TechBite: 2 Weapons to Fight Spam

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By Steve Bass

Fight Spam with a Disposable E-Mail Address

Al Saxton, a TechBite subscriber, uses a disposable e-mail address for newsletter subscriptions. If he sees an influx of spam, he stops using the address, creates a new one, and re-subscribes. No fuss or muss.

The easiest free disposable e-mail service I’ve tried is Spambox. Give it your real e-mail address so the message can be forwarded; decide how long you want the e-mail address to last (up to one year); and click the “Generate Spambox” button. Then use the new disposable address to subscribe to newsletters. (Don’t aggravate me by asking if Spambox is collecting addresses in order to spam, y’ hear?)

Here’s one of my disposables: mailto:A6H1Rs1bgjKdFAhj@666.joliekemulder.nl

One potential downside to this trick is the fact that the address may be seen as spam by your ISP when it’s forwarded to your real e-mail address. You can find out by experimenting with it.

‘Plus Addressing’ to Tackle Spam

I wrote about “plus addressing” years ago in PC World. It’s a trick to spot where spam is coming from and stop it from landing in your inbox. Basically, you use a unique e-mail address when you sign up for a newsletter or Web service. If you start receiving spam at that distinct e-mail address, you know it’s been compromised.

It’s similar to the above trick, but you do it right from your e-mail program.

TechBite’s columnist Steve Bass and PC World Contributing Editor publishes a free weekly newsletter with commentary on the technology products he loves, the strategies for getting the most out of them,and the gotchas that can cause computing misery. Sign up for the newsletter here

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One thought on “TechBite: 2 Weapons to Fight Spam

  1. Why is it I never see Cloudmark Spam Protector when someone talks about Spam Control. For $29.99/yr Cloudmark sets up easy and your done. There is a Block and a Unblock box and that’s it. I highly recommend joining the Cloudmark anonymous national site. Here your spam is marked by others before it ever gets to your inbox. If you decide otherwise just highlight your mail and click on Block or Unblock. You will get a message asking if you want to keep that decision with the senders email. Check yes or no. Within a week Cloudmark will know your email ritual. I gave it the Acid Test. One of my accounts became a spam haven. There were only 2 articles I read in it. In 2 days it would have over 350 emails. I just used to delete the account. So I downloaded 364 emails and got 8 in my Inbox. 2 were spam. Amazing!

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