Why do you need to get rid of spam emails from your inbox? That’s because these emails are just junk emails that are useless. Probably, 90% of spam emails that you receive today are emails from hackers or scammers trying to steal your identity online. The rest of the emails are sent by third-party advertisers whose products you don’t want to use. There are many ways spammers can find your email address information online, so beware of putting your email data where anyone can see it online.

Lots of victims of online privacy violations and identity thefts gave their private information in response to the spam emails that they receive. Such emails are usually written carefully in order to dupe the victims into believing that they are from legitimate businesses or companies. This is why you have to be careful in giving your email address information online, especially if such address is a private email address or an important business address. Here are 5 ways spammers can find your email address online and how to prevent it:

1. They Use A Black Hat Software To Leech Emails Online

Spammers can use a certain software to crawl the web and find email addresses online with certain keywords. This type of software is often offered in the black market and it is in the category of a black hat marketing software. Originally, it is used for email marketers to find potential clients in a not-so-good way, but it has been used by spammers to leech hundreds or even thousands of emails online daily. By using this black hat software, spammers can easily find emails that are scattered on the internet simply by looking for the @ sign.

How To Prevent It: Don’t share your email address on websites where people can see it freely. Only share your email address online with the people or company that you trust.

2. They Found It On Your Social Media Information

If spammers want to target you specifically, they can easily do it by checking your social media profile. This method is not quite effective if spammers want to send spam emails to thousands of email accounts since it takes manual work to do. But, if spammers want to send phishing or scam emails only to a specific people, then this method is very effective. This is because usually people will put their primary email address on their social media page without thinking about the consequences of that simple act.

How To Prevent It: Set your privacy on social media so that the public cannot see your email address and other personal information. Only your social media friends can see it.

3. They Are Buying Lists Of Emails From A Certain Company

Sometimes, bad companies will sell the email address of their customers for hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the value of the people on the list. This is actually quite a common practice for online companies that don’t really care about the user’s privacy. Even your ISP can do it if they want to because sometimes, online companies are just not trustworthy. Another possible way for these companies to sell the customers’ email addresses is when there is a bad employee that is trying to make more money from his job. The employee might sell the list via a black market.

How To Prevent It: Only do business with companies that you trust and ensure that the company doesn’t sell your important information to other third parties.

4. They Steal Your Email Address Using A Fake Service

This method requires the spammers to establish a certain kind of trust between their company and their audience. They will offer a kind of service where the audience can sign up for free online. It can be in the form of a newsletter or e-zine, which can be in any categories of interest. Then, they will offer a kind of bait to lure the audience into entering their email address. The bait can be offered as a chance to win a product, a free report, or something similar. Then, once they’ve got their audience’s emails, they will start spamming them with various advertisements, and they will sell their email list to other third parties as well.

How To Prevent It: Never give your email address to a suspicious website online, especially if they offer something that is too good to be true.

5. They Create Random Email Addresses Using A Hacker Program

There is a kind of hacker programs that is created solely for the purpose of spamming. This software is called a dictionary program because it generates possible email addresses from A to Z. Of course, most of the email addresses are not available, but with this method, there is a chance that you get at least 50 working emails in every 1000 emails that this hacker program can generate. The bad news is that this program can generate thousands of emails in an hour, meaning that there is a chance that it can generate your possible email address during this process.

How To Prevent It: You should create an email address that is hard to guess so that this type of software can’t “accidentally” generate your email address.

Those are the 5 ways spammers can find your email address online and how to prevent it. Always be aware that spammers are lurking around you, and they can send their fake emails anytime. Be sure to delete any junk emails that you get immediately and report to your email provider if necessary. Also, it’s important to encrypt your internet connection using VPN in order to prevent any third parties from monitoring your activity.