Spam, much like the Monty Python skit which inspired the digital definition of spam, is in everything. It’s on your mobile phone, in your emails, and on websites all over the internet. It’s pretty much an impossibility to be completely spam-free, but you can get pretty close if you take a few precautions.
Here are 6 easy to use tips you can use to keep your email Inbox as spam-free as possible.
- Read sign up details:
Do they sell or share your information with third parties?
How often do they send out emails?
Are the emails and/or other contact methods relevant to what you’re signing up for?
- Opt out:
Read check boxes carefully during sign ups. Sometimes you have to check a box to opt out of a mailing list, or sometimes you have to uncheck it to opt out. There’s no standard, per se, and companies often do what makes the most sense to them. Read carefully to make sure you do what’s right for you.
- Keep it under wraps:
If information is optional, don’t give it up. There may be a field for your mailing address, but if it’s not required for a sign up then why do it?
- Get to know them:
Take some time to find out more about a website before giving them any information about yourself. Read their online privacy policies, check out their blog if they have one, and try to get a sense of who they are before you start typing in details about yourself.
- Step away from the computer:
For really detailed information requested online such as home addresses, phone numbers, and any sensitive information, you should try to find a verified phone number for them (i.e. one found in the phone book) or a local office (if possible) to sign up instead of doing it online.
- Get a new address:
No, we’re not telling you to move. 🙂 We’re suggesting getting an email address that you can use to sign up for newsletters, etc. that you won’t mind getting clogged up with spam instead of your real email address. This way you can keep your personal email address clear for the things that really matter like family and friends.
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are always new methods being created to find out your contact information, and you need to be vigilant about keeping your info under wraps. Be sure to read what you’re signing up and stay on top of what you’re agreeing to online.
Oh, and if you’ve never seen the Monty Python spam sketch, you can see it on YouTube. Enjoy.