Friday, March 04, 2011

How to avoid spam with minimal effort


So, you click the link for the information and find out that you'll need to register in order to grab that file/video or other information! You groan, knowing full well now you'll be adding another source to all the people who already send you junk mail or spam as it's called.
But you want what the site has to offer so you have no other choice but to enter a valid email address. Because you know that you'll need to get an activation link from there first. You know what I am talking about, right?

People have different ways of handling this problem, including keeping one email address just for spam. I have a better solution.

I don't usually review a lot of websites but some things are so good that I feel selfish for not sharing them. I will just tell you about this website and then you can decide if you want to use it or not.

Let me clear in the beginning that the website has no affiliate programs, no rewards, no point system, so I am not getting anything by recommending and I can't really get anything because they don't make any money from it. I have to say this because after you see how strongly I recommend this site you'll wonder.

First piece of info, the website URL - www.spamgourmet.com

I won't talk about the design or anything, it's irrelevant. They provide several options to avoid spam, they are all explained on the website. The approach of the website is that you can have a simple solution and don't spend any time on maintaining it, just use it. Or you can create a slightly more complex solution where you'll have to do some periodic maintenance but you will have more control.

All of it is free and painless no matter what solution you choose. And you can switch between them any time and mix and match.

Registration is simple, just your (real) email address and password.

Here's a description of the solution I use and how it works for me. I have created a secret word, let's say it's sunny (I am not gonna share my secret, you know ;) ). And I choose a servername, a suffix for my disposable email addresses. Yes, that's what it's all about, creating email addresses that you can just throw away after use.

That's it, once I create the word, I am done on spamgourmet.

Now part 2. I come to a website where I need to register in order to get an activation link and membership. Suppose the website is www.adobe.com and I can't download PDF viewer without registration.

So, I register and create a new email address, on the fly, without any other set up. My address would be adobe.2.sunny@spamgourmet.com.

Let me analyse this for you piece by piece.
adobe - this can be any word, I use the name of the site so I can remember it later.
2 - this is how many emails they can send me. First 2 emails to this address will be forwarded to me, by Spamgourmet.com after that, they'll disappear into the black hole.
sunny - this is my secret word. I need to keep it very secret or anyone can create email address and spam me.
spamgourmet.com - You can select from one of many domain names like this, I prefer one that doesn't have the word spam in it. Just in case the sites start getting smart.

All of this is changeable, just by logging into spamgourmet.com. In normal functioning, I never have to go back to spamgourmet.com again. It'll just keep working.

But, suppose I need to log into my Adobe account again and I forgot my password. Now they'll send me a new password when I click the link "Forgot password" but it'll go to that email which doesn't come to my real email box any more.

Simple solution. I log into spamgourmet.com and find the address I used for adobe. They are all logged there, but I don't need to care about them until I need one from the past like now. For each one, I can see the address, the quota I had allowed it, and the number of emails they sent that were not forwarded.

Here I can increase the quota, let's say by 1, so their next email WILL be forwarded to me now. I could increase it by 20 if I wanted to or for all time as well.

That's all it takes. I can't praise this site enough! They have simply made my life easier.

Spamgourmet never sells my info, never sends me a single email that's not forwarded or asked for (like if I forget my spamgourmet password), they just never bother me in anyway.

I have been using this site for several years now and I have found it the most customizable and easiest to use solution. 

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