Thanks be to Apple for my .Mac account. It helped me put an end to a decade of spam abuse on my Mac.
It was so bad that I had to stop using my .Mac account. Spam was so bad that I had to think different.
Actually, it was my .Mac account that was the proverbial last straw, the extra spam that broke the email camel’s back. Yes, I’ve had a .Mac account from the beginning. Yes, it
got plenty of email spam.
A few weeks ago my .Mac account email showed up as the return address on a huge spam outfit sending thousands of billions of junk mail messages to users in Germany. My .Mac email address was listed as the return address.
What I got from their effort was all the bounced email. Hundreds and hundreds of messages a day bounced back to my .Mac account.
Adding injury to insult, three of my other email accounts began receiving a barrage of unwanted junk mail. It’s as if I’d awakened into the Bizzaro Spam world. Everything was spam.
Enough is enough. I have Spam Assassin on my mail servers. I have Spam Sieve of my Mac. I have a bunch of filters in Apple’s Mail application. But still, previous time each day was spent sorting through the spam that made it through.
“It’s time to think different, Ron,” I thought. It was easy enough to dump the .Mac account. It was about to expire anyway. That took care of a few hundred bounced spam message each day, but less than half of what I receive.
I have lots of email accounts. There’s personal email, business email, Yahoo and Google email, and a few others.
The three biggest spam offenders were also the three email accounts I’ve used for over a decade, including Yahoo.
So, I set up new email accounts for personal and business, then added an alias for each. Then I ditched all three email accounts which brought in most of the spam.
Some internet service providers allow for email aliases. That means you can set up an email account such as “firstname.lastname@example.org” but create an email alias such as “email@example.com”. Any email to the latter name automatically shows up in the former name’s account.
Give the “myfakename” email address to friends, family, and co-workers as your new email address. That alone will cut down spam dramatically, but once the new email alias address is in circulation spam harvesters may find it on unprotected PCs, and spam shows up again.
That’s especially true when you use an email address to register for various sites on the web. That was one reason why my Yahoo email account, which I had from Yahoo’s original free email accounts, suffered so much spam abuse.
Aliases to the rescue. Now, when I register information of a web site, I quickly set up another alias. For example, I set up an alias called “firstname.lastname@example.org” when I registered at Apple. If I get spam at that email address I know from whence it came.
I did the same for Yahoo by setting up an email alias such as “email@example.com.” Amazon? Same thing. “Amazon_1@mydomain.com.” All those email alias addresses forward mail to my regular account name, which no one knows but me. If spam shows up, I know where it came from and I can quickly change the email alias to something like “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
There’s a little extra effort in notifying everyone of a new email address. There’s also extra effort to set up email aliases, though it takes barely a minute for each.
The end result? No more spam shows up in my Mail inbox. It’s easier to manage a few aliases than it is to manage spam that gets through the filters.
I’m tempted to extend that process an extra step and create an email alias for each of my friends and family members. For example, the email address I give my brother, whose email address is on every spam list in the world, who runs a PC that probably sends out spam, too, would be “email@example.com.”
That’s the email address he’d use to send mail to me. That’s probably overkill. For now, no more spam.
Do you have spam problems? What do you do to keep them out of your inbox?