How to get rid of spam emails

Fed up of a clogged inbox full of emails offering everything from weight loss pills to compensation for an accident you definitely weren’t involved in?

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The good news is, if you’re a user of Google’s email service Gmail, getting rid of these emails has just become a lot simpler.

Block, Unsubscribe & Unsend

Available from today on desktop, and rolled out to Android devices over the next week, Gmail users will have the option to block unwanted email contacts by selecting the ‘more’ arrow button to the right of the received email (next to the ‘reply’ button) and selecting ‘block’.

Roll out to iOS devices is yet to be confirmed by Google.

The block function complements Gmail’s new add-on that allows you to unsubscribe from unwanted emails in one simple step.

Instead of being kicked out of your email account to modify your contact preferences from the email sender itself, you can now click the ‘unsubscribe’ tab next to the sender’s email address. Or if you’re using the Gmail app, select the unsubscribe option on the three-dot menu button at the top right-hand corner of the screen once you’ve opened an email.

Earlier this year, the Silicon Valley giant also enhanced its email functionality by adding an ‘Unsend’ feature to Gmail.

Users can now adjust their account settings so an email can be recalled five, 10, 20 or 30 seconds after they’ve hit the send button – depending on the option they choose.

Unclog your inbox

Whether you’re a Gmail user or not, spam emails can potentially compromise your personal and financial details, meaning potential hackers can use your information for fraudulent endeavours.

Here are some handy tips and tricks to keep your inbox safe:

1. Avoid opening links from unknown senders

If you’ve received an email that’s slipped through your spam filter, avoid opening links or attachments included in the email.

Similarly, don’t reply or forward the email, as this can alert the sender that your email address is active and could trigger further emails being sent.

Whether you’re a Gmail user or not, spam emails can potentially compromise your personal and financial details, meaning potential hackers can use your information for fraudulent endeavours

2. Check the full email address of the sender

While the email address of the sender may include the name of your bank or a service provider you use, check the full breakdown of the email address for any errors.

Scammers often send emails in the guise of a bank or company asking for password verification or confirmation of your bank details. But often the emails contain bad spelling or grammar, as well as threats such as ‘your account will be deactivated within the next 24 hours’.

These types of emails, also known as phishing, are scams which aim to take money from your accounts or steal your identity. Find out more about how to protect yourself from phishing here.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) recently warned of a batch of emails being sent to drivers asking them to confirm their licence number and payment details. Les Roberts has the full lowdown here.

3. Update your security settings and anti-virus protection

Protect yourself against bogus emails by keeping your security settings up-to-date. This can include anti-virus software on your laptop or desktop, enabling security protection from your broadband provider and running software updates on your operating system.

Windows updates, for example, will include enhanced security features that protect you against new threats it has detected.

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