How to reduce spam

  • Be imaginative when signing up for an email address. One of the spammers’ favourite tactics is called a "dictionary attack," where they make guesses about thousands of possible email addresses: johnsmith, jonsmith, johnsmythe. It's too easy for spammers to guess email accounts if just a name is used as the address.

  • Treat your email address as you would your credit card number. You would never consider leaving your credit cards details out in a publicly accessible place, so why run the risk with your email address? Spammers often run programmes that sift through the web for live email addresses. If you post your address in a public forum, such as a discussion group, chat room or on a website, you run the risk that spammers will harvest it and add it to their mailing lists.

  • When purchasing off the internet or signing up to a website where you are required to give your email address, make sure you carefully read any options discussing how the address will be used and pay attention to check boxes that request the right to send you emails or share your email address with partner companies.

  • Use a separate email address when you post to newsgroups and mailing lists. Never use this email address for personal email.

What can you do if you are receiving spam?

  • Contact the sender's Internet Service Provider (ISP). Nearly every ISP in the world forbids their members to send spam.

  • Report fraudulent or illegal content to appropriate authorities. Spam can often contain offers for illegal or fraudulent products.