It’s helpful to maintain a special folder for spam that seems to be specifically targeted to you or generally seeking to obtain personal information or account details. You can name the folder something like “Spam Analysis” and save questionable messages to that folder.
Identifying Unique Spam
General junk mail would be those that say you’ve won a $300 gift certificate from CVS. Those can simply be marked as spam, and probably most of the time they are automatically identified.
Spam that makes its way into your inbox is something to be concerned about because that means the typical measures to identify the message didn’t work.
You may receive emails that seem to be from family or friends based on the sender name, but when you examine the message more carefully, you’ll see the email address of the sender is not one you recognize as belonging to the person named as the sender.
You may receive emails that seem to be from companies you do business with. These are more likely to trick you into clicking a link, especially if they seem to be related to a recent order or request.
Benefits and Goals
The reason for saving such emails is to improve your ability to quickly identify some of the persuasive and convincing scams that are sucking people in. It also helps you identify patterns and common sources. As you begin to observe and learn about methods being used to trick you, hopefully you’ll be more resistant to such scams. Having a dedicated folder will help if you later want to ask your IT person to review some messages you weren’t certain about.
A potential drawback of saving certain junk emails is that your email service or software may become trained to be less likely to automatically identify those messages. Also, a search on a keyword like “Amazon” might turn up a list of search results that include some of the emails in the spam folder. Always be alert and careful not to click on any links in emails unless you’re certain they are legitimate.
In balance, for some people, using the spam analysis folder can be a helpful learning tool.