5 Dumbest Things To Do With Email Spam


The 5 dumbest things to do with email spam: how many do you do?

  1. Open it. How are you going to enable the possible injection of malware onto your computer by a cybercriminal if you don’t open it?
  2. Click on its links. That’s how the spam email gets you to a webpage that can also inject your computer with malware…duh!!
  3. Respond to it. How else is the spammer going to know that your email address is alive and well…and therefore worth more to the people he’s going to sell it to?
  4. Send back a searing reply telling the spammer to never send email to you again. Great move…another way to let him know your email address is valuable to him.
  5. Click on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the message. Still another way to let Mr. Spammer know your email address is a good one to sell.


Atsign dollarsignsSeriously, spam is very dangerous these days. It used to be just a nuisance that would clog up our email-received lists with marketing pitches for products…some of which we might want—most of which we didn’t. However, now cybercriminals use email messages to lure us to reply or click on links (some activate merely by opening it) that will lead to an injection of malware onto our computers. They do this to steal our personal identification, steal funds from our bank and credit card accounts, and/or turn our computers into a slave robot (bot) that will send similar sinister emails to our email list of friends and associates. All at the command of the cybercriminal’s central control computer. These messages that try to lure us are called “phishing” emails because they’re baiting us and hoping we’ll bite the bait and be hooked…like a fish. However, they’re still spam…unwanted and unrequested email messages.

Most email software looks for spam and either deletes it or files it in a spam or trash folder for you to decide whether you want to keep it or not. That’s a help, and you should treat these “flagged” emails as guilty until proven innocent. However, there are other email messages, particularly the “phishing” kind, that won’t be caught by the spam filter; some even from your friends and associates. Therefore, you must develop a discipline in dealing with emails that will result in keeping your computer…and your bank account, safe. You can begin by turning the 5 dumbest things above into a best practice against spam; just put a “Don’t” in front of each one and tape it to your computer’s display to remind you what to do and not do.  Next, you can become more educated about email, spam, phishing, and malware by visiting US CERT’s tips on safe computing.

Remember: be very careful…it’s dangerous out there.

Please comment on this subject; we all learn from each other when our views and opinions are shared.

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Remember, home computing is a blast…keep it safe, productive and enjoyable.

Best regards,





Filed under Internet, security

6 responses to “5 Dumbest Things To Do With Email Spam

  1. Pingback: The 5 dumbest things you can do online

  2. Pingback: Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#96) « What's On My PC

  3. Hi Paul,

    Well said.

    Now, if you can only get the “less than interested” typical user to pay attention to your excellent advice, we would all benefit.

    Good luck with that! 🙂



    • Bill,
      Thanks for stopping by. I agree, it’s going to take some luck…and then some. I keep trying to put the advice, as you do, in different settings; using humor, fear, and I’m not sure what it’s going to take. However, I’m not ready to give it up–not by a long shot. Thanks for the kind words, and your constant encouragement.

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