Fighting Email Spam

1 minute read

A recent Digg submission listed disposable email services. It’s a great idea especially now that spam can overrun your inbox.

I don’t use any of those services personally. I recently made a domain and when I sign up at a new site, I use the name of the service in the email. When I start to receive spam at that address, I have a good idea of who sold my address (though it’s not perfect). Mike takes it a step further. My only qualm with Mike’s method is that because you use a hash, you need to record which hashes match up with what services.

However, not everyone is so blessed to own their own domain name. Given, you can probably get one fairly cheaply, but why bother if you can do the same with a free email service? I’m not talking about any of the ones from the article. I’m talking about Gmail (I have plenty of invites).

A severely under-advertised but useful feature is its “+” email function. You can use as everyone knows, but did you know that [email protected] also works? “alias” isn’t literal either. You can plug anything in there. You can use my technique to track who might be spamming you. If you start to receive a lot of spam on a particular alias, you can make a filter that will automatically move it to the trash, or if you’re feeling malicious, you could also forward that mail back to the original service.

.Mac has disposable email aliases, but you can only have 5 at a time and they need to be defined ahead of time. That’s far too limiting in my opinion. While it may help reduce spam, you can’t effectively track the source.