If you receive an email you think is spam, follow these guidelines:
- Never open an unsolicited email (i.e., spam) unless you use image blocking. Image blocking defeats the confirmation “hits” that spammers receive whenever one of their images is viewed. Since a view can include the moment you click to open a spam message, initially blocking all images is your safest choice -- and you can set up this option in the Mail Options menu. Learn how to block images.
- Never respond to spam. To the individuals who send spam, one response or "hit" among thousands of mailings is enough to justify the practice.
- Never respond to the spam email's instructions to reply with the word "remove" unless you trust or know the sender. Many spammers use the "remove" or "unsubscribe" links as a ploy to get you to react to the email. This may alert the sender that your email address is open and available to receive mail, which greatly increases its value. If you reply, your address may be placed on more lists, resulting in more spam.
- Never click on a URL or web site address listed within a spam email. This could alert the site to the validity of your email address, potentially resulting in more spam. The link could also lead to a site which downloads a virus of malicious software to your computer.
- Never sign up with sites that promise to remove your name from spam lists. Although some of these sites may be legitimate, more often than not, they are address collectors. The legitimate sites are ignored (or exploited) by the spammers, and the address collection sites are owned by spammers. In both cases, your address is recorded and valued more highly because you have just identified that your address is active.
- Avoid displaying your email addresses in public places. This makes it harder for spammers to gather your email address when running programs or bots that gather email addresses.