Gmail on laptop

Spam email is one of the great annoyances of the digital world, and Gmail is no stranger to it. Not only can these unwanted messages fill up your inbox with useless information, but cybercriminals can also use them to trick you into downloading malware. Spammers will set their sights on your inbox for many reasons, but if you’re sick of getting a flurry of emails you constantly have to delete, there are ways to block email spam for good.

Also known as junk mail or spam mail, spam email is unsolicited email messages often sent in bulk to a large group of recipients. Spam is often used for financial purposes, consisting of harmless messages from advertisers about consumer products you may be interested in. However, scammers take advantage of spam by sending out large-scale email campaigns to steal money. Whether it’s to obtain your personal information or to infect your device with a virus, ransomware, or other types of malware, cybercriminals utilize spam as a form of phishing to plunder your hard-earned cash.

Thankfully, Gmail uses a number of AI-driven filters to detect spam mail and puts it in your inbox’s Spam folder. While this can significantly reduce the amount of cleanup for your inbox, there are some malicious spam emails it may not pick up; spammers can avoid getting caught by Gmail filters. If you’re experiencing a flood of unwanted emails, read on to learn how to block spam email in Gmail.

How to block spam email addresses in Gmail

Sometimes, just opening junk mail can evoke even more spam crowding your inbox. If you are aware of an email address consistently sending spam, you can block the email address in Gmail.

  • Open Gmail on your device.
  • In your inbox, check the box beside the spam email of the sender you wish to block.
Gmail how to block spam mail
  • Click the three vertical dots located at the top bar of your inbox.
  • Click Filter messages like these.
Gmail how to block spam email
  • In the pop-up window, select Create filter.
  • Check the Delete it box and click Create filter.
Gmail how to block spam email

When the email address tries to send you mail, it will automatically be deleted. This is a good way to permanently stop receiving unsolicited messages from a specific sender, especially if they are harmful.

How to report email as spam in Gmail

Deleting spam email is good practice, as it keeps your inbox organized and keeps any malicious links or attachments in the email at bay – like a PDF with a virus. However, this won’t stop spammers from sending more unwanted emails, but Gmail can learn what email addresses to look out for and filter spam if you report an email as spam.

  • Open Gmail on your device.
  • In your inbox, check the box beside the spam email you wish to report.
  • Click the Report spam “!” icon located at the top bar of your inbox.
Gmail how to block spam email

This will notify Gmail of similar junk mail to filter as spam, stopping senders from dispatching any annoying or malicious mail you would normally receive.

How to change your email privacy settings in Gmail

You can avoid getting spam emails in the first place by preventing third parties from having access to your email. All you have to do is change your Gmail’s privacy settings.

  • Open Gmail on your device.
  • Click on your Account icon and select Manage your Google Account.
Gmail how to block spam email
  • A new page will open. On the left-hand sidebar, click Security.
  • Scroll down and select Third-party apps with account access.
Gmail how to block spam email 3
  • Choose the third-party service you wish to stop receiving emails from. Click Remove Access.
Gmail how to block spam email

Google recommends removing access to sites and apps you no longer trust or use, and this method will keep these third-party services from sending spam. Moreover, it will help you find out if there are any unwanted services you didn’t give access to your Google Account data.

Use antivirus software to block malicious email

It can be tricky to determine what spam email is, as hackers can disguise themselves as trustworthy companies to fool you into clicking on these malicious messages. Emails can contain harmful links or attachments filled with malware, which you never want on your device. The good news is you can let one of the best antivirus software services do all the legwork for you, as they have security and privacy features to protect your Gmail.

Services such as Avast One, McAfee, Norton, and more have email protection tools that block malicious links and attachments. To make sure spam email stops any malware damaging your device, or to keep you safe from threat actors hacking your phone through texting and more, make sure to set yourself up with an antivirus.