Email is fantastic - an easy and very cheap way to get in touch with family and friends around the world and quickly share videos and photos. But it comes with some rather less fun and useful elements – one of them being spam.

Spam is digital junk mail, comprising emails that you didn’t want or ask to receive, such as adverts for online chemists and dating sites.

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The Oxford Dictionary definition of spam is: “Irrelevant or unsolicited messages sent over the Internet, typically to large numbers of users, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc.”

Why am I receiving spam email?

Sometimes details are added to a mailing list that might then be sold to scammers, although most reputable companies don’t sell their marketing lists.

Scammers sometimes guess email address and will send a blanket email to similar address, for example: JamesA@XXX, JamesB@XXX and so on.

A marketing email you get from a reputable company - like a retailer - isn't spam. It's legitimate marketing info, so your email spam filters usually won't mark it as spam. If you don't want to receive it look for an 'unsubscribe' option.

Top tips to protected yourself from spam email

1: Never reply to a spam email. Very often spammers guess email addresses, so replying confirms you are a real person. Instead, block the email and/or address.

2: If you get any suspicious email, don’t click any links - they could be phishing scams to get your personal data. Check out our guide: Be aware of phishing emails. If you click a suspicious links change your password as soon as possible.

3: Create an alternative email address for signing up to websites and services.

4: Regularly change your password and use security software. Many BT customers are entitled to free security software called BT Virus Protect.

Tins of spam

What to do if you get a spam email

Email providers - such as BT Mail -  have spam filters, which detects spam email and blocks it, sending it to a special folder.

Although most spam filters are very effective, if one sneaks though you can simply hit the ‘Spam’ button to send it to your spam folder.

If you get regularly spammed you can block specific email addresses, so everything sent from that address will go to your spam folder.

You can also set up a filter so that unwanted email is automatically directed to a separate folder.

It’s worth regularly checking your spam folder to ensure emails you want to receive haven’t accidentally been sent there.

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Sending messages to your Spam folder in BT Mail

1: If you get a spam email, select it and click the Spam button on the top-menu bar.

2: A pop-up box appears asking you to confirm it is Spam. A confirmation message will appear.

3: Click on your Spam folder and you should see the message.

 

Blocking senders of spam email in BT Mail

1: Click the Settings tab and select Blocked senders and click Add.

2: Enter the name of the email address you want to block and click Save.

More on dealing with spam in BT Mail

 

Sending messages to your Spam folder in BT Yahoo Mail

1: Highlight the offending email and click Spam in the top menu bar.

 

Blocking senders of spam email in BT Yahoo Mail

1: Click the cog icon and select Settings.

2: Select Blocked Addresses from the left-hand side and enter the email address you want to ban. Click Block and Save.

More on dealing with spam in BT Yahoo Mail

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