Top 5 Techniques to Protect Yourself From Spam

It is virtually impossible to avoid having your email address end up on a spammer’s mailing list. You can, however, take steps to minimize the amount of spam that you receive. Here are to top five:

Address Munging

Never, ever post your permanent email address publicly online. Posting it on a website, on USENET, or in a guest book, for example, virtually guarantees that it will end up on a spammer’s emailing list.

If you absolutely have to supply an address, or regularly participate in online forums but do not want further communication, camouflage your address in some way. You can, for example, disguise your address by writing it in such a way that humans can read it, but the spammers automated programs cannot.

Example: instead of, add a blank space before and after the “@” sign, or use characters e.g. JaneDoe at ISP dot com.

This is reffered to as “address munging”. While address munging does not allow for a regular, clickable email link, anyone who really wants to contact you will figure it out the proper address.

If you have a website, provide a feedback form instead of giving your email address.

Sign up for an Alternative Email Addresses

Do not use your primary email address when placing an online order, getting a free download, or want to sign up for a newsletter or free service Get a secondary email address that you can use in these instances. You can open a free email account for this purpose. Email providers such as GMail and yahoo offer this free email service.

Reserve this email address specifically for this online activity – do not offer it to people from whom you want to receive email, as this will likely be lost in the deluge of junk mail.

Also, be sure to log into this account on a regular basis to delete the junk mail and avoid having the account closed. If you get over-spammed, just close this account and open a new one.

Choose an email address that cannot be easily guessed at. One method used by spammers to get email address is to generate a list of likely email addresses based on a combination of first names, last names and commonly used words. They may, for example build an emailing list that has variations of an address like, etc.
You can foil this spammer’s tactic by using a relatively long email address, for example 8 or more characters long. You should also avoid choosing email addresses that include either of your names. Use your initials instead, in combination with numbers, e.g.

Beware the Phisher Spam

Phishing is a tactic used by spammers to scam you into giving up vital personal and financial information. Its sole purpose is identity theft.

Never divulge any personal or financial information that is requested in an email. Your bank or credit card company would never ask you to confirm or update your personal information via an email or a link in an email. Any such emails should be reported to the bank or credit card company. Never, ever click on any links in this type of spam.

Get a spam filter or spam blocker

Stop the spam dead in its tracks before it ever makes it into your inbox. Well, most of it at least. Though they are not 100% effective, anti-spam software will keep most of it out. Even if you only use the internet a spam filter will help protect you from spam.