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How to Prevent Email Spam

Category: Tech Stuff | Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:15 pm

Ever now and then I'll get an email into my inbox saying something like:

"I'm receiving lots of spam all of a sudden and because I signed up with your site then of course YOU are the reason why I'm getting it!!!"

I really hate these mails but rather than get peeved I'm going to share a few tips that everyone can follow to reduce the amount of email spam they receive.


- If you receive a spam/unsolicited email NEVER follow their 'helpful' Unsubscribe instructions at bottom of the mail. What the spammers do is send out millions of emails to random email addresses. If you happen to prove that your email address is alive by Unsubscribing then what you are really doing is subscribing to their spam list indefinitely. I'm tech-savvy but I still fell for this one for a while.

- Related to the previous point, it's a good idea to use an email provider that doesn't display images in emails until you specify to display them. This is because if you open a spam email containing images as soon as the images load the spammers will recognize this and you have proved that your email address is alive. Gmail is one of the email providers that offers this protection.

- Never sign up to any forum/community using your email address as your username. If you do this spammers can read your email address straight from your profile page and when you write posts. You are displaying your email address to them, it's like throwing a little innocent lamb in front of a pack of lions! DINNER TIME!

- If a site asks you to sign up but you don't completely trust what they are going to do with your email address then I would recommend using a temporary email address service like SpamBox. Using this service you can sign up using a temporary email address that you can discard afterwards leaving your original email address untouched. However if you are signing up with a website that you DO trust and that will need to use your email address for sending notifications etc... (like here at GardenStew or sites like Facebook, eBay) then I would not recommend using these services.

- Instead of using a temporary email address you can set up an entirely separate email account just for purposes like signing up to services etc... and use your existing email account for important tasks like emailing friends etc... Divide and conquer!


I'm sure I've missed a few tips, when they come to me I'll share them. But for now these are the most important tips. Have a spam free day!

Last edited: Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:34 pm

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zuzu's petals wrote on Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:56 pm:

Thanks for these great tips, Frank.

I've been a member here for nearly a year,
and I've never been flooded with spammy emails,
so I know it's not Stew membership that causes the problem.

I simply NEVER open an email unless it's from a known friend,
or directly from a site I've subscribed to.

Maybe I've dumped some emails that were from other site members trying to contact me directly,
but I figure that's what PM is for.

I only get a few junk emails each week,
and most of 'em are from the Veterans Admistration.

I must've done something right, totally by accident. :->


Droopy wrote on Thu Oct 04, 2007 6:57 pm:

I won't blame the Stew for spam. I hardly ever receive any, and I'm always very surprised when I do. I have an MSN-account I use for newsletters and such. It works fine for me.

nan1234 wrote on Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:00 am:

Some forum/community may require you to provide email address to login. However, your email address will not be displayed. Insted, your alias name will be displayed. I think it is okay for this case.

nan1234 wrote on Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:31 am:

I have more tips:

If you use your own domain names, never use common names for your email accounts such as, or support, service, sales, webmaster, etc.

Be careful to provide your email address in any customer registration form. Usually, you do not need to provide email address in any paper form. Provide your address only when it is absolutely necessary for comstomer support and you are guaranteed that your email address will not be disclosed.

Never post your email address to any forum or on any website. If it is necessary, post a text image with a unrelated file name (don't use file name such as email.jpg, contact.gif, etc).

Instead of providing email address for contact information, provide a web contact submit sheet with a visual confirmation.

I have more to say but am running out space and have to stop here.

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