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Spam: it clogs your inbox, tests your trust and sends you raging through your morning emails! Fight back against the spammers and become your inbox’s proactive gatekeeper.

We’ve created a quick guide to put the control back in your hands, showing you exactly how best to deal with spam and shut down the spammers behind it. The most effective place to start is to report the spam directly to the organization responsible for the spam email’s original IP address. These organizations have the motivation to get back to you because their reputation is directly on the line. To protect themselves, they’re more likely to take action once reported. 

To accurately report spam, you’ll need to find this crucial information:

To find the originating IP address, you’ll need a full view of the spam email’s headers. There are few ways to access this as every email provider is different. Here are a few places to start:

Gmail:

  1. Open your Gmail account
  2. Select the email you want to trace
  3. Click on the vertical line of three dots to open the drop-down menu
  4. Click “Show Original” and see the IP address on the line marked SPF

Yahoo:

  1. Open your Yahoo Mail account
  2. Open the email message you want to trace
  3. Above the message, click on the More icon
  4. Select “View View Raw Message”. This opens a new tab where you can see the email header

Microsoft Outlook:

  1. Open your Outlook email account
  2. Double click on the email message you want to trace
  3. Go to File > Properties
  4. You’ll find the IP address in Internet Headers

Apple Mail:

  1. Open your Apple Mail account
  2. 2. Select the message you want to trace
  3. Go to View > Message > Raw Source to open the email header

Now you’ve located that collection of dots and numerals that make an IP address, you can search for more info about that address using an IP address locator. There are a few websites that have this capability including www.ip2location.com, http://whois.domaintools.com , or take a look at the other IP lookup options available on Google.

Once the search engine has located the IP address, it will show you the email address to contact. Look for emails that feature words like “abuse”, “support” or “admin”.

From here you can compose an email to that address, outlining a few key details:

Simply state that you’re receiving spam from the IP address and can this please be stopped.

Spam assassins

If you’d prefer to pass the matter on to some internet experts, many countries have government associated groups that you can report the spam to. Search “Reporting Spam” and your country name in Google and you’ll find the government groups relevant to you. They’ll ask a few basic questions of you and report on your behalf.

Another website that can help is SpamCop.net . This is a free reporting service that helps you to determine the origins of an unwanted email and reports it to the relevant internet service provider.

Of course you can always mark individual emails as spam, but the avenues described above can cut off the spammers at their root, stopping the problem at step one.

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