Spam messages (or “junk email”) are unsolicited and unwanted emails for services and products usually sent out to bulk email lists. These sales pitches may be related to anything, including health products, adult websites, software, clothing, financial services and many other things. The products and services may be legitimate, or may be fraudulent. Or, the emails may be trying to get personal information from you in a specific type of fraud called “phishing.”
Junk email is different from spam. It is email from a legitimate organization but its topic may not be of interest to you. If you don’t want to hear about every sale, every single day, from that store you shopped at one time, use the unsubscribe link in the email. By law in Canada, all companies sending commercial electronic messages should set up an unsubscribe mechanism, which is usually a link found at the bottom of the message.
Marking a junk email as spam will usually not help as spam filters can distinguish emails from legitimate companies and will not permanently block them.
How to protect yourself
- Do not feel obligated to give out your email address.
- Share your email address only with companies and organizations you trust to keep it private, and avoid posting your email address on personal websites, website forums or newsgroups.
- Avoid posting your email address online. If you need to do so, distort your email address so spam engines cannot pick it up. For example, type "john dot doe at bell dot net" instead of “email@example.com”.
- Ensure you have a spam filter for your email and that it is activated.
- For any email you receive that you feel is spam, either mark it as spam or move it to the spam folder.
- Do not respond to spam and do not use the unsubscribe button as it can validate the email address for spammers.
- Do not use your work email for any non-work related matters.
- If signing up to forums, offers or less important services, use an alternative (temporary) email address from a free service such as Hotmail or Gmail.
Bell employs rigorous spam filters for its email services.