Knowledge Base

What to Do if You're Spammed

Spam is an ongoing issue that costs businesses and individuals billions of dollars in lost time and resources. Spam includes unsolicited commercial email (UCE) and other unwanted bulk email.

Preventing Spam

You can't totally prevent spam but there are some measure you can take that will greatly reduce the likelihood that your email address will be poached by an evil spammer. Some preventive measures include:

  • Be super careful about who you give your email address to, including websites you may have entered your information into or anyone you might email.

  • Check the virus and malware status on your computer often, and make sure they're up to date.

  • Make sure your website is also free of malware, security, or other vulnerabilities (make sure you're running the latest versions of any third-party script or code).

  • Don't list your email address anywhere public where everyone may access it.

  • Use secure passwords for your email and hosting accounts to keep hackers from finding them out and logging in with your account (try a service like LastPass to store your passwords and keep things more secure).

  • Make sure your friends and family are BCCing you, not CCing you, when they send out emails to a long list of recipients (or request that they not include you) so that your email isn't read by lots of recipients

  • Harden your WordPress installation (against intruders, hackers and spammers), if you have one.

Stop the Spam!

Once spammers figure out your email address it's very hard to prevent them from sending you spam. There are lots of options for filtering your email to reduce spam, however.
We have several in-house filtering tools to offer that can assist in filtering the spam from your web hosting inbox.

  • Custom User Level Filters

  • Spam Assassin

  • BoxTrapper (disabled on Shared and Reseller accounts)

Lots of third-party email clients, like Outlook, have spam filtering features built into their programs. Using a combination of these tactics can go a long way to helping keep spam out of your inbox.

How Spammers Get Your Emails

Spammers can harvest email address or send spam to you in a multitude of ways... it's hard to stop. Here are some ways spammers get your email addresses without YOU giving it to them directly:

  • Your computer could have a virus or malware on it that records everything you type or reads everything going out over your internet connects, which makes it easy for spammers to get your email address, password or other confidential info.

  • Another computer on your network could have a virus or malware that collects email address and other info passing through the network.

  • A script on your website might have a security vulnerability that lets a hacker access info on your hosting account.

  • One of the servers your email passed through (they are typically relayed from server to server until they get to the intended recipient) could have software on it that allows someone to collect email address and other info that's passing through the server.

  • Your internet service provider (ISP) could be gathering up emails and selling them, which is unlikely but has been known to happen.

  • Your email address is super easy to guess.

  • A hacker may have obtained hosting control panel login info to retrieve your email address.

Other Ways of Harvesting Your Info

It is all too common that people unknowingly volunteer their email address or leave it out absentmindedly, making your email address easy for a spammer to pick up. Methods through which spammers obtain voluntary email address include:

  • You provided your email address to a website, such as when you signed up or commented on a post, and they gave your email address to spammers (intentionally or unintentionally).

  • You signed up for a mailing list and forgot you signed up.

  • You signed up for a mailing list, and they gave your email address (intentionally or unintentionally) to spammers.

  • You sent an email to someone, and they forwarded it to someone else who harvested your email.

  • Someone sent you an email also addressed to other recipients, and they used TO or CC instead of BCC, making your email address visible to anyone who received the email (or who was forwarded the email thereafter).

  • You used your email on a discussion list that reveals your email address to other users.

  • Your email address is on your business card (or posted where people can find), and someone decided to add you to their mailing list without your permission.

Our Position on Spam

We DO NOT and WILL NOT give away, sell or disclose email addresses in any way, shape or form. We value the security and privacy of our customers and hate spam as much as you do.

Beyond the moral stand we have against spam, we also have a financial incentive to reduce spam on our network since spam takes up resources that cost money, such as bandwidth, disk space and security administrators' time. The more spam passing through our system, the higher our costs. From a business standpoint, doing anything that increases spam makes no sense.


Did you find this article helpful?

* Your feedback is too short