Spam is ever-present in businesses of all sizes: if there is an email address associated with a user in your organization, then that inbox will be targeted by spammers. This means enterprises, with many email users, are especially at risk for targeted spam attacks. There are some standard techniques that people use to fight spam, but the ones listed here are a bit more unique that what other IT professionals might be doing.
1. Protect the email addresses
One of best ways to reduce spam is to make it harder for spammers to get your email addresses. First, don’t use a catchall to collect emails that are sent to misspelled or non-existent addresses. If you are that worried about missing out on emails where the address that are errantly addressed, try using aliases for commonly misspelled names like [email protected] and [email protected]. Also, avoid listing email addresses on your website, in forums or anywhere else that is public facing. If you need to list email addresses on you company’s website make sure they are encrypted so spammers can’t harvest them.
2. Set up a honeypot
This is a rather clever way to reduce spam by using a few extra email accounts with the purpose of attracting spammers. Set up a few throwaway email accounts that are not used by anyone. These are the “honeypots” that will attract spam. Because these accounts are not used by any individual for opt-in or legitimate emails, any messages that are received by these accounts are spam. You can use this intelligence to add senders to blacklists or learn what techniques the bad guys are using so you can better educate yourself and your end-users.
3. Teach your users how to react to spam
If your users know how to both avoid and deal with spam, you will greatly reduce spam in your organization. Some of the standard rules are:
- Never unsubscribe to spam
- Never respond to spam
- Never buy anything from a spam email
- Be careful about who you give your email address to
- Blacklist spam instead of deleting it
Effectively, the less users engage with spam messages, the less likely they are to confirm their identity or accidentally visit a malicious site – and the more likely illegitimate senders are to write them off as an inactive inbox.
3. Learn what the spammers are doing to bypass the spam filter
Spammers learn your techniques for reducing spam, so why not learn their methods to bypass your filters? Not sure where to start? Try some of email marketing forums. Legitimate companies like MailChimp and KISSmetrics often teach marketers and other legitimate senders how to avoid the spam filter for their emails, and some of their techniques might point out holes in your setup. There are also some less scrupulous websites that are focused on showing similarly unscrupulous senders how to spam. While it is wise to know the latest techniques these senders are using, be careful about registering for these sites or forums, where you’re likely to put your reputation and email address at risk.
4. Deal with notifications effectively
While you may look at this as graymail, the number of notification emails receives from newsletters, subscriptions, and social media quickly frustrates most users. As an administrator, investigate the tools available to help your end users direct notifications to selected folders or tabs in their email client. If you need to do this at the end user level, instruct them on how to set these up in their email software. In addition to reducing spam, this will also help avoid spear phishing attempts and make email management simpler.
5. Cut off Spam Before it Reaches Inboxes
One not so unique way to reduce the amount of spam your organization receives is to use the right email security solution to filter through incoming email messages. Sendio’s Opt-Inbox and Email Security Gateway both work to stop spam and other email-borne threats from reaching your users. By relying on a number of technical controls at different levels, Sendio’s email security solutions make it possible for your users to feel safe when it comes to their email inbox.