How to Keep Friends from Sending Spam Without Being Rude

stop spammingHave you ever wished you knew some ways to stop your friends from spamming you without being rude? Many people open their email with caution, trying to avoid phishing scams and potentially harmful viruses. However, when the email is coming from a friend, it can be tempting to open it. When it gets to the point where your inbox is becoming cluttered with FWD after FWD and other spammy types of email, enough is enough!

Not only are these unwanted emails taking up valuable space in your mailbox, they may also be exposing your computer to risky things. So how do you go about asking your friend(s) to please stop sending that type of email without offending them or hurting their feelings? Try using the 4 tips below:

1. Work Made Me Do It!

If you happen to have an email account that you primarily use at work, just mention to the friend that you should not really be receiving non-work related emails. In many cases, this may actually be true so you wouldn’t even have to lie. Many workplaces frown on accessing personal email accounts while at work, or from having messages unrelated to work sent to the company email address. Some businesses even monitor the computer use of their employees, which gives you the perfect reason.

2. Send A Polite Little Email Of Your Own

You could solve the problem by sending an email message to all guilty parties who love to send along every FWD they received. Inform them that your computer was put at risk by a recent email and that you would still love to receive personal correspondence from them, however, you will no longer be opening FWDs and attachments. Ask them to please refrain from sending any further email of that type, because you will simply have to delete it.

[Recommended reading: E-mail Etiquette That You Are Expected to Know]

3. Switch Email Accounts

You can use either of the above reasons, along with switching to another email account, if necessary. Either use the new email account as your new primary account, and have people continue to send the forwards, joke of the day, and other silly types of email to the old account which was already becoming cluttered with them anyway. Or, you could try to salvage your current email and have the “junk” emails sent over to the new email account. Either way, it still gives all of your friends, especially the ones that feel bad luck will find them if they don’t forward the email to twenty people in the next five minutes a place to contact you.

4. Block As A Last Resort

Obviously, no one wants to offend their friends. However, if they continue to disrespect your boundaries or requests regarding this matter, you may need to block them from sending you any further emails. Unfortunately, this also means that if they send something of importance, like a personal email or photographs, you will no longer receive those either.

[Suggested reading: A Beginners Guide to Filtering Spam]


By explaining to your friends that you simply no longer have time to read dozens of FWDs each day, or that you fear your computer, or possibly your job might be at risk over them, most people will respect your desires and stop sending this type of email to you.

Thoughts, suggestions, comments? Let us know.

[Image credit: Stuart Miles,]


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