Spam is prevalent in society these days. Furthermore, phishing attacks are on the rise and are harder and harder to distinguish from real emails from banks, social networks, etc. There are many different ways to deal with the problem and I’ll cover a couple of ways to do so today.

First, make sure items that are spam are laballed as such. If you get an email that shows up in your inbox that is obviously spam, move it to your spam folder. The same goes for moving non-spam out of the spam folder. This helps to teach your spam filter what is spam and what is not.

Second, check the sender’s email. If you get an email that looks real, double check where the email is coming from. Don’t just look at the “name” of the sender but the email address. For example, I got an email from “Facebook” but when I check the address, it comes from a website in Russia. This same technique can be used for links in emails. Highlighting over a link shows its URL, which can help reveal it is spam.

Finally, if you do get spam, report it. The best place is to forward it to spam@uce.gov which is run by the Federal Trade Commission. Once they collect enough spam from certain senders, they can attempt prosecution against them. (However, most spammers are located outside the US, and are therefore hard if not impossible to persecute.)

Last, but not least, just use common sense. If something doesn’t look right, don’t click it.

Alan