Gmail’s Spam Problem and What You Can Do About It

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Will Young

Google’s Gmail has been hailed as one of the best free email services around the world. Gmail has great security features, including 2-step authentication that provides industry-standard protection against hackers. In addition, it has robust spam filters, which will send all your bad incoming mail to the spam folder. Sounds pretty awesome, huh? Unfortunately, just like any other great things, it’s not all good.

Recently, Google’s Gmail users got a nasty surprise when its filters failed to keep spam mail out of their primary inbox. Some of the messages that found their way into the primary inbox are said to have contained exploitative and harmful content.

Normally, Gmail spam filters work efficiently to keep out unsolicited messages from the primary inbox as they are likely to contain malware, phishing attempts and other harmful content. These messages are held in the spam folder for about 30 days before they are deleted.

Unfortunately, a bug in their email filter system failed. This allowed the delivery of unsolicited messages to the primary inbox of Gmail users. Angered by the intrusion, Gmail users took to Twitter and other social platforms to express their frustrations.

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Responding to the uproar, Google said the spam issue was part of a larger problem which also delayed messages. As a result of the build-up, some emails managed to sneak past the spam filters before they were given a once-over.

This is not the first time Gmail has delivered spam messages into users’ primary inboxes. In 2019, Gmail users reported receiving unwanted and unsolicited emails in their primary inboxes. Hours later, Google changed Gmail’s status from green to orange, signifying a service disruption. Google said the issue had been resolved without giving details of the problem.

While Google usually rushes in to deal with the bugs in Gmail’s spam filters when users report receiving unsolicited messages, you are still likely to receive unwanted messages in your primary inbox from certain addresses even when Gmail’s spam filters are working overtime.

Report or block
To take charge of your Gmail account and keep out spam, use the Report or Block options. These features are under the three-dotted button at the top of the mailbox.

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If you do not want to block or report the offending account, you can use the Filter option. Filtering means that similar messages will not appear in your primary inbox, rather they will be directed to your spam folder. To use the filter feature, click or tap the three-dotted button as prescribed above and choose the “Filter Messages Like These” option.

While there is little you can do about Gmail’s failure to keep spam out, using the report, block and filter options will help to keep out unsolicited and harmful content from getting into your primary inbox.

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