10 Tips to Avoid Spam

I set up email on my phone and, even though I did not receive that many spams, it was more annoying than on a computer. Over the past few months, I have changed one of my main email addresses and took some radical steps to fight against spam.

Here are my few tips for a spamless life:

  1. Do not publish your email address anywhere.

  2. Do not register your email address anywhere.

  3. If you need to register to a website then create a new account. Use this account just for the purpose of registering and enable mail forwarding to your main account. As soon as you start receiving spam from that account, or legitimate but annoying commercial content, disable email forwarding but leave the account alive (so that spammers waste resources).

  4. Never click on “un-register” links from emails.

  5. Disable HTML viewing especially the viewing of images. You may set up a whitelist from known senders.

  6. Use state of the art anti-spam. I really like google gmail spam filters. I forward it to my final email provider that does use good spam-assassin rules.

  7. Try to have a core of 2 or 3 different email addresses shared among the people you know (no websites!). When you need to change your email, you will be upsetting fewer people. An idea is to set up groups like: family, friends from university, other friends, colleagues or former colleagues… groups of people you are unlikely to email simultaneously.

  8. Update your core email addresses when they are compromised. Do it gradually over an entire year by keeping email forwarding on and adding an auto reply rule informing your contacts they should stop using the old email. Do not write your new email in clear inside the automated message because it could be harvested by bots.

  9. If your address is publicly available and spammed in huge amounts, make it mandatory for people to add some text in the title in order to contact you. Filter out everything not complying to the rule.

  10. If your address is publicly available and the previous tip does not work (someone is deliberately targeting you) remove the contact email address from public space and replace it with a contact form using captcha.