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Knowledgebase: Spam/Email Filters
What can I do to reduce the amount of spam I receive?
Posted on 22 November 2003 07:01 AM

After the spam has been delivered to your mailbox, your options are to delete, filter or report it.

However, what steps can you take to prevent spam from reaching your mailbox in the first place? Here are a few suggestions, which focus on protecting your email address from spammers by keeping it private.

  • Be careful not to post your email address on web sites and in public forums and discussion groups. Some people use email-hiding techniques, for addresses they post on web sites. Some webmasters simply do not post email addresses on web sites, but use mailforms to solicit input from site visitors. Be aware that any publicly posted email addresses may be harvested by spambots -- automated web-crawling robots that collect email addresses.

  • Disable the Catch-All email address in your CNC so that only email addresses which you have specifically set up can receive email.

  • Keep your important email address(es) private, and use other free email addresses for public use. Change the free email address whenever it starts collecting a large amount of spam.

  • When signing up for a new service or placing a new order, create a new email alias, just for that purpose. Then, if that alias begins to receive spam later, you know where the spam is coming from and can change that alias to a BlackHole address.

  • If you "mung" your email address when filling out forms, or posting in public forums or web sites, make sure it is a non-deliverable email address. Do not use an email address that you made up like
    where anydomain.tld is a real domain. This email will actually be delivered to that domain. Instead use something like user@example.com (tip: example.com is a domain that is reserved and never resolves), or user@mydomain.com.invalid (the .invalid suffix is a standard way of noting publicly that the address is invalid and the email address will not resolve for delivery), or refer to the Privacy.net link below. Whatever you do, make sure it is either (1) an address that you control, (2) an address at a domain that you have permission to use, or (3) an email address that will not resolve. See the Address Munging FAQ for more details. Note that many Internet participants consider it rude to mung your address because it can seriously inconvenience those who might take the trouble to send you information that you have requested, such as on a Usenet newsgroup or other forum.

For additional suggestions and ideas, you may consult some of the links below, or ask for suggestions from other Site Owners in the FutureQuest Community Forums.

Federal Trade Commission - Computers & the Internet - Spam Email
Address Munging FAQ