I’ve changed my email address in order to get away from all the spam I was getting on that one. The new one is kevin <at> bombaxo <dot> com. I’ve changed the reminder in the right column, as well.
If some little mini-hippy wannabe environmentalist comes begging at the door for money and asks you to contribute or at least sign up for an email list, do one of the following: 1.) pay him money and don’t give him your email, or 2.) slam the door in his face.
Pardon me while I geek out for a bit.
There is one sure way to remain spam-free, according to a recent study (which of course I can’t find now!) by someone here at Berkeley. The trick is to have at least two email accounts and the ability to enable/disable them. When the spam comes often to your address A, switch temporarily to address B for a period of six months for best results. When the spammers have their mails bouncing back to them, they’ll start taking your email address A off of their lists, so the longer you’re using address B, the better. After a time, you can switch back to using address A, and then disable address B, which will probably have begun receiving spam by that point, unfortunately. This way, you’ll never end up in a position of having most of your mail traffic on any given email address consisting of spam. And as long as you have other ways of notifying people of your address (like posting it on your blog or website), then you won’t really need to worry about losing touch with anyone.
Another trick that I realized was necessary to counteract the ability of some fairly common software to do “screen scraping.” You’ll have noticed on this blog and others that there’s a verification feature with a kind of all twisty word you have to type before leaving a comment. This is to avoid a screen-scraping robot from spamming you with comment mail. So, what I’ve done on my contact page on my website is designed to also defeat a screen-scraper, using a colored gif image of the address instead of straight text. The variety of colors and tones will make the text which comprises my email address appear to be a graphic of some sort to the screen-scraper, not text. It won’t be able to read it as text. I formerly had a plain black-text-on-white-background image there, but that might not have been enough, as I’ve heard that such is now ineffective. Anyhow, that’s the theory. We’ll see if it works. In the meantime, it’s just groovy anyway! Far out!
Probably the best thing to keep in mind to avoid spam is to never give your email address to anyone who doesn’t have a need for it: bands you see while out drinking who have a mailing list, the bars you were drinking at who have a mailing list, acquaintances you make at those bars, email petitions, your congressman or senator (because their staff may be evil!), mini-hippy wannabe environmentalists at your door, and anything else with a high “sketch factor” as I call it. You’ll find you never get any email from them, but you sure are suddenly getting a whole lot more spam after you gave your email address to them.
So, this, my anti-spam experiment begins now with a change of address. I’ll let everyone know how it goes.