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Spam is any type of unsolicited or unwanted online message. Cybercriminals drop spam in the shape of text messages, emails, social media messages, and message board posts. Although some spam is more annoying than dangerous, other types of spam can be pretty threatening to your security and privacy.
For example, phishing email spam can deceive unsuspecting users who believe they’re speaking to a business or government department into sharing their sensitive information. Spam carrying ransomware can encrypt your computer and threaten to delete your files unless you send payments. Even if the spam isn’t malicious, it’s not very pleasant to handle. So, let’s look at a few tips to manage online spam:
1. Never Open Spam
Even if a message looks fake but harmless, avoid opening it because spam can use sophisticated tricks to breach your data. Spam may try to hijack your clicks by hiding malicious links that take you to dangerous websites under graphics.
2. Let Your Spam Filter Work
Activate your spam filter and let it catch harmful emails. Spam filters can use the following values to judge if an incoming message is unwanted or dangerous:
- IP address: A spam filter shall send an email to your spam box if it comes from an IP address known to send unsolicited messages.
- Content: Emails with potentially harmful or deceptive content often raise red flags with spam filters.
- Suspicious Code: Many spam filters flag messages that use suspicious codes and tags.
3. Avoid Attachments
Lots of people wonder: what is spam doing to steal my data? Well, spam may lead you to fake or hacked shopping websites that steal your credit card data as soon as you buy something. Spam may also carry various privacy-invading malware in the shape of attachments:
- Spyware is malicious software that helps hackers watch you, the websites you visit, and the passwords you use.
- Keyloggers are a type of spyware that documents your keystrokes, like your login credentials for hackers.
- Banker Trojans are unwanted programs that steal your banking and credit card data.
- Learn to Recognize Spam
It’s easier to identify spam when it ends up in your junk box. But sometimes, spam can be crafty and escape even the most rigid spam filter. Here, it’s critical to recognize the signs of a spam message:
- Poor spelling
- Bad grammar
- Skewed images
- Low-resolution images
- Unusual addresses
- Shortened links
- Alarmist language
- Unrealistic shopping deals
5. Use Anti-Malware Technology
Your final line of defense should be advanced antivirus software that employs anti-malware tools to catch different types of malware, from viruses to ransomware. Your cybersecurity software should also be proactive and shield you from attack vectors on email or your browser.
6. Secure Your Accounts
In addition to top cybersecurity tools, please secure your accounts with robust passwords and two-factor authentication. Even if you fall prey to an online scam, you can keep cybercriminals out of your sensitive accounts with strong login credential security.
Spam messages can range from harmless but annoying to quite dangerous. Use your spam filter and anti-malware software to protect yourself and your contacts from any malicious message.