How did Spammers Get my Email Address?

How did Spammers Get my Email Address?

By Jeandre de Beer

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It seems that everybody receives spam emails – no matter how careful you are. How does spammers get our email addresses and is there anything we can do to hide ourselves from them?

The truth is – there is no fool proof way of preventing spam.

We will discuss a few steps to protect your email address the best we can.


But how do they get your address?


The easiest way for spammers to collect large lists of good, active email addresses is via leaked account databases. These leaks happen on a regular basis – this is even the case for large corporate companies.

Adobe, Yahoo, Sony and LinkedIn is just a few companies that have been attacked by hackers and had their databases stolen.

Spammers then use these leaked databases and add millions of email addresses to their email lists. They know that the majority of these email addresses should be active, so these databases are an excellent resource for them.

There is really not much you can do to protect yourself from a spammer getting your email address in this way.


Must you click on links you receive in Spam mails to unsubscribe?


When you receive a spam email you should avoid clicking on links in the email.  The spammer won’t remove you from their lists. If you click on any links in the mail they sent – they will note your click and their systems will identify your email address as being active.

As soon as they know your email is active – they will start sending you larger amount of spam messages.


They also scan the internet for email addresses


Spammers look for email addresses mentioned on company websites or social media platforms. For example, someone may post a comment like “Email me at”. The spammer would then add this address to their spam lists.


Buying Email lists from companies


Some dodgy companies also sell their client email database to spammers. Make sure that you do not use your main email address to register on sites that are not well known.


What can be done to minimize the risk?


On a previous blog post we discussed what steps can be taken to minimize the risk. Here is the link


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