In the grand scheme of things, spam is probably low on your list of daily concerns. But you are probably sick and tired of it. Where does it come from? And how did they get your e-mail address in the first place? Why isn't there a simple solution to spam....
Presenting: Rob Paulson's Spam Solution!
Relax. I'm not selling anything. But, if you are willing to pay the trivial $10 dollars or so each year to register a domain name - not only can you avoid spam completely, you'll also be able to track down exactly who sold you out. Which company you did legitamate business with decided to sell your e-mail to spammers. Which company was too lazy to protect their data that is now in the hands of spammers and phishers!
And it's pretty easy....
Step #1 - Register a Domain Name.
Step #2 - Configure Google Apps to Work With Your Domain
Step #3 - Setup Filters In Gmail
Got it? That's it!
Let me walk you through it. See, once you have your domain name (like robpaulson.com) you don't have one e-mail address. You have a near infinate number of email addresses. Any single combination of valid characters @yourdomain.com is an e-mail address. All of them. And now you have an infalible way of sorting incoming messages!
Now, you use a different e-mail address for each site or company you do business with.
If you order from ThinkGeek.com - you give them the email address 'Thinkgeek@YourDomain.com'
If you order pizza from Pizzahut.com - you give them the email address 'PizzaHut@YourDomain.com'
Every single thing you do, you give it a different e-mail address.
And, when the spam comes in - you know EXACTLY which company sold you out! Not only can you voice your objection to their policies, you can add ONE RULE that will automatically delete anything sent to that ONE e-mail address. All of your other email continues to be received as expect.
Problem solved. Everyone you do business with gets a unique email address that gets forwarded to the one account you check (but don't distribute) and that clearly indicates who they are. If you ever do get spam sent to one of those e-mail addresses, you create a rule that deletes everything sent to that e-mail. Everything else continues to work. Plus, who doesn't want a domain name?
At least, problem solved so long as a minority of internet users take this approach. For the time being, I'm not concerned. You'll get a few random emails to common addresses like 'Webmaster@YOURDOMAIN.com' that you'll quickly create filters to handle.
You'll also get the added benefit of having additional control over your e-mail experience. If you use Gmail or Hotmail for all your email needs and, tomorrow, they make a change you don't agree with....you can either go along with it, or you can give up your e-mail address. It took legislation to seperate your phone number from your cell phone provider; but there is nothing like that for e-mail. If you own your domain name, you can point it to any mail server you want to do business with.