I recently got an SOS email from a client who was swimming in spam. She calculated that she wasted at least ten minutes a day, if not more, weeding through the junk, some of it seriously offensive, just to find the legitimate mail.
“I’m really considering changing my email address, but how can I keep the new one away from spammers?”
I have had my main email address at Wax for almost eight years, and have never had spam sent directly to it, so I consider myself somewhat of an expert on how to keep the spammers away without having to spend extra money on server-based spam-blockers. It takes some forethought, but keeping your email address clean and pristine can be done.
When I purchased my own personal domain years ago, I was so fed up with the amount of spam I was getting on the AOL address I had been using, that I decided to run an experiment. I set up a different email address for each type of online transaction I was doing. I set up amazon@, ebay@, paypal@, utilities@, phone@, banking@, orders@, etc. I wanted to see which email address started getting the most spam so I could figure out which company was not being careful with my information. Not surprisingly, many of those addresses are now collecting massive amounts of spam, but my main email addresses, the ones I use for personal and work use, continue to be spam-free. What I did by setting up all those addresses is pretty extreme, to be sure, but setting up at the very least ONE online transaction/activity email address is a wise move. If it starts collecting too much spam, you dump it and set up a new address. Sure, you will then have to change your contact info at Amazon, your bank, your favorite bulletin board, and that online shop with the cute shoes, but that’s far easier than having to inform your entire personal address book of an email change.
I always tell clients with brand-new sites that they are in the perfect position to start with good and safe email habits. “Make sure you practice safe-emailing,” I say, as I explain how their email system works. It always illicits a chuckle, but I’m quick to point out just how serious I am. “You don’t want to get to the point where you are swimming in spam but too attached to your email address to start anew,” I say. That’s when you have to start shelling out money for server-based spam-blockers.
And wouldn’t you rather spend that money on those cute shoes at that one online shop you love so much…?