What I did to stop getting spam
...at least for a while
by Michael Patrick Goad
I temporarily stopped the spam dead in its tracks, and, even now, six months later, it's only a couple messages a week, a very tiny fraction of what I used to have to deal with.
After over 6 years with the same e-mail address (the one we first went on the internet with), which I had carelessly used online in the early days, the daily spam load had become so overwhelming that I had to take action to reduce it. Sometimes it was as much as several hundred messages a day.
I tried to filter it in Outlook.
I tried an anti spam software program.
Both tactics worked to a degree, but the amount of time that I had to spend with the messages that got through was unreal.
The problem was that there were quite a few messages coming in that I wanted to see. Since I still had quite a bit of spam making it through all of the filters, the time it took to look at what had made it through the filters was still excessive.
It was time to take drastic action.
First of all, I stopped using a text based e-mail address on my site's web page. The problem with those is that the people who harvest e-mail addresses off the internet have special little e-mail address search programs, sometimes called web crawlers, that search the web looking for addresses. Text-based addresses are great food for the e-mail web crawlers.
If you'll look at the address below, you'll see that it's a graphic image. The web crawlers can't read it. The only way that the address can be found by searching the internet is for a person to find it and enter it into a database. However, such a search is just too time intensive with for the tiny amount of extra addresses that you'll find.
The second thing I did was to establish a new e-mail address and contact all of the people I felt needed to know about it. After waiting a few weeks for e-mail to come in from others who might not have gotten the message, I dumped the e-mail addresses that were receiving all of the spam.
That's sounds like a lot of trouble to go to, doesn't it.
I guess it would to most folks. However, if you'll notice, we have our own domain. With it comes a limited number of e-mail addresses that we can use. One of those had been in use for a little over a year and it was already getting a lot of spam. I closed that one down
I also stopped responding to the one that we had had forever. We had stopped paying for it over a year before and I'm not sure why it continued to work. The account might have been lost after a couple of telecommunication company acquisitions and mergers.
I suppose that, with my experience with spam, I can make some suggestions:
Spam is something we will be living with for a while, but we don't have to be defenseless.
Take action if it's getting to you.
July 18, 2003
visits since 7/18/2003
page last revised 06/27/2009