Dealing with email spam

It surprises me the number of friends who tell me that they get 200 spam emails a day or something similar. I get very few.

I assume most people these days know that it’s a bad idea to make your email address public on a website or messageboard, because it will be picked up by spammers almost immediately?

A tool such as Spamproofer can delay things a bit. It encodes your address in hex, which makes it less likely to be picked up by the robots that spammers use to scour the web.

But, if you have your own website, it’s far better to provide a mailform as I do. You can get the script that I use, for free, here. Your email address goes into the PHP script, so there is no way a spammer can get hold of it.

My webhosts at provide a range of tools to reduce spam: Realtime Blackhole List Filtering, Greylisting (which queries the sending server to check it is genuine), SpamAssassin, SPF Records Configuration and TMDA (a ‘challenge/response’ system).

A well as this, I set up a new email address each year. I have been doing this for several years now. Most of my correspondents begin using the new address almost immediately because it is inserted when they hit ‘reply’ to one of my messages.

The addresses from previous years stay switched on until the level of spam becomes annoying. In my case that takes a couple of years.

But then I just set up an auto-responder (also known as a ‘mail robot’) on that email address. This sends back an automated response saying that the email has not been read and gives a link to one of my web pages which has the mail form on it. That’s the end of seeing any spam on that address. Then, a year after that, I can turn off the address completely if I wish.

So how much does all of this cost? $7 (£4) per month for the webhosting from Sunwave, plus you really need your own domain name, which costs $8.95 (£5) per year. So, a total of $93 (£45) per year.

You can host up to five domain names on the basic package, with 200 email addresses on each. There is webmail, so you can check any of your email accounts using a web browser from anywhere. So, no need to use Yahoo!, Hotmail or GMail anymore (and no more annoying ads alongside your mail). I haven’t even mentioned the webhosting side which comes with it too.

I run and several other websites for $7 a month in total. Such a small amount for what I get and the income from Google ads on alone more than covers the entire hosting costs for all sites. By the way, I don’t have any connection with except I’ve been a customer for about four years.


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