First question, which really has nothing to do with possible solutions, is how you quantify a lot? Do you whine over 10 or 20? A hundred? A thousand? Just a curiosity on my part, so please, comment and let me know…
Personally, I get over a hundred a day, but compared to my brother, it’s nothing. Last time I asked, four or five years ago, he was getting 500 or more a day. I’m scared to think what it’s possibly at now.
Regardless of how much you get, I think most of us, spammers aside, can agree that it’s a giant waste of time and pain in the derriere. What can you do to deal with your spam?
Filter out the spam.
You could consider using a filtering program like Mailwasher to filter out, bounce, and report spam to Spamcop before you download it into your email program. Or, you can use a program that has built-in junk mail settings that can learn and improve their junk filtering, such as Thunderbird or Barca.
In either case, don’t assume that the filtering system always gets it right. Check for good email amongst those labelled as spam. Email from someone you know but from a new email addy can be caught by spam filters.
Essentially, you mark those email addies that are friendly, and everything else is considered unfriendly unless or until told otherwise. If someone tries to email you that isn’t on your whitelist, they’ll usually get an email prompt that requires them to respond to that email before the original email gets through. Since spammers mostly forge the headers of the spam they send out, spammers tend to not get the whitelist requests. That, and they can’t be bothered to respond to them on the odd occasion they actually get one. It’s too much work for them compared to much, much easier ways of obtaining email addies.
Be aware, however, that many people hate receiving whitelisting prompts. I, personally, cannot be bothered to go through the rigaramole required to get myself whitelisted. If you force me to go through the whitelisting process, I just won’t bother to email you.
As well, if you neglect to add all your email lists to the whitelist, then every time you get an email from them, it’ll send a response to the group, which will result in another not-whitelisted email received, which prompts another whitelist request, which results in another email… It can get very very messy. Unfortunately, I’ve seen it in action.
Throwaway email addies.
I use different email addies for different purposes. One email addy for my main contacts – individuals I’ve identified as friendly and who I like to get email from. They get one email addy. I’ll use another email addy for lists I’m on that I trust don’t have spammers on them or protect my email addy. Another for lists with known spammers or people/organizations I don’t trust.
When the spam gets bad, retire that addy and get a new one. You can do that either with your own domain or with free email services such as Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, and whatnot.
I’ll talk more about this tomorrow. 🙂