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Sick of spam? Here’s how to keep your inbox clean.

spamemailEvery quarter our superb team at Naked Security unveils the Dirty Dozen of spam-relaying countries. And for the third quarter in a row, the United States is number one in the world, responsible for sending 14.6% of all spam.

As Naked Security blogger Paul Ducklin explains, the reason for all the spam coming from the U.S. (and other top spam-senders) is a high volume of infected computers that hackers control in their spam-sending botnets. If your computer is part of a botnet (such as the ZeroAccess botnet), the spam is coming from you!

Most likely people don’t realize they’re part of a global spam operation. But, as Paul tells us, people who fail to do anything about spambot malware on their computers are “actually helping the crooks to make money, and putting the rest of us, no matter how modestly, in harm’s way.”

With that in mind, there are a few things you can do to stop spam. First, you can remove viruses from your computer with our free Virus Removal Tool. And you can help curb the spam problem by following a few tips to keep yourself and others from being victimized by the spam kings.

How to avoid spam

1. Use email filtering software at your email gateway to block spam as well as email-borne spyware, viruses and worms.

2. Never make a purchase from an unsolicited email. By making a purchase, you are funding future spam.

3. If you don’t know the sender of an unsolicited email, delete it. Spam can contain dangerous malware that can compromise your computer.

4. Don’t use the preview mode in your email viewer. Many spammers can track when a message is viewed, even if you don’t click on the email. If you view a spam email, it confirms your address to the spammers.

5. Don’t overexpose your email address. Posting to mailing lists that are archived online, publishing your address publicly on social networks, and using an easily guessable address based on your name and company makes you an easy mark for spammers.

6. Keep your work and personal email separate. And use one or two secondary email addresses for when you fill out web registration forms or surveys on sites from which you don’t want further information.

By the way, if you’re interested in how other countries rank on our quarterly spam chart, check out the blog post at Naked Security.

For more information about email threats, and how to protect your sensitive data, download our free whitepaper Who’s Snooping on Your Email?.


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