My spam prevention strategy includes a great free service called Spam Gourmet which provides me with ‘disposable’ on-the-fly email addresses. If I do not trust the site that asks me to enter my email address, I just fill in an address like email@example.com. Spam Gourmet will then forward up to 5 emails to my secret private email address. On another site I would enter firstname.lastname@example.org, and Spam Gourmet, who also owns the xoxy.net domain, would forward max. 2 emails. Using disposable email addresses, I can safely drop some bait for the harvesting robots here:
I’ll only get one email for each of these addresses, all other spam will be eaten by the Spam Gourmet. Since I have my account there, I have used hundreds of different disposable addresse, and thankfully made a PayPal donation at their site.
My spam prevention so far had 3 different levels of email address secrecy:
- my secret private life time email addresses (only for people I really trust)
- ‘everyday’ email addresses hosted by the ISPs that I use (for other people)
- Spam Gourmet addresses (for online registrations at sites that may become trusted)
If after some time I trust a new online service, I replace my level 3 address with a level 2 address.
Since today I have added a fourth level:
4. 10 Minute Mail (for online registrations at sites that will never be trusted)
A colleague pointed me at 10 Minute Mail. This web mail service provides disposable on-the-fly email addresses like Spam Gourmet, but they work no longer than 10 minutes. So basically a 10 Minute Mail address can be used like a .1. Spam Gourmet address, but the address provides more anonymity because you do not need to register an account.