand up against erroneous spammers today.

It’s just a simple click away.