We all get a lot of spam emails from both unknown and known sources. Google has its own algorithm to stop most spam mails automatically but still, we receive a lot of such unwanted stuff in our inbox on daily basis. For manual action, Google has provided many inbuilt tools to block spam emails or filter spammers from Gmail accounts. I have listed below some useful tweaks to filter and organize emails from marketing agencies or unwanted sources.
Gmail Spam Criteria
Gmail has its own algorithm to shortlist and mark emails as spam. Apart from Gmail, the user-created filter rules also direct some emails to the spam folder. Gmail, one of the largest and most popular email service providers takes into account some of the below-mentioned factors while blocking or marking the emails as spam.
Backlinks. One of the most significant causes is the hyperlinks pointing to blacklisted or phishing sites. So Gmail will definitely filter any message with such bad links.
Email Address. If there are any discrepancies in the “From”, “Reply” or “CC” headers, Gmail is not going to send these emails to your inbox.
Email Content. Gmail scans all the words in the email message and if it finds any inappropriate word or sentence, it will block the entire email.
IP Address. If in the near past, Gmail has marked some IP address as spam, it will keep on filtering all the emails sent from that (bad) IP address as spam.
User experience. Google’s algorithm studies the user’s engagement metrics to determine whether the user is interested in reading or opening the emails. So if the bounce rate of an email is higher, Gmail will stop such emails and label them as spam emails.
Why do you Get Spam Mails?
All spam emails, you receive, are from both known and unknown sources. Let me share a good example of emails from known sources. A few months I got my car serviced at a service center and upon their request, I filled out the feedback form including my personal email ID. After a few days, I started receiving their promotional emails.
Unknown sources include emails from spammers who get email addresses by adopting the following strategies.
Email guesser tools. Spammers use various email finder tools that are available online to find or guess email addresses. Some of the online websites include hunter.io, email-checker.net, findanyemail.net, and much more.
Buying Email addresses. Some companies also sell email lists. Spammers and marketing agencies make full use of these lists to send you unwanted promotional messages.
Hacking. Hackers steal vital information including email addresses from various organizations.
Steps to Stop Spam in Gmail
To counter all these spam messages, Google has provided many inbuilt blocking features, search buttons, and much more as you read along. Apart from Gmail filter options, there are many tweaks you can use to thwart the spammers from flushing your inbox with spam emails.
User Specific blocking
If you think that you are getting spam emails from a particular person, you can easily block him and Google will rest assured that the sender is put under the spammer list.
Open your inbox in your Gmail account. Now open the mail you want to filter and open the various options from a drop-down box. Select “Block Sender” and you will get a confirmation message that all future messages from this sender will be sent to the SPAM folder.
Most of the promotional emails which are subscriptions offer you the option to unsubscribe newsletter. You can find the unsubscribe option at the end of the email message.
Google also detects emails with unsubscribe links and displays the link at the top of the message along with the sender’s name.
You can also find all the email messages with the unsubscribe option by searching the Gmail account for the “unsubscribe” keyword in the search bar. It will help you to unsubscribe from email messages in bulk.
Create a Filter with Search
This is one of the best methods to filter email messages and organize them by labeling them. For example, you can categorize them by insurance companies, health care, your former company, or any way to want.
- Click the drop-down box in the search box.
- In the next window in the first field, you can either select the default option of All Mail or select Inbox.
- Now you have to filter the emails by various options that include an Email address (“To”, “From”), Subject, has the words, doesn’t have, attachment and charts.
- Once you have filled in the filter type, you need to click on “Create filter with this search”.
- Now you can have several options to deal with the messages. You can archive it, delete it, redirect it (forward it to another address), and much more. The most important options include “Apply the label” and “categorize it”
- In the labeling option, you can either choose pre-defined labels or create a new one. As an example, you can label the emails from the old company as “old colleagues” or your “former company name”.
- You can also categorize the emails according to various inbuilt categories like Personal, Social, Promotions, Updates, forums
The best way to report the suspected emails as SPAM is to flag them. Open the email message and click the flag icon that is located right above the message. That’s it. Now Google will take note of this message and automatically treat the message as SPAM in the future.
Most users do not know that you can use some symbols or words in your existing email address and still receive the mail in your inbox. You can add these aliases to your mail ID while registering online forms. This way it will be easier for you to filter the messages in your account. The three aliases are.
- Plus (+) Sign. You can add some words or a phrase related to the online company after the + sign to filter it. For example, If your mail ID is firstname.lastname@example.org, you can fill the registration form of a dental clinic as email@example.com. Google will ignore (+) sign and anything written after that, and send any promotional emails from that clinic to your inbox. Now you can easily filter all the healthcare messages.
|Note: (+) Sign also works with other email service providers that include iCloud.com, outlook.com, Runbox, and FastMail.FM.|
- Dot tweak. Similarly, you can use a dot tweak in your email address. You can use a dot(.) while filling your details for any free offers online like firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gmail domain Alias. In some forms, you can replace gmail.com with googlemail.com. You can label @googlemail.com with any category name like shopping or travel or any other name related to your registration form.
Be more Organized and Increase Productivity with Gmail Filters
The SPAM and phishing messages are not only annoying but can pose a serious threat to your vital data. So whether you are a home user or a business owner, the above methods are certainly going to help you filter and block SPAM messages. If you find these tweaks helpful do share this article with others.