Don't Unsubscribe From Illicit Spam Emails and Texts
Some of us can be a little too diligent when dealing with email or text spam because whatever you do, you shouldn't click "unsubscribe" links or text "stop" in reply, as they literally mean "subscribe" and "please, go on" to illicit spammers.
Interacting with spammers in anyway is bad
There's a difference between illicit spam sending you malware links and selling fake insurance rates, versus that newsletter you signed up for and may no longer want, and in this case we're referring to the former. As these spammers blast out millions of texts or emails every day, they aren't actually targeting you specifically in fact, they might not know if your email or phone number is even valid. They are looking for signs of an active account, however, as a valid email address or phone number is valuable for conducting further scams. By toggling "unsubscribe" or replying in any way, you validate your contact information and risk inviting even more spam.
What to do when you receive spam
The easy part is that you basically do nothing. When you get a spam email, mark it as spam and delete the email before opening it. Likewise, with texts, you can simply delete them without replying and block the number. That said, the OPC recommends reporting spam emails by reporting them and/or forwarding them to the Spam Reporting Centre. For suspicious or unsolicited test messages, forward the test message (SMS) to 7726 (SPAM). Fiddling with a spam text can increase the chance of accidentally clicking on a malware link somewhere in the message (and you should never click on unsolicited links). If you're not comfortable forwarding texts, don't sweat it, just delete, block, and ignore. Otherwise, you can forward spam texts using these steps from your smart phone.
How can you avoid spam?
Spam is unfortunately a part of life, but as the OPC recommends, there are some simple, useful tips that can help you prevent it:
- Avoid displaying your email address in public. Spammers scrape websites, blog posts, chat rooms, social networking sites, and forums so the less of you that's out there, the better.
- Use two email addresses, one for personal messages and one for everything else. Ideally, this second public-facing email address should be one you are willing to delete one day, if needed. Personally, I use a second pseudonymous email address which I call my "junk email," and I use to sign up for promotions or newsletters. It has twice the number of spam emails compared to my regular address.
- Use a truly original address that's unlikely to be created by spammers. Spammers send out millions of messages to probable name combinations at large ISPs and email services, hoping to find a valid address. That means common first name/last name email addresses are more likely to attract spam.
Knowing the above is a great way to keep yourself safe and also gives you the knowledge when you are sending out your own emails and SMS messages from your business. If you want to know more please contact your local Bloomtools representative.
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