Why do I get spam?

Why do i get spam or suddenly started getting spam?

You may receiving spam simply because you have been using your email address a long time and many people, companies and mailing lists know it and send you things you may not want. If you never received much spam but suddenly started getting a lot of spam its usually because

a) You signed up for a mailing list or two and may not even remember.
b) You gave your email address to a site, even a well known one, that sells its email list to advertisers and now you are on their lists. This is probably the most common cause.
c) A spammer sends out millions of emails daily, if they randomly sent one to you and it didn't bounce back to them, they they know your email address is real and will automatically start sending you more.

How much spam is normal or a lot?

There is no real "normal" amount but as an example, my email address which i have used for over a decade gets about 150 Spam emails EVERY DAY.  Someone that joins many mailing lists and is very activate online can receive much more.

Can I stop it

Simply put, No. Think of it just like regular postal mail at your home. You cant stop someone from sending you a letter in the mail. You cant ask the post office not to deliver the local grocery store advertisement. All you can do is throw it away when it comes.

What does not cause more spam? (misconceptions)

a) Changing internet providers
b) Buying something online at most legitimate websites. (although some sell do your email address)
c) Using public WiFi

What can be done to reduce the spam in my inbox?

Since you cant stop it from coming in, all you can do is filter it.

There are many choices for software that detects spam. Why it wont catch everything it can reduce most the spam getting into your inbox.  The problem is the more strict the filtering, the most spam it blocks but the higher the risk of legit emails being flagged as spam so the trick is to find the right balance.
1) If you use Outlook you already have a half decent spam filter built in. Simply Right Click a Spam email choose JUNK then Block Sender or Mark as Spam.  You will need to do this for all spam messages and the more you do, the more Outlook learns and the more it will block. If a legit email gets into your spam, Right Click and click JUNK then say Not Spam or Do Not Block.

2) Get a program such as www.cloudmark.com or any of these in this Top 10 review. These are commercial programs that check your email as they come in and delete the spam or move it to a Spam folder.

3) If you have control over your website domain name, use a service such as www.spamsoap.com which filters the emails before they even get to your inbox software.

4) Change email addresses if possible to a free Gmail address, Google GMail has excellent spam filtering.

Some things to remember

- If your email is a work address that you use heavily, lets say you get 100 legit emails a day and 10 spams, that's not bad, live with it and just press DELete. Costs you nothing and takes a fraction of a second.
-If you are getting hundreds a day, consider changing your email address if possible and notifying legitimate contacts of the new address.
-Consider having two email addresses. One for your work and friends and one that you use when signing up for things or placing orders so that any junk will just go in there.