Imagine this: you log into your email account to find that your inbox is full. As you scroll through the messages, you see a few too many chain emails forwarded from grandma, and a bunch of promotions from companies you’ve never heard of and in languages you can’t actually pronounce. Yeah, we’ve ALL been there! You (and your grandma) have fallen victim to spam. While deleting these messages seems like a quick enough fix, it’s not enough to get them to stop making it into your inbox all together. However, there are steps you can take to get rid of those pesky too-good-to-be-true messages for good, but first, there are some details to know!
Back in 2003, the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) was put in place to establish requirements for those who send commercial email. It spells out penalties for spammers and companies whose products are included within spam communications, and gives consumers the right to request that they stop receiving spam from any such mailer.
To indicate whether you are a victim of spam, the following criteria must be met:
- The message has been sent to you multiple times.
- The message is being forced on you, since you did not ask to receive it.
- The header information and/or subject line of the communication is misleading.
- The sender’s location is not listed anywhere within the communication.
- There is no option to opt-out or stop future messages.
If you are receiving spam emails, make sure to block the sender and set up filters within your email account to stop such addresses from contacting you again. It is also important to report the sender to protect yourself, and potentially many others, from continued contact from such individuals.
If you are regularly sending marketing emails to clients and customers, industry partners, or other contacts, you should be diligent to follow similar guidelines to avoid being reported as a spammer. Most online communication services hold their clients to these regulations, but it is important to follow them regardless of your e-communication distribution methods.