This is a subject that frequently annoys me, in how some people just don't get it. So here are some pointers. If you know of any more please feel free to leave them in the comments.
If you receive an email from an African prince asking you for money, DO NOT answer it. Even if you are NO fool and know it’s a scam email. Emails such as these are sent out by an email generator. If you reply to it then they know your email is owned and used by a real person, and then you will get more spam emails. Your email address will also be sold to other companies. This is how spammers make their money.
Never click on a link in an email from an unknown source. Never.
Before you subscribe to an email subscription, make sure the company is legitimate, AND they have assured you that your email will not be sold. Some companies make a tonne of money selling email addresses to other companies/spammers.
If you are sent an Email from an unknown source, and it has an “Unsubscribe” link on the bottom of the email, Do NOT click on the link. When you do, it takes you to a website that asks you to enter your email address to take yourself off the list. What you’re actually doing is confirming that the email address they have on file is a good one. Basically, your address can then be sold to any number of spammers. It will only cause more spam (and scams) to appear in your inbox.
There will be legitimate emails you receive from companies that you have signed up for. These are OK (if you know who you are dealing with). If you want to unsubscribe to your legitimate email subscription, click on the link to unsubscribe. Enter your Email. You will generally see a “sorry to see you go...” message. Then go back and unsubscribe for a second time. If you see a message like “ Error: email not found...” then your subscription has been successfully unsubscribed.
Any unsubscribe link that always says "Email address removed..." regardless of how many times you unsubscribe, is lying!
BCC and CC.
BCC (Blind carbon copy) and CC (Carbon copy) is one of my pet hates. Have you received one of those joke emails from a friend, who got theirs from a friend, who got theirs from another friend..and so on? See all those email addresses up the top of the email? They are all visible to every single person this email is sent to. People you don’t know from a bar of soap. Any one of those people could be a spammer. And they now have your email address. You email is toast. This is a mistake people make all the time and it can have some serious consequences. Not just spam. Just think of your child’s nice secure school email account now being accessed by some pervert. Because you or someone else did not BCC their email to you and everyone else they sent it to. It is also considered very unprofessional in the work place.
If you are sending a mass email message to your contacts, use BCC. It will hide every ones email address. If you receive an email from someone who does not use BCC, then tell them to use it dammit!
Bottom line, if you don’t know it, ignore it and delete it. Don’t send mass emails, unless you BCC, and only subscribe to legitimate companies with whom you have been assured will not sell your email address.
Also a good idea is to set up a bogus email address you use only for subscriptions sites, message boards..etc. That way you won’t be annoyed by the inevitable spam going to your every day email account.
When creating an email account, try not to use common words. You will be less likely to receive spam email from a generator that way.
And lastly, change your email password regularly. That way you are less likely to get hacked and lose your email account for good.