NORMAN — Many years ago, I had a Hotmail email account that I eventually abandoned out of frustration.
I was receiving so much unwanted junk “spam” email (not to be confused with the tasty luncheon meat) that I was spending more time messing around with the spam than I was reading legitimate messages.
The folks at Hotmail were completely unresponsive, essentially ignoring my pleas for help. In the end, I gave up on Hotmail and set up a new email account somewhere else.
Changing email addresses was a bit of a hassle, but well worth the effort. I assembled a list of all of my contacts and notified them of the change, informing them that, after 30 days, I would no longer check for messages at the old address. Two weeks later, as a final warning, I notified everyone again. At last, I would have email peace.
I began to educate myself about antispam techniques, zealously guarding my new email address. If I noticed that someone I knew was including me in their regular mass emailing of silly jokes and stories (amateur spammers), I asked to be removed from their mass email list. To folks who just couldn’t resist emailing 10 jokes a day to all of their friends and relatives, I encouraged them to start putting all of the addresses in the BCC field, instead of using the CC or TO fields.
This can help to prevent email addresses from finding their way onto spam lists. I also started using fake email addresses for discussion groups, message boards, program installations and website registrations. The basic principle I used was simple: don’t give your email address to anyone that might make it part of a spam list.
In addition to my “real” address, I also set up a second email address just to catch spam. This is the address that I give out to websites that insist that I “register” with a real email address in order to view information. It’s also the address that I use for eBay, Paypal, Amazon and everyone else with whom I conduct online business.