Junk emails are basically anything that you receive and you don’t want, particularly if you never asked to be sent emails from a specific person.
However, with approximately 74 trillion emails being sent every year, it’s inevitable that people and businesses will use emails to contact potential targets.
It’s not just businesses trying to attract more customers, cybercriminals use emails.
They are a surprisingly effective way of collecting personal information which can be used against people.
As soon as you realize that 45% of emails sent are spam, and that nearly 30% of spam emails originate from Russia, you’ll realize you need to know how to stop junk emails from flooding your inbox.
In short, reducing the number of spam emails you receive will lower the risk of you being scammed and save you a lot of time.
Why Junk Emails Are Dangerous
You probably feel like you’re in control of your inbox. After all, you don’t have to open anything you don’t like the look of.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. A high-quality spam email will appear innocent and interesting, prompting you to click on it.
Once you’ve done that it only takes a moment to read the email and be taken in by the scam.
The biggest threat is phishing. This is where the email appears to be from a respected financial institution, such as your bank.
The email convinces you there is an issue which must be looked at.
Once you click the link you’ll need to log in. However, you’ll be giving your login details to cybercriminals who have created a genuine-looking site.
It’s also possible that opening an attachment can allow malware onto your device.
This allows cybercriminals to access your system or simply watch what you do.
They can collect your personal information and use this to steal your identity.
Cases of identity theft have doubled in the last few years.
You need to know how to stop unwanted emails and reduce the threat to your finances and even your credibility.
How To Stop Junk Email From Flooding Your Inbox
The good news is that blocking emails is possible. You simply need to know what you are doing and you’re in the right place to find out.
I’ve tried and still use all the following techniques to help stop my inbox from being filled with spam.
It’s easy to do but can save you a lot of hassle and heartache.
Educating Your Inbox
You probably already know that your inbox has several other folders.
These are automatically created by your email provider and include promotion, deleted, and spam.
Your inbox is capable of putting spam messages directly into the spam, effectively making them blocked emails as you never have to see them in the inbox.
The beauty of doing it this way is that you can periodically check the spam folder to ensure it doesn’t have genuine emails put in it by mistake.
To help your inbox do its job properly you need to teach it which items are spam.
The simplest way to do this is to move emails to spam. But before you move them, right-click the message and mark it as spam.
This stops you from having to send them to spam and tells your inbox this type of message is spam.
It will then automatically put new messages from the same source into the spam folder.
Alongside this, the inbox will learn which types of messages are likely to be spam and put them straight into the spam box for you.
Naturally, you can check at any time to ensure the messages really are spam.
Once you’ve marked an email as spam and it’s been moved to the spam folder, open the spam folder yourself and delete it.
This will help to prevent storage space from getting clogged or you accidentally opening a spam email.
Block Email Addresses
It’s also a good idea to start blocking messages. You can do this at the same time as you move something to spam.
If you’re wondering how to block an email address, simply select the ‘block and mark as spam’ option.
Your inbox will move the designated message into spam and block all future messages from that number.
You can block phone numbers, and therefore messages, individually or in a batch.
Simply select the messages you wish to move to spam and block, right-click, and select the ‘block and signal as spam’ option.
Protect Your Data
The above steps will reduce the number of spam emails you receive. However, it probably won’t make much difference to the amount of spam you receive.
It will just be hidden from you, following the old adage ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
When looking at how to block spam emails the most important thing to remember is where the scammers get your email address from.
Take a moment to consider how many apps and sites you have entered your email address into.
In most cases, you’ll be adding more than just an email address, perhaps your name and other identifying factors.
All this information is collected and collated by data brokers.
They can use this data to build a profile on you. More concerning, they allow others to see that information.
For a small fee anyone can access your information, whether it’s a financial institution checking your details or a scammer after your email address so that they can get your login details.
In short, a data broker can help your personal details, including your name, date of birth, address, and email address, circulate across the web.
You probably won’t even know it is happening.
Naturally, scammers get this information and use the law of averages to their advantage.
In simple terms, they bombard you with spam, hoping that you’ll accidentally respond to one.
The good news is you can block this data from getting into the public domain.
The simplest approach is to write to the data broker and ask them to remove your data from their system.
By law, the broker must do so.
The downside of this approach is that there isn’t just one data broker.
It’s estimated there are hundreds of them. Each one needs to be told individually.
If you choose to do this yourself you will spend hundreds of hours locating the data brokers and sending them opt-out forms.
Worse, data brokers are obliged to remove your details but there is nothing stopping them from putting them back on their systems in a couple of months.
That means you’ll need to send opt-out forms forever. Fortunately, there is a third-party option.
This is a data removal service that handles the opt-out requests for you.
There are several decent data removal services available. However, when I was trying different ones, I found one which really stands out, Incogni.
Incogni is one of the best data removal services in the business. Personally, I love how efficient it is at providing feedback and how competitively it is priced.
You will need to visit the Incogni website and create an account to get started. That means giving them an email address and creating a password.
It’s then necessary to pick your subscription.
You can choose to use the service on a monthly basis and quit at any time, it will cost you $12.98 a month.
Or, you can opt for an annual contract and pay it in one go. This approach effectively gives you a 50% discount and costs just $6.49 a month.
It’s my preferred option and it’s not just because it’s cheaper.
Once you’ve subscribed you need to provide a few more personal details, this enables them to find your data online.
You’ll also need to sign a form that gives Incogni power of attorney, but only on a limited scale.
They need to be able to contact data brokers on your behalf.
Once you’ve completed the registration and paid, Incogni gets straight to work.
It searches data brokers and the dark web to find who has your information. Incogni will then send data removal requests to each one.
Don’t forget, this data can be used by scammers and cybercriminals to target you and your finances.
You’ll be able to access the dashboard and see how many requests have been sent, how many are completed, and how many have additional queries.
This is updated daily.
You can even see a more detailed view, showing which data brokers have been contacted and various other pieces of information.
The reason I love this service is that it continues to monitor your data files and will re-issue the opt-out requests whenever necessary.
You can monitor everything from your Incogni dashboard.
When using Incogni I was also very impressed with the customer service team.
They were easy to get hold of, friendly, and knew what they were talking about.
Tips To Help Protect Your Inbox In The Future
By now, you’re aware of how many times you give out your email address every day.
In the future, to help prevent unwanted emails, you should limit the number of people with your email address.
In short, check what sites you have subscribed to and unsubscribe from any unnecessary ones.
The same should be applied when asked to give your email address, is it really necessary?
Alongside this, you should consider creating a second email address.
Your main one should only be used when emailing family, friends, and personal contacts. It should also be used for official purposes, such as with your bank.
Never give out your main email address without ensuring you know who you are giving it to and what they will do with the data.
The second email can be used when subscribing to newsletters and general website registrations, even social media.
This keeps your emails separate and reduces the likelihood of spam on your main account.
You should never reply to an email that you think or know is spam.
It will encourage them to send more.
Even more importantly, never click on a link in an unsolicited email, even if it says the email is from your bank.
Instead, go to your normal login page and enter your account the usual way.
You’ll soon see if there is an issue or not.
In fact, you should adopt the same approach when unsubscribing from websites, regardless of what site they are.
Scammers are very good at sending unsubscribe links in false emails. If you click on these to unsubscribe you’ll be letting the scammer into your system.
If you’re already suffering from a significant amount of spam and are struggling to eliminate it, you may find the best approach is to create a new email address.
You can then change your email address on all the accounts that matter, such as your bank.
Once you are confident you have changed the email account on all the relevant official accounts, close down the old email address.
That stops spam in its tracks, you just need to be more cautious giving out your email address in the future.
The big question is how to stop junk email from flooding your inbox.
It, and how to block unwanted emails, are questions that everyone should be asking.
The good news is that eliminating spam doesn’t need to be difficult.
All you have to do is take a few sensible precautions and use the services of a data removal company.
Everything you need to do is listed above, follow these simple steps and you won’t waste time every day looking at spam.
You will reduce the likelihood that you are scammed.
I’ve used Incogni and, along with a cautious approach to giving out my email address, I highly recommend them as an effective way to eliminate junk email from your inbox.