What to do in case of unwanted e-mail?

Whether it's a stunning, distant woman who wants to get to know you better, someone who offers you an enlargement of a body part or simply a giveaway that turns out not to exist at all: you often receive a lot of e-mail in your inbox where you completely not waiting. Here's how to get rid of junk email as quickly as possible.

Every day, billions of spam emails are blocked by advanced spam filters at Google, Microsoft and other major IT companies that also offer email inboxes. After all, it costs nothing to send an email, and you just have a chance that someone will click on it. Of course, it's annoying when emails slip through these filters, but be aware that this is only a fraction of what was probably actually sent to you.

But hey, once those emails are in your inbox, they're still annoying. In any case, what you should not do is forward the spam emails to others or return them to the sender. The advice with unwanted e-mail is also not to open it. Is it too late already? Then do not click on links in the e-mail. This way, the sender not only knows that your email address works, but also that someone is behind it who actually uses it. In the end, only more spam, as junk e-mail is also called, will come your way.


Also, do not search for an unsubscribe option in an e-mail that you do not trust, because this is also a link that comes with the necessary risks. Some links point to pages that are able to learn all kinds of information about you (phishing). On the other hand, you can of course start to experience a certain newsletter that you have subscribed to as unwanted.

Are you sure that the e-mail comes from a reliable source (have you studied the sender's e-mail address and this is indeed [email protected] or [email protected], then you can look for an 'unsubscribe' -link and get rid of the unwanted mail in this way, but realize that phishing mails often use the appearance of a mail that is familiar to you, so that the newsletter can also be a wolf in sheep's clothing. If you have ever agreed to receive the newsletter yourself and what the exact e-mail address of the sender is.

Every e-mail program offers options to block a sender. Always use this service, even if you keep receiving e-mail from the sender. You can also mark email as spam. This notifies your email provider about which email you personally consider to be unwanted. The more often you give signals that an e-mail does not belong in your normal inbox, the better your e-mail program can anticipate this. Gmail even has a specific option to report phishing or spam (Report Phishing/Report Spam).

Personal filters

If the e-mails continue to end up in your inbox for whatever reason, it can be smart to create a personal filter in your e-mail program. You can then set up a filter yourself so that e-mail from a certain sender or that has certain words in the subject line is already cleared from your inbox. Unfortunately, there isn't much more than that to do within your email program. The best way to send spam that has reached your inbox is by marking it as 'spam' or building your own filter to another folder in your inbox.

If you really get a lot of unwanted e-mail at a certain e-mail address, you can consider requesting a new and therefore different e-mail address. In addition, be careful who sees your email address. If you leave your email address at a trade show or various contest sites, it is more likely that it will end up in the hands of spam senders. Also think of your website or blog: if your e-mail address is written on it, bots know where to find them. For example, choose to make an image of it or to put the at sign in the email address between brackets ( [ ] ). Switching to another mail company can also help. Perhaps your Dutch, local provider has slightly different spam filters than, for example, the large Microsoft. One company blocks junk e-mail considerably more aggressively than the other, although there is also a higher chance that desired e-mail will disappear in such a junk e-mail folder.

spam complaint

Unfortunately, that's all you can do about junk email. Fighting it further will probably cost you a lot of time and energy, to no avail. If you are bothered by certain spam, it is advisable to report it to spamklacht.nl. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets collects complaints about spam on this website. If there are many reports, strict action is taken in many cases.

Once you've done all that, all you can do is trust your email provider's smart software to "learn" better what is and isn't wanted in your inbox through your selections. One last small tip: check whether you can set how 'strict' the spam filter should be with your mail provider. This way you can exert a little more influence on how much unwanted (but also sometimes desired) e-mail still ends up in that coveted inbox.

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