Spam: Detection and Prevention

Today, spam is a term that includes a wide variety of cybersecurity threats and unwanted messages by email on your laptop, tablet, or any other device. Spam emails may lead to different kinds of issues, from minor annoyances to major harm, including identity theft.

The major types of spam online are Spam emails, SEO spam, Social media spam, Spam text messages and spam calls, Tech support scams, Current events scams, and Malware spam.

Email Spam & its Types:

Email spam, also known as junk email, spam mail, or simply spam, is the sending of unsolicited messages in email. It is sent to a large number of recipients, unsolicited, for advertising or phishing. Spam Emails are of different types. Hence, it’s critical to distinguish between useful, unwanted messages and dangerous ones that get through security controls. The different categories of Spam emails include Commercial advertisements, Education and training, Adult content, Personal finance, Information Technology products, Money scams, Sweepstakes winners, Antivirus warnings, and Phishing attacks.

How can we detect if it is spam?

Most of the spam may reach us via email, text message, social media, or phone call. Listed below are the various kinds of spam possibilities:

  • Unknown Sender

Spammers who send fraudulent emails and messages often use long email addresses composed of random letters and numbers. This may be intentional because it helps hide the spammer’s identity.

  • Adult Content

If you receive any emails or messages with adult content, matchmaking agencies/dating advice, ignore them and do not click any links or open attachments.

  • Urgency

Typically, spammers use urgency as a social engineering tool to try to push people into making rash decisions, suspecting that it may be a trap to let you fall into their spam.

  • Financial Awards and Services

Financial spam often promises to help you resolve monetary issues with low-interest loans, debt assistance, or outright cash prizes. Sometimes these emails are also phishing scams.

  • Language Mistakes

If you receive messages with unnatural language, such as misspellings, typos, obvious grammatical mistakes, or messages littered with errors, that can be a sign of spam or that the message was sent from a questionable source.

In case you receive a spam email or a hack attempt, follow the below steps:

  • Do not reply to the email.
  • Do not click on any links or open any attachments.
  • Report the email to the sender or the appropriate authorities.
  • Change your passwords for all of your online accounts.
  • Monitor your accounts for any unauthorised activity.

How To Stop Spam Emails?

It is impossible to stop spam emails completely. However, following the below measures can limit the risks of spam on your devices and personal data and help you avoid falling victim to online scams.

Precautious Measures to Protect Yourself from Spam and Hacking Attacks:

  • Keep your email address private and use separate email accounts
  • Use a spam filter to block unwanted messages and scrutinise the suspect messages
  • Use caution when hitting ‘unsubscribe’.
  • Be suspicious of any email that asks for personal information, such as your password or credit card number.
  • Never click on links or open attachments in emails from people you don't know.
  • Use a strong password and change it regularly
  • Enable two-factor authentication for your email and other important accounts.
  • Keep your operating system and software up-to-date, including your email client and web browser.
  • Install and use antivirus and anti-malware software.
  • Be careful about what information you share on social media/online.
  • Be aware of the latest phishing scams and hacking attacks, and don’t respond to them.