Date: Tue Jan 6, 2004 9:35 am
Subject: great way to avoid spam
Over Shabbos lunch our hosts expressed their grief with the gross spam they get on their hotmail account, and noted the chinuch challenges that spam casues. So, FYI to all, here is one solution:
Setup your own domain. It is very cheap, gives you everything you need for web-based or SSH email, as many email addreesses as you need, and your own web site (ourFamily.com - whatever).
Spammers target the large ISPs (aol, hotmail, yahoo, etc.), but they never heard of "ploniAlmoni.com", for example, and it is not worth it in their business model to go find theGoldbergs.com, so if your address is ploni@ploniAlmoni.com, odds are you will get almost no spam. For exmaple, I just about never get spam at this email address because the spammers never heard of torahweb.org and it isn't worth their while to find it.
I have no connection to any ISPs, just my experience with TorahWeb, but I
would be happy to share that experience with anyone who is interested.
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 3:25 PM
Subject: [TeaneckShuls] more great ways to avoid spam
These are other methods that I use to avoid spam in addition to the ones that Judah has already mentioned.
First: Never post or place your email address, as an email address (email@example.com) on the web. Most spammers have webcrawlers that go through the text of every website looking for posted email address and include them in their databases of confirmed and working email addresses. If the need to post the actual email address arises, some savvy web editors will write the "@" sign out so it wont be detected as an email address (eg nameathost.com) although I am sure in time sopshiticated webcrawlers will see through that as well.
Second: if you must provide your email to a company for short term use (eg to receive a confirmatory email for purchasing a product or writing on an online journal etc) but are concerned that the company will forward your email to a spammer after use, you can use a disposable email address. This is basically a temporary forwarding device in which you provide the provider with your real email and they give you a disposable (auto-terminating) email that will forward to your real email address for a defined amount of time. The one I prefer is jetable.org, a french site which provides this service for free. (Note that on the jetable FAQ page, they spell out the email
address for the site adminsitrator.) A general review of disposable email providers is available at http://email.about.com/cs/dispaddrrevs/
Third: My (free) Yahoo account does a fairly reliable job weeding out spam and placing the offending material into the bulk folder of my inbox. It pays to check the bulk folder anyway, because personal emails that are sent to numerous addressees may end up there anyway, and so its not foolproof, but for a free product, it does a very good job.
As you may be aware, there is legislation pending that is intended to regulate spam and spammers; my sense is that the methods currently being discussed will not do the job that is needed to be done and this will just be something we have to deal with, like paper junk mail and people handing out dirty fliers on street corners.
Finally, the real answer is that the only truly effective way to make your inbox kosher is to screen every email. Fortunately, the subject line on almost every offensive and inoffensive email that one receives is clear enough for one to discern whether it is worthwhile opening or deleting. And as a user of the internet and email, one has a responsibility to do just that. Caveat emptor.
From: "Joseph Fishkin, MD" <joseph@f.. >
Date: Tue Jan 6, 2004 4:58pm
Subject: Re: great way to avoid spam
In reference to the recent posting about avoiding spam, here's another way to get rid of spam.
I do have my own domain name, but since my email address is publicly available online, I was getting about 300 spam emails a day, until I installed SpamCatcher. I have no connection with the company - I just think it's a great product. You can try it free for 30 days, then it's only $19.95 for a year if you decide to keep it. Out of my 300 daily spam emails, it only lets about 3 go through, and it doesn't block any of my legitimate email. You can find it at
Yosi Fishkin, MD Yosi@F... www.GoDaven.com - The Worldwide Minyan Database
From: Sharon First KEYtfilla@a...
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 7:18 PM
Subject: [TeaneckShuls] more anti-Spam advice
I received the advice below from a computer savvy friend. I should add that many people find the AOL Guardian and the spam controls to be pretty helpful. Here's the advice:
Outlook 2003 has a nifty feature which causes it to NOT download the (offensive) picture portion of emails, unless you whitelist the sender. It is a simple click to download the pictures one time, whitelist the sender, or whitelist the entire domain. I have found this feature to be extremely helpful in "kashering" my email.
I also use Cloudmark's anti-spam system, and find it extremely accurate. As a guide, since I have been on the 'net since the early 90's, both my old email addresses, which I still use, are in every spam directory. I get about 400 spam messages per day (!) and about 75 valid messages. Of those 75, perhaps 20 are from lists I subscribe to. Cloudmark is about 95% accurate, and makes it very easy to one-click blast away spam it misses, and also to quickly run through the tagged spam folder to un-block the few it was too aggressive about (usually those are from the lists I subscribe to). Once I run through that folder (once a day, takes about 30 seconds), I do a Ctrl-A (select all) and Shift-Delete (permanently delete)
One other trick: In the spam folder that Cloudmark creates, I shorten the Subject column to just a couple letters, to avoid having to look at the garbage in the subject, even briefly.
Cloudmark is $4.99/mo; They also have a discount to $3.99 if you use a referral code.
See http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1601567,00.asp regarding "Protect Your E-Mail Address" and link for encoder at http://automaticlabs.com/enkoderform