The two main things that irritate every computer user’s existence are spam and viruses. Spam is the unwanted emails you get in your inbox — the ads telling you that you’ve won the lottery or encouraging you to buy products. Viruses are those annoying little computer programs that invade your computer and cause it to work slowly or crush your system — or that email strange things to everyone in your address book. The good news is, there are many ways that you can do to limit your vulnerability to spam and viruses. The bad news is, the people who send spam and viruses are always one step ahead, so you can never eliminate them completely. We have some helpful tips on how you can minimize spams and viruses.

What You Can Do About Spam

  1. Make sure you are using the latest version of your email software. E.g. Outlook 2013 is more or less the same as Outlook 2010 except for its looks. Instead of buttons and icons you will find sections for mail, calendar, people tasks and many more.
  2. Make sure you are familiar with your email software’s built-in anti-spam protection, so you can adjust it to the level that suits you.
  3. Consider using an additional anti-spam service or software plug-in to enhance your email client’s spam filtering capabilities.
  4. If you host your email domain with Swish Online, you should be familiar with your Control Panel’s spam settings. Make sure that DKIM is enabled under Email Authentication.
  5. Ensure that your company domain name does not have email enabled for a ‘catch-all’ or ‘default’ email address. The setting for your default address should be “Discard with error to sender”. To learn more, see our article on Understanding Your Default Email Address.
  6. As much as possible avoid using automatic ‘Out of Office’ replies (or similar) that automatically send replies to incoming messages. The bounced message will confirm to the spammer that your email address is valid and it will lead to more spam.
  7. Never reply to spam, even to ask to be taken off of a mailing list. Again, this will confirm that your email is valid.
  8. You can try using a contact form instead of displaying your email address on your website.
  9. Create a “junk” email address (such as a Gmail or Hotmail address) that you use just for filling out forms from companies you suspect might spam you.
  10. Change your email address. If you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still getting too much spam, it may be time to change your email address.

What Does Swish Online Do to Limit Spam ?

Swish Online’s servers utilise the highly efficient MailScanner or SpamAssassin software to limit spam. These filters use a diverse range of tests to identify unsolicited bulk email, more commonly known as Spam. These tests are applied to email headers and content to classify email using advanced statistical methods. As long as you keep your default mail setting turned on, much of your spam should be caught before it reaches your inbox.


What You Can Do About Viruses

  1. Purchase anti-virus software and keep it up to date. This is especially essential if you run a Windows operating system. Linux and Mac users are much less vulnerable to viruses.
  2. Keep up-to-date with all security updates for your operating system, as well as your email and browser applications.
  3. Avoid downloading any kind of software off the Internet unless you absolutely trust the source.
  4. Never give permission for a Macro to run in any Microsoft document without double-checking with the sender first to be sure the macro is legitimate.
  5. Never open any email attachment from someone you don’t know.
  6. Never open an email attachment that ends in EXE, COM or VBS — even from someone you know, unless you know the original source of the program. They are often included in forwarded email from friends that say something like “This is cool. Check it out!” While you may get a fun slideshow or animation, you may also get a virus loaded onto your computer.
  7. If you host your email domain with Swish Online, be sure to keep the default Virus Scanning turned on in your Control Panel.