In a previous article I shared some of the hazards of using a challenge/response system to keep spam out of your inbox. Let’s look at some things you can do that will reduce or eliminate spam without the problems of challenge/response.
Don’t post your email address publicly in forums or on your website. Spammers use software to harvest email addresses from the web, and posting your email address on a public website guarantees that you will get more spam.
Know when to unsubscribe, and when not to. When you signed up to receive emails (such as daily offers or an email newsletter) and you decide you don’t want them anymore, that doesn’t mean they are spam. You asked to receive them by subscribing, so just unsubscribe and the emails will stop. Look for an unsubscribe link at the bottom of one of the email messages. True spam (stuff like the drug ads and scams) will often not have an unsubscribe link.
Use disposable email addresses for some email. There are services (including Yahoo!) that will give you the option of creating multiple addresses so you can use a unique email address for each purpose. With Yahoo!, you create a base name that is different from your Yahoo! ID. Let’s say your base name is myname. Each disposable address you create is the base name followed by a name you give it. For example, a disposable address you use to sign up with a mystery shopping forum might be firstname.lastname@example.org. If you start
getting spam to that address, you can just delete it without affecting other uses of your Yahoo! email address. See this link for more information on using disposable addresses in Yahoo! http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/mail/yahoomail/mailplus/addressguard/addressguard-03.html
Let Gmail filter out the spam. This is what I do. All of my email addresses forward to a Gmail account. Then I download my email from Gmail onto my computer. (That step isn’t necessary. Gmail has a nice web interface. I just like having my email on my own computer.) Although Gmail’s filters are very, very good, they are not perfect. A few spam emails get through, and a few real emails get put into spam. But it works better than other spam filters I have used. This video from Don Crowther explains more. http://www.doncrowther.com/featured/getridofspam
Although nothing is foolproof or perfect when it comes to avoiding spam, these tips will help you to reduce the amount of unwanted email that lands in your inbox.