How can I protect myself from SPAM e-mails?

Although the mass sending of advertising is now very strictly regulated under Swiss law, spam remains a problem at the global level. It is therefore advisable to take measures to avoid receiving spam.

Be careful about giving your details:

  • Only give your personal data (e-mail address, mobile phone number) to trustworthy persons and organisations.  Never answer messages which ask you for your password or data for accessing your bank account, even if the message seems to come from your bank. No responsible company asks for confidential data from its customers electronically.
  • In online forms on the internet, enter alternative e-mail addresses to protect your main address. For example, you could use free e-mail addresses.
  • If possible, ensure that your e-mail address is not published on websites. If it is necessary to publish an address, make it impossible for it to be harvested, e.g. by displaying the address as an image file or by writing the @ character as "at".

Filter your messages and protect your computer

  • Activate the spam and virus filters which your internet service provider runs on its mail server.
  • If you still receive spam messages, leave them unopened and delete them. Deactivate the automatic preview function in your e-mail client (e.g. Microsoft Outlook).
  • Give your computer additional protection by installing firewalls and virus scanners. Keep them updated - along with your operating system - by installing regular updates. This is essential as spam messages are frequently used to spread viruses, worms and trojans. In the worst case, the result may be that you own computer is misused to send spam.

Protect your correspondents' data

  • If you send one message to many recipients at the same time, enter their addresses in the "blind carbon copy" (Bcc: field). Urge your acquaintances to do the same. You will prevent your e-mail addresses being disseminated around the world.
  • You should never forward electronic chain messages. Virus warnings and free mobile phone campaigns are usually bad jokes or hoax mail.

Specialist staff
Last modification 01.04.2007

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