Saturday, November 10, 2007

SPAM - way too much

How many of us lose email we want because we have spam filters that accidentally throw it away? I've had an email address since the 70's when I dialed into compuserve with a terminal and a 300 baud modem. I've had a domain since the 80's when I had a UNIX box on my desk at home. That means a lot of people have been able to scam my email address over the years and I get a ton of SPAM. What can you do?

I have a friend who's almost computer illiterate, but I got him on the web with his business back in the 90's and he's got the same SPAM problem I do. I don't recommend this as an experiment, but it sure shed some light on his SPAM problem.

He managed to click on the wrong thing a couple of weeks ago and got a virus. A nasty one that required he have XP reinstalled on the computer. We saved most of his data, but he was off the net for almost a whole week. When we got his email client reinstalled and back online there was an interesting result.

He has one email address that he's had for almost 10 years. He has three other email addresses that I setup for him in the last year for other activities like communicating with students (he's a teacher) and special projects. After a week of not checking, these three email addresses had 24 email messages combined waiting to be downloaded. The 10 year old email address had over 3,000 messages waiting to clog his inbox.

For me the lesson is, if you want to ditch spam change your email address. I know that's not possible in some cases because it's a business address with lots of clients. However, if you get yourself another email address or two, and slowly start weaning your clients and friends over to these new addresses, eventually you can slam the door on the SPAM and free your inbox. You'll have to keep the new addresses close to the vest, and clients will leak them, but it will provide some relief for some period of time.

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