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b2ap3_thumbnail_no_email_spam_400.jpgEmail, the most popular medium of office communication, offers spectacular boons to a business, but it’s not without its flaws. Spam is the #1 enemy of the email inbox, and it is a time-consuming productivity killer. Even the most vigilant workers get hit with spam from time to time, but that doesn’t mean you need to.

It’s fairly easy to get spammed, even if you’re not doing anything wrong. In fact, spam has become so commonplace in the online community that you can fall prey to it simply by looking into a great offer, or signing up for one of your favorite sites. The most common way of falling prey to spam is, by far, when websites take your email address and dump it into a list without first consulting you.

Most spam messages are harmless, but it can be an annoying time-waster, especially when you have to weed out the worthless emails to find the important ones. When you’re operating a business, you can’t afford to waste time on spam, and there are far more pressing matters at hand. Fortunately, you don’t need to deal with this frustration. Here are four steps to help you reduce your spam headache.

Keep Your Email Address to Yourself
First and foremost, don’t give your email address out like it’s nothing. Think of your email address like your physical address. You don’t hand out your physical address to every person that requests it, do you? If so, you probably get a lot of distractions, and a lot of undesired attention. Try to reserve your email for websites you know and trust well. Many websites even have text somewhere on their forms that pledge they won’t send you any unapproved emails.

If you absolutely need to give out your email address, but you don’t really trust that the website won’t spam you, set up a spam email account. There are many free email services like Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail, where you can set up a new account in a few short minutes. With a spam account, you can sign up for any site you want while bypassing any spam they might sign you up for. This keeps your main personal or work account clean while you still get to gain access to the registered user features on the website.

But what if it’s too late? What if you’ve already given away your primary email address and are currently getting slammed with spam emails? There a few things you can do to try and reduce your spam intake without getting an entirely new email address.

Use Filters to Keep Spam at Bay
Many email clients allow you to set up filters for your email. Gmail, for example, allows you to filter email by searching for keywords in email subjects and bodies, as well as filter specific addresses. You can then send any email that matches that filter directly to the trash. This way, it skips your inbox entirely and you never have to see the spam, saving you countless minutes in your overall work day. You can then use the saved time to concentrate on more deserving tasks.

Use Third-Party Services and Applications
There are some third-party products that were built to work with your inbox and make your email experience better. The products differ depending on what email service you use, so feel free to look around for what might work for you. If you’re not sure what kinds of software would work well for your business, NTConnections can help you figure out what kind of spam filtering software would be appropriate. We’ll work with you to find the right option based on your specific needs.

Unsubscribe from Mailing Lists
Spam generally comes from websites which are sending messages to you without your approval, but many of these websites offer you the ability to unsubscribe from the email listing. Check the bottom of the spam messages for an unsubscribe link. This can take some time, but it can significantly reduce spam in the long run. Just hover over the link before clicking on it to make sure that the link is legitimate. Wouldn’t want you to walk right into a phishing trap, would we?

In the end, your best defense against spam is to keep your email address to yourself. Unfortunately, this sometimes isn’t an option. This is why spam protection is often necessary to truly avoid time-wasting, or potentially threatening emails. NTConnections’s spam protection solutions can help you stem the flow of spam for good. Give us a call at (703) 288-9767 to learn more.