Preventing spam

We all receive waves of unsolicited (and downright yucky) emails coming in from time to time… yet few of us can give up online activity. Sometimes it just gets unbearable; I remember the day that I got 600 spam emails!

Here are some spam-fighting ideas. Most of these ideas don’t cost much — whether you use them or not.

  1. Use a bunch of email addresses. It’s pretty cheap to get a domain, park it with an Internet service provider, and generate lots of email addresses. Even a basic Comcast account allows you to use 7 email addresses. When doing an online purchase from a new vendor give them a unique address that you have set up — say The next vendor gets Hey, it works. We do that and we also shut off 5 or 6 email addresses per year. These are email addresses that have been picked up by hackers or listserv readers. It’s great because there is no pain in shutting off an email address that is only used by one legit customer. You can keep track of email addresses using KeePass, a free tool that’s great for tracking this sort of stuff.
  2. Never put your email address in regular text on a web site. This is a high priority. The directory of a PI website listed the disposable address that we use. Before I finally convinced the webmaster to fix the site our address was getting spam, being changed, getting more spam … every few months. Of course you want your email address out there. Just make sure that it is shown as a .gif image or hidden in a way that Internet spiders can’t find it. A clue that there’s a problem is finding your disposable email address via a Bing search.
  3. Deal with a good Internet Service Provider. My current favorite is Rackspace.
  4. Thank the heroes who are cutting down on spam. Microsoft has been suing spammers out of business and FireEye has been chasing them down with technology.