Spam is nearly impossible to avoid online, with unsolicited emails and unwanted software finding their way into your computer. There are, however, a few precautions and actions that you can take to minimize your exposure to unwanted spam.

1. Block and Report Spam

Nearly every email provider today has a junk or spam folder – use it! When something reaches your inbox that you think is spam, mark it as spam and send it to the spam/junk folder. Some providers, like Gmail, will make sure you never get emails from that user again, while others will “ask” you if you want to permanently mark the user or subject as spam.

2. Read the Small Text

Whenever something is free, advertising is usually involved. Most of the time you’ll think something is spam when you actually agreed to receive it! When you sign up to a service online or download free software, don’t just click “next” without reading the fine print along the way – make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up for and always have top antivirus software up and running for malware and antivirus protection.

3. Hide Your Email from Bots

When you post your email online, on a website or even a Facebook post, it’s out there for spam bots to collect and bombard with junk mail. A common and easy way to avoid this is to write your email in a format that can’t be copied directly into an email, for example: name[at]provider[dot]com.

4. Don’t Unsubscribe

This sounds counter-intuitive, but here me out. When you get an email you know is spam, don’t unsubscribe, because unsubscribing often confirms to the spammer that you have received the email. Instead, block it, report it and erase it.

5. Secondary Email

If you sign up to a lot of services or websites, a secondary “spam” email is a must. Just create an email you don’t use and use it only for signing up or creating accounts. That way, your personal or work email won’t get bombarded with unwanted emails, and your “spam” email can easily be emptied once in a while.

Got any tips of your own? Share them in the comments box below.