Spam actually refers to unsolicited commercial emails – so ads that come to you via email without you having a (direct or indirect) relationship with the advertiser. In general use, it also applies to those emails that include a virus or spyware or try to trick information/money out of you (commonly referred to as phishing.)
It is a huge time waster when you’re online, even with spam filters that stop the majority of it reaching our inboxes. So you can really save yourself some time by reducing the chances of being spammed.
Here are some tips to help you:
if you don’t trust a website, don’t give them your email address
have a secondary email address to use for subscribing to newsletters and websites you aren’t sure of. That way, if you get spammed by them, you can stop that address without having to change yor main email. It can also save you time by having your newsletters separate to your important emails
if you have a website, don’t put your email address on the site as text – spammers have software that can scan the net for email addresses (called harvesting.) Use a contact form or show your email address as a graphic or in a way only humans understand (e.g. myname @ savetimeonline.com.au or myname@NOTTHISBITsavetimeonline.com.au)
don’t respond to any spam as that tells them your email address is real – and that even includes not clicking on links in their email
choose a complex email address that is not so easy to guess – for example, susan.brown@ and sbrown@ are harder to guess than susan@ or sue@
The Word Constructions blog gave more tips on reduing your spam and tips on keeping your emails away from spam filters.