This article details the method I use to prevent most of my spam. It has proven to be working well so far. This works for any mail client, such as Outlook Express, Windows Mail, ThunderBird or even GMail itself!
By creating an e-mail alias for every entity you share your e-mail address with, you are able to deactivate compromised e-mail addresses at the source.
So, when you are signing up for a GameSpot.Com newsletter, you will need to create a special forwarder email alias like email@example.com (with example.com being your personal domain) that forwards all mails to firstname.lastname@example.org to your real e-mail address.
Your real e-mail address should only be known to the hosting company to forward your mail. It should not be used anywhere else.
First, register a web domain if you don't have one yet. I recommend Namecheap.com (9.69 USD) for affordable domain registration. It comes with Free Email Forwarding so you don't need to apply for any hosting plans.
This is the only expense that you have to make, but most of us should already have a domain. When you think of the name to register, make it personal and remember that this domain is going to stick with you for a very long time.
If you are not using NameCheap as recommended above, you need a hosting plan that comes with unlimited mail aliases. Alternatively, you can use Zoneedit's MailForward at no cost with the domain.
For the rest of this article, the domain I am going to use as an example is www.example.com.
Preferably from your ISP as it is the fastest connection you can use to send and receive mails. Do not give this address to anyone else except your hosting provider. NO ONE ELSE. This is where you will receive all forwarded mails.
If you ever need to move to another ISP, you will simply have to update your e-mail at your hosting provider.
The e-mail address should not be common. Some spammers generate e-mail names from a domain so if you use something like email@example.com, you don't even need to post it online to get spammed as 'john' is a very common name. Something like firstname.lastname@example.org is fine too.
We will need to use GMail for their spam filter for legitimate mails directed to you. The e-mail address you create here will be set as the catch-all alias for your domain.
So for example, if you meet Peter, your old friend at a bar nearby and give your e-mail address as email@example.com, you will need to remember to create the alias when you return home. What if you forget to? This is where GMail's account will help. When Peter sends you an e-mail to an alias you have not created, it will direct to your catch-all alias, which goes to your GMail. GMail's spam filters have a high rate of discerning spam so you will still be able to receive Peter's mail in the end.
Again, create an account with a name that is not common. You will easily get spammed with an email like firstname.lastname@example.org. Get something like email@example.com. Remember, this is only for spam filtering use.
Once you have created the e-mail address at G-Mail, configure it for the catch-all alias at your domain. You will also need to set GMail to forward received emails to your mailbox.
This is the challenging part when you are starting off. For example, if you have 3 friends named Tom, Dick and Harry, you will need to create 3 forwarder aliases: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. You will have to let them know your new e-mail address.
Again, try to avoid words like Tom, Dick and Harry in the e-mail alias.
Create a Favorite or bookmark to the Add New Alias page of your hosting company's Control Panel so that you don't always have to enter it manually.
Every time you need to submit your e-mail address, create an forwarder e-mail for the site. For example, if you sign up for a Microsoft Passport account, create an alias email@example.com and use it to setup your account.
This makes it easy to catch companies who are compromising your e-mail address to unauthorized third parties as well as to allow you to close the compromised e-mail address once you discover that it has been compromised.
When you discover spam coming through the reply-to address, change it to firstname.lastname@example.org and remove the alias for xxx_1 to redirect it to GMail so that people who send to your previous alias will have to go through GMail's spam filters.
Also, set your outgoing SMTP server to use your hosting server's SMTP, as a recipient's spam filters may discard your e-mail if they find that the domain you are sending from does not match the SMTP server you are using.
Questions, Errors and Queries?
Please post any queries you have in the Comments below.
This document is Copyright(©) 2006-2008 by G.Ganesh. Visit Bootstrike.Com (http://bootstrike.com).
Last Updated 1st August 2009.