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how do spammers get my personal email address and what can i do to protect myself

How do spammers get my email address? What can I do to prevent spam?

How Do Spammers Get My Email Address And How Can I Stop It?

How Do Spammers Get My Email Address And How Can I Stop It?

You open your inbox and are confronted (sometimes bombarded) with random messages from sales, news, offers, and requests (shit basically).  How do spammers get your email address? It could be because you’ve shared (e.g. it’s openly exposed on the internet) or perhaps the spammer has guessed it (simply by sending millions of messages in the hope some will hit real people’s email accounts).

According to DataProt, almost 85% of all emails are spam, with a whopping 122.33 billion spam messages sent each day (yep! you read that right, billion!).

Let’s discuss how spammers acquire your email address, including methods that you can use to stop/prevent spam.

  • Buying List Of Email Addresses – Spammers create accounts on websites or services to send out unsolicited emails. If you’re entering into an agreement with a new company, read it carefully. Your email address could be sold to an advertising list, creating unwanted junk mail. Dishonest employees sometimes sell the company’s email lists.
  • Harvesting Techniques – Anytime you use email addresses anywhere on the internet – whether it be for a blog post, in a comment, in a domain contact point, in your business directory listing, OR in an open forum like a social media site or chat room – you need to be aware that if someone is gathering this information, they will find it. The best way to not get hurt by this is to avoid using email addresses online without any protection devices such as a Captcha system.
  • Dictionary Programs – Compiling lists of email addresses using existing email databases is known as a list-bomb. A list-bomb allows an attacker to flood an entire network with emails, without giving anyone in the network time to reply or forward the emails on to others. A dictionary attack goes one step further by programming internet bots to generate new combinations of email addresses. These are far more likely to work than randomly generated addresses, which is why they are regularly used in phishing campaigns.
  • Dishonest Newsletter Services – Dishonest newsletter companies disguise themselves as trustworthy by creating blogs or company pages. They have an uncanny ability to drive traffic to their website with this technique, but at the end of the day, they are all about money! One common tactic is to send millions of people a false “you’ve signed up for our ill-fated newsletter” email blast. When your subscribers want to unsubscribe, they actually confirm that it is the real person that initially subscribed.

The Solution

Give yourself some peace of mind by making sure you’re not exposed on the web as an email address that can be found with a simple search! Search engines and social media sites often display the first part of the email address, so a quick check is enough to see how exposed your personal email is online. To start your search, visit sniff.email for free.  And if you find some problems quickly change your passwords


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