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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

How to get rid of SPAM.. easy and effective method

Before I start listing several websites and services that allow you to use “one-use” email addresses I will shortly explain why everyone should have at least one service at hand all the time.

We all know websites that require you to register before you can see their content. Many are free sites that force the user to register to see the content, some do this to avoid spam on their boards and comments, some to avoid that bots flood the site and some to sell your personal information. The last type of sites are the worst of course, spammers buy millions of email addresses and send their spam to them. There is a good way to avoid this: Disposable Email Address Services.

There are two ways to avoid spam when registering somewhere on the internet. First you can use Disposable Email Address Services that allow you to check an email account that is not your own and email aliases that webmailers like gmail and yahoo mail offer. I will only post free sites that offer the first service.

The procedure itself is always the same. You go to the website of the service and take a look at the requirements of the email address. For example the service www.mytrashmail.com offers only free emails that use somename@mytrashmail.com. After this you visit the website you want to register with and enter an email address which could be anything as long as it ends with @mytrashmail.com.

It´s a simple concept. Once the account is created you recieve a verification email from the website you registered with and have to reply to it. Visit the services website, in this case www.mytrashmail.com and enter the name of the email address that you specified in the registration process. It can take 1-2 minutes before you can read the mail but it should appear sooner or later.

After that you might want to delete the mail to prevent that another user might check the same email address and find your registration information. He could go to the website and demand that the password is send out again to the email, check it then and use your account. So, delete it when possible to be on the safe side. Or use aliases that are hard to guess, something like tu834ffe.

You should also make sure that no one (but admins) is able to see your email address that you registered with. Other than that, it´s a safe method.

If they sell your email now all mail will be send to the disposable email address service and deleted there after some time.

It´s also a great way to stay relativly anonymous.

Email Aliases:

This is becoming increasingly popular. I only tested it with my gmail account but friends told me that yahoo for instance is offering a similar service. You can send emails using a service called plus addressing. This is not documented yet in the help files so I explain the basic concept. Lets say your email address is jasonblr@gmail.com and you want to register at a website. You might register with an email alias that looks like jasonblr+sitename@gmail.com. The verification mail will be send to your inbox and you can reply to it to activate the account.

This feature has advantages but also an disadvantage. First, if you recieve spam you can control it by filtering all mails that are send to the email alias. You can also verify that a site is selling your email to spammers if you are using unique aliases for each site you register with.

A disadvantage is that spammers only need to parse the email to check for the + and everything that follows up to the @ sign. They will then have your real email and can send you spam again.

Oh, one other service is called bugmenot.com. They are basically a search engine for registration data for various sites. You search for the site you want to register and they probably have already some account data in their database. This of course only works if you just want to read and not participate as a unique user.

Disposable Email Services List: