4 steps to get around with spam emails

4

Do you love spam emails? If you answered “Yes” to the above question, stop reading here. There is 99.99% chances that you answered “No” (Other 0.01% people are spammers).

In this post I will talk about how I effectively get around with email spam. (May be I will post about how to get rid of the snail-mail-spam in another post sometime)

The main key to get around with spam is to hide your email address. This is very difficult if you use only one email address for all your needs. Because no matter how hard you try to hide your email, it will be exposed to the spammer. I have split all my email traffic between four email accounts. Here is a summery of what email traffic goes to what account and what email is to be used for what audience.

Spam in mailbox

1) Email 1:

This email account is used for your important stuff. It is mainly used for

  • Job inquiries/Resume/Job search websites
  • Online bank accounts/Credit card accounts
  • Car Insurance/Phone company login
  • Anything involving your finance login

As you can see, this email account is used for your important emails only. And the key here is NOT to share it with any humans. So you are sure that none of your friends are going to email you on this account. You don’t have to check this account frequently, once in 3-4 days is enough. Make sure that none of your friends/family/colleague¬† knows about this account. (Why? I will tell you later in the post) This account will not be spam-proof, as all the job-search-website will share your email with their partner site, your credit card company will share it with other credit card companies for those pre-approved-credit-card emails etc.

Account affected by spam: 40%
Frequency of checking this email: Once in 3-4 days

2) Email 2:

This email account is only to be give to humans. Humans include all your friends, family, colleague etc. Don’t use it for any online account/website/registration. If you share it with any website, there are likely 100% chance that they will spam you by one way or other.

This will be your personal account. And it will be 100% spam free for as long as you keep it. You will only receive emails that matters to you. And most of us use email for this purpose only.

Account affected by spam: 0%
Frequency of checking this email: As often as you like

3) Email 3:

This email is used for

  • Social networking sites (Facebook, Myspace, Orkut, YouTube, etc)
  • Your online registration to sites (Forum posting , Subscription, Netflix, etc)

Most of the email that you receive in this account is not even worth reading. It will be something like “Your friend has commented on your photo on facebook”. And you will receive a lot of social networking website invitation-to-join emails on this account. What really happens is, lets say you have added Mike as your friend on facebook. Now Mike is not so internet savvy so he ends up creating account on all social networking sites like Tagged, Xanga, Bado and what not. Now this websites will ask Mike to import his contacts from facebook and send them invitation to join. So you will eventually receive lot of these invite emails.

Account affected by spam: >50%
Frequency of checking this email: Once in 3-4 days

4) Email 4:

This account is used for one time use registration and all known spam. None of the emails in this account is meant to read. You will use this for websites that you just want to check out or want to have one time access.

Account affected by spam: 100%
Frequency of checking this email: Never

So now that you have four different emails for your different needs, you are sure that you never miss any important email between those spams. As you can see, the key is to separate human-generated emails from the auto generated emails and the auto-generated emails are further divided into important-auto-generated emails and unimportant-auto-generated emails.

The reason I told you to not share Email no 1 with any humans is like this: Lets say you are geek and you hack other people’s emails and people want to take revenge on you. They will try to reset your password and try all those crazy things. They wont be able to retrieve your password but it can lock your account for some time, like yahoo does that. And you don’t want your important email to lock down. So the best strategy for hack-proof email is not to share the email address itself.

Let me know in comments what is your method to get around with spam and what do you think about this method.

Account affected by spam: 50%

Frequency of checking this email: Once in 3-4 days

About the author

Brijesh Chauhan

My name is Brijesh Chauhan. I live in Silicon Valley, CA. I tweak technology for a living. Jealous?

Connect with me on twitter

  • Metalheadzaid

    Or just sign up for gmail like a smart person.

    Zero spam emails in 4 years.

  • anitalite

    Great advise. You could add one more email for mailing list sign ups as the influx of email clutters up the rest of one’s personal email and makes it difficult to filter through all the crap. I don’t follow my own advise and have a gmail account where all my email goes. Bad idea. And I do get spam in my gmail account, metahead. You must not sign up on sites that require an email addy.??

  • Brijesh

    @anitalite
    Thats the idea, you can sign up for all sites that requires email address, just dont provide them with your personal address.

By Brijesh Chauhan

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