Get powerful protection against online scams with Avast One
Tired of endless spam emails? Not only are they irritating; junk emails can also be used to push scams and even deliver malware. Find out why you’re getting so much email spam, and learn how a comprehensive security and privacy app like Avast One can help you stop spammers targeting your inbox with unwanted emails.
Spam email — also called junk mail or spam mail — refers to unsolicited messages sent in bulk to many different email addresses. Most spam appears in the way of relatively harmless emails from advertisers. But spam is also a low-risk, high-reward method for scammers to unleash phishing attacks.
Just opening a spam email can result in getting even more spam, and clicking a malicious link or attachment can expose you to ransomware or other types of malware, such as the Emotet botnet that spreads from inbox to inbox.
Keep reading to learn how to stop spam emails by adjusting your privacy settings and considering your online habits. We’ll guide you through reporting and blocking spam and teach you how to unsubscribe from unwanted spam email campaigns.
This Article Contains:
You can learn how to stop spam emails by unsubscribing from unwanted spam email campaigns and reporting and blocking spam. But to permanently stop spam emails, you’ll also need to adjust your privacy settings and change your online habits.
Here’s how to stop unwanted emails:
Report the email as spam
Block spam email addresses
Use an email alias
Change your email privacy settings
Unsubscribe from unwanted newsletters or mailing lists
Check if your email is on the dark web
Use a secondary email address
Use a third-party email filter
Use SPF and DKIM email authentication
Delete suspicious emails
You can remove junk emails manually, but that won’t stop spammers from sending you more unwanted emails in the future. And it won’t protect you against viruses or other types of malware hidden in unsolicited emails — for that you’ll need a malware removal tool.
To effectively block spam you need to report it, because that helps your email client learn which email address to block and how to filter spam more generally.
Here’s how to report spam on Gmail, Apple Mail, Outlook, and Yahoo mail:
Check the box to the left of each spam email you want to report.
Then, click the Report Spam button (the stop sign icon) in the mailbox toolbar.
Open Apple Mail.
Click the spam email you want to report and then click the Junk Mail icon in the mailbox toolbar.
Right-click the spam email you want to report.
Go to Security options and click Mark as junk.
Open Yahoo Mail.
Check the box to the left of each junk email you want to report.
Then click the Spam button in the mailbox toolbar.
After you start training your email how to recognize and stop spam emails, teach yourself how to spot amazon phishing emails and other spam on your own. Spammers may know how to avoid getting caught by spam email filters, but they may not be able to fool a well-trained eye.
While filtering addresses some spam emails, you should outright block spam email addresses that are persistent, dangerous, or fake. And remember to report any internet scams you come across, such as Apple ID phishing scams and other threats.
Blocking unwanted emails stops spam from reaching that email address permanently, but be careful how you go about doing it, because opening some spam emails can prompt a deluge of more junk emails from other spam accounts.
Here’s how to block spam email addresses on Gmail, Apple Mail, Outlook, and Yahoo mail:
Open Gmail, and check the box of the spam email whose sender you’d like to block.
Click the three vertical dots displayed along the top of your inbox and select Filter messages like these.
Click Create filter to create a new gmail filter for that address.
Select Delete it from the list of actions and click Create filter again to confirm.
Open the Mail App and select a message from the sender you want to block.
In the message header, click the arrow next to the sender’s name and select Block Contact.
Open Outlook and right-click the email whose address you want to block.
Scroll to Security Options, select Block Sender, and click.
Open Yahoo Mail and check the box to the left of the email whose sender you want to block.
Click the three horizontal dots in the mailbox toolbar and select Block senders.
For more about other kinds of spam, check out our guides to learn how to stop spam text messages and block phone number spoofing. Though unlikely, email and text spam can be delivery mechanisms for malware — yes, phones can get viruses just like computers.
Hiding behind an email alias by using a secondary or “burner” address lets you sign up for sites and accounts without divulging your primary email address. By forwarding messages sent to your email alias to a separate folder in your main inbox, you can manage your alternative accounts together, while preserving the privacy of your primary account.
Stopping spammers from flooding your inbox with unwanted junk emails is good, but changing your email privacy settings — and your habits — to reduce your exposure to spam in the first place is even better.
Always keep your email as private as possible. This means being careful about the people and organizations you share your address with. And use two-factor authentication to further secure your inbox.
Here’s how to adjust your email privacy settings to avoid spam emails and stop advertisers and other third parties from having access to your address.
Open Gmail and click your account icon in the upper-right corner.
Then click Manage your Google Account.
On the left-navigation menu, click Security.
Review your current settings and change any that need to be updated. We recommend removing access to your account for any third-parties sending you unwanted spam.
Click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of your Mac and select System Preferences.
Click the Security and Privacy option and adjust settings according to your preferences.
Click your account icon in the upper-right corner and select My Microsoft Account.
Click Privacy, then click Privacy dashboard.
Click View app access details under Apps and services and remove access from any app sending you spam or other unwanted emails.
Open Yahoo Mail.
Click the Gear icon in the top-right corner and choose More Settings.
Click Security and Privacy. Add specific email address you want to block, or entire domain names to block apps or services from having access to your email address.
Another reason you could be getting spam is because you’ve actually signed up to receive it — knowingly or not. Removing your email address from spam subscription lists is a great way to thin out the junk in your inbox.
To begin, open your email and enter unsubscribe into your email search bar. That will bring up all the newsletters and mailing lists you can unsubscribe to, because all of those emails will have options to unsubscribe buried at the bottom of their email campaigns.
Now you can select the spam emails you never open or read, or those you no longer wish to receive, and click the unsubscribe link included at the bottom of the email. Many newsletters and advertising campaigns, even those from reputable services, make it hard to find the unsubscribe button. But if you scroll carefully you’ll find it. If not, you can always report the email as spam, which will unsubscribe you automatically.
If your email account information or other personal data has been leaked on the dark web, you could be exposed to mountains of spam along with a host of online scams like sophisticated spear phishing attacks. Use a dark web scanner to check if your email is on the dark web, and then secure any compromised accounts by updating your credentials with strong passwords.
Creating a secondary email account is another way to protect your mailbox from spam. Email addresses used for purchases, event sign-ups, or downloads often end up on spam lists. Using one email address for work, friends, and family and another for everything else can drastically clean up your inbox.
Even the best junk mail filter can’t catch every single unwanted email. Using a third-party email filter along with your regular email filter will boost your spam defenses. There are many strong third-party email filters to help you prevent spam, including Mailwasher, SpamSieve, Zerospam, Spambrella, and SpamTitan.
It’s also possible to use email authentication methods such as SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) to combat spam and phishing emails. Most email clients have options called “show details” or “show original” which allow you to inspect the full email header, including the results of SPF and DKIM authentication checks.
Although recipients can check the SPF and DKIM of incoming emails to verify the message’s integrity and reject or mark as spam those that fail, this method won’t stop spam or other malicious emails from landing in your inbox to begin with.
Don’t engage with suspicious emails or click links in spam. Doing so risks triggering more spam or even exposing you to scams or malware. Spam emails might even have a fake unsubscribe link, causing you to get even more spam.
Some junk emails are designed to get you to open the email so they know your account is active. Then, they can target you with more junk. If something looks a bit off, it probably is. To be safe, simply delete the email — if it’s important, the sender will likely contact you some other way.
And remember to empty your spam folder periodically. Emails you mark as spam are usually kept in your email for a certain period of time, in case you want to reverse your decision. To make sure you inbox stays clean, or even if you want to free up space, empty your spam folder.
Open Gmail and click the Spam folder in the left-navigation menu.
Click Delete all spam messages now from the top menu ribbon. Click OK to confirm.
Open Apple Mail and select the Junk Mail option on the left-hand side.
Highlight the desired messages.
Click the metal trash can icon.
Click Junk Email on the left side, then select Empty folder.
Click Delete all to confirm.
Open Yahoo and click Spam on the left-hand menu.
Then check the box next to all the spam emails you want to delete.
Click the trash icon to empty your spam folder and click OK to confirm.
Spam and other unwanted messages can come from anywhere, and filtering them out of your inbox can seem like a game of whack-a-mole. Thankfully, all-encompassing security and privacy software like Avast One can protect your email and shield your entire network from any malicious threats trying to get through.
Avast One is built on top of an award-winning threat-detection engine, and it has an array of other security and privacy features like an email protection tool that automatically blocks malicious links and attachments. Download Avast One today for ironclad online protection.
To stop spam emails for good, you can mark them as spam or create filters that send them directly to your spam folder. You can also unsubscribe from mailing lists or newsletters that you no longer want to receive.
You may start to receive a lot of spam emails for several reasons: your email address was recently added to a spammer's database, you inadvertently signed up for a service or subscribed to a mailing list, or you responded to a phishing message requesting your personal information.
To block spam emails, create filters to send them directly to your spam folder. You can also mark unwanted emails as spam, which helps your email provider identify and block similar spam messages in the future.
It's generally better to block spam emails rather than simply delete them. This helps your email provider improve their spam filters and reduce the likelihood of similar messages appearing in the future.
To delete spam emails without opening them, simply select the message and delete it without opening it. You can also create filters that automatically delete messages that meet certain criteria, such as containing specific words or coming from certain senders or email addresses.
It is generally not safe to unsubscribe from spam emails as it confirms to the sender that your email address is active and encourages them to send more spam. Instead, you should mark the message as spam and create filters to send future messages from the same address directly to your spam folder.
Clicking unsubscribe on spam emails can result in several outcomes:
Legitimate unsubscription: If the email is from a reputable organization that follows proper email marketing practices, clicking "unsubscribe" should remove your email address from their mailing list. Legitimate companies are required by law (such as the CAN-SPAM Act in the US) to honor unsubscribe requests.
An increase in spam emails: Unfortunately, by clicking "unsubscribe" on certain spam emails, you may inadvertently confirm that your email address is active and monitored by a real person. This can lead to an increase in spam emails because spammers now know that your email is active, and they may even sell your email address to other spammers.
Security risks: Clicking links in spam emails, including the "unsubscribe" link, can expose you to security risks. The link could lead to a phishing website that attempts to steal your personal information or install malware on your device.