Internet security is one of the greatest public concerns today. One of the most common methods of committing fraud on the internet is sending junk or spam emails. However, there are several common types of spam. Here, in this blog post, we will tell you how to avoid spam, both in email and on web pages, on social networks, and even on your phone.
What is spam?
Spam or junk messages are the mass sending of unwanted emails or SMS for advertising or commercial purposes. Surely, you have ever received an email from a company you do not know, and from which you have not requested any information. That is spam.
Sometimes these spam messages may only have a commercial purpose, but in other cases, they may carry substantial dangers. For example, they may be false messages whose objective is identity theft or access to personal data.
The most common types of spam are:
– Advertising messages: They are the most frequent. They may include fraudulent offers that cannot be rejected, free subscriptions that are actually paid, etc.
– Hoax: Fake notifications with sensational content. They alert about fake viruses, inform about child aid programs, etc. They target the emotions of the receiver to deceive them and commit fraud.
– Phishing: Emails and other messages in which spammers pretend to be a well-known company so that the user falls into the trap and provides those malicious actors with their personal information.
– Viruses, Trojans or Spyware: Spam is also sent with the aim of installing harmful programs on the user’s computer. Among the objectives are data theft, identity theft, or taking control of the device.
How to avoid spam in email?
Although email service providers use different protocols to evaluate the authenticity of received emails and allow us to configure our own antispam filters, there are a number of recommendations that are worth taking into account to avoid spam in our inboxes. Cloud sharing platforms like Microsoft 365 offer a host of email threat protection services which can detect and remove spam and malware from your email before it becomes an issue. If you run a nonprofit that qualifies for Microsoft charity status, you can acquire Microsoft 365 for charities at a highly subsidised rate.
It is advisable to use alternative email addresses in forums or mailing lists, online stores, sweepstakes, or subscriptions to certain web pages. Likewise, to avoid being the cause for receiving spam by other people, you can send emails with a blind carbon copy where the recipients are hidden in the email messages, and spammers are unable to send malicious content to them through your email.
How to avoid phone spam (iOS and Android):
The best option to stop receiving these unwanted commercial messages is to sign up for the Robinson List or something similar. It is an advertising exclusion directory whose objective is to protect users against mass advertising by telephone, email, fax, or regular mail.
Although it should be noted that being signed to the Robinson List will not free us from certain types of telephone spam, especially those related to scams or fraud attempts. To prevent this type of phone spam, Android and iOS devices have some features of their own.
Android and iOS have options that allow users to block phone numbers that are connected with spam. A good bet is to use a reverse phone lookup directory like PhoneHistory to identify who is behind the calls.
How to avoid spam on web pages?
Spam can also go directly to the website, for example to the comments section. Normally, this spam web traffic consists of fake accounts whose objective is to redirect real users to spammers’ websites, where they have commercial offers, subscriptions, banner ads, etc. In other words, spamming your website is the way to bring users to their web pages.
Avoid spam in forms and comments in WordPress:
To avoid spammers in forms and comments you must go to the Settings section and enter the comments subsection. Here you can include all those email addresses that spread unsolicited communication.
Many of these spammers also leave messages related to sex, the sale of drugs, or illegal products, so WordPress also allows you to indicate a whole list of words that, if included in the comment, will automatically be blocked.
In addition, in WordPress, you can also configure comments to be published directly or approved manually. Another method to filter spam is to ask the user to leave their name and password to be able to comment or include some type of captcha.
How to prevent spam on Instagram and Facebook?
Social networks move hundreds of millions of users around the world, and spammers have not missed the opportunity to use these platforms to send mass emails. But how to avoid spam on the most popular social networks, like Instagram and Facebook?
Instagram has manual systems that allow you to avoid receiving spam. Of course, it depends on you putting into practice some of these tips:
– Check the comments and delete those that are spam. If you wish, you can also configure the profile to avoid receiving comments.
– Block unwanted users or users with suspicious accounts.
– Skip posts with URLs or promises to get new followers effortlessly.
– Never provide email addresses or other personal information.
– Decide who sees your photos, for example, by setting the profile to private.
– Report spammers to have their accounts deleted by Instagram.
On the other hand, to avoid spam on Facebook you can also take a series of measures:
– Add only known people and be wary of suspicious friend requests.
– Create custom friend lists. You can do it in the “Friends lists” section and “Add friends to the list”.
– In the “Settings” section, define who you share your information with.
– Select “Privacy Settings & Tools” to indicate who you share your posts with.
– With the “Manage Blocks” option, you can select the users that you want to have blocked (they will not be able to see your information).
– You can also decide if your contacts can tag you in their photos with “Timeline Review”.
– Filter the ads you want to receive.
All the measures that we have discussed in the article will help you avoid spam. Remember that cyberattacks can come from different sides and that every precaution is important when it comes to protecting your personal information and preventing fraud and illegitimate intrusions into your privacy.