How to avoid receiving spam

3 mins
Receive and read emails

Spam is one of the worst aspects of email. Proton Mail(new window) provides many different features to help you combat spam(new window). In this article we share tips and tricks on how to identify, avoid, and deal with incoming spam.

Using + to trace spam

Some websites collect your information to sell to third parties, such as advertisers. To detect this, you can use a custom tag in your email address for every site you sign up for.

For instance, if you were joining a Washington Post email list, you could sign up with This will deliver the email into your account, while allowing you to identify where you input the email address.

If you receive email to this address from anyone other than the Washington Post, you will know they either sold your data or experienced a data breach.

To learn more about using + in your email address, see our guide to types of email addresses and aliases(new window).

Spam filtering

Proton Mail features an Allow List and a Block List that gives you manual control over the spam filtering process. These lists are uniquely customized for your account. You can update your lists in the settings of your account.

Learn more about spam filtering, Allow List, and Block List

Add additional addresses

You can create additional Proton Mail addresses by upgrading your account(new window). You can then use dedicated addresses for different purposes(new window).

For instance, you could use one to sign up for information from websites who may not be 100% trustworthy. If you start receiving spam to this account, you can then disable the address and no longer receive mail to it.

Use custom filters

Proton Mail also supports adding custom filters(new window). With custom filters, you can set your inbox to automatically detect certain message patterns and send those emails directly to spam or trash.

For example, if you are getting a lot of newsletter or registration spam, a filter like this can be used to almost entirely eliminate the problem.

Filter to move newsletters to your spam folder

Learn how to use custom filters(new window)

Read terms of use

In addition to the above tip, always try to avoid entering your email address in untrustworthy websites(new window). These websites have a reputation of tricking users into entering their personal information only to sell it to third parties.

Be sure to read the terms of service and spam policy of the website you are on before you enter your email address in any form on the internet. Some forms and websites will explicitly state that you are providing them with the right to sell or share your information and/or use it to communicate with you for any reason in the future.

Messages received from unrecognized senders should be treated with extreme caution, as they may contain malicious code. We recommend not opening any emails or attachments from email addresses you have not verified as a legitimate sender.


If you are receiving marketing messages that you would rather not receive, it is best to unsubscribe from the email list rather than put those messages in your spam folder.

You will find an unsubscribe link at the bottom of most marketing emails. If you do not see one, try responding back to the email with the word “unsubscribe”. In most countries, organizations are required by law(new window) to remove you from their marketing lists once you have requested this be done.

Still receiving spam?

If you are still getting spam after following these steps, send an email to with the headers of the spam messages. Our team can take a closer look at it and try to resolve the issue.

Learn more about how to check email headers in Proton Mail(new window)

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