Saturday, October 10th, 2009 (No comments yet
If I don't trust you, you get the throwaway mailbox
You may have noticed the lifecycle of e-mail accounts goes something like this:
- New – You worked hard to get a username that hadn't been taken. You've excited to share it with all the people you know.
- 1st Spam – Some jerkwad has defiled your account by sending you a random unwanted advertisement or Phishing e-mail. No big deal… it's just one after all.
- Tipping point – It's starting to get serious. You're getting more bogus e-mails every day than real.
- Abandonment – You've given up on the account. There seems to be no way to repair the damage and you're resigned to moving on. You create a new e-mail account and start the cycle over again.
The problem with this approach is that changing e-mail addresses can be extremely difficult. All your friends and family can probably be updated with the new address by sending them all a simple e-mail with the new address. But all those web stores and accounts you have will have to be updated manually. It can be done, but it's a chore. Worst case, you used this account for business and now you have to update all your customers which is not only a pain, but looks pretty unprofessional.
Creating a Decoy
The way this works is very simple, pick and use an e-mail account for your friends, family, business contacts, etc. Then go and make a DIFFERENT one perhaps the same one, but with a series of numbers after it.
Ex: firstname.lastname@example.org for your main account and email@example.com for your buffer.
Now all you have to do is keep your main account safe by not giving it out to any websites or people you don't trust. For anyone you're not sure of or anyone you don't plan to do business with over a period of time (for example, making a single web purchase from a store online), provide the decoy.
Do your best to keep spam and other e-mail garbage out of both, but if eventually the decoy account gets buried and becomes useless, discard it and get another one (firstname.lastname@example.org for example).
|Until we find out who the people are who actually buy things from spammers and kick them off the Internet, you're going to have to learn how to deal with and prevent spam.|
|E-mail Viruses - Learn how viruses are spread through e-mail and how to stop them|
|Phishing - Spot and avoid lures that pull you into the dark side of the web|
|Don't be one of those people that loses thousands of dollars to the classic Nigerian Scam.|
|Use Reply-All when you mean to and never when you don't.|
E-mail Tips and Tricks