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Aug 15, 2004: Drowning

WARNING: narcissism ahead

Lou's Knowspam spam counter

Thanks to Knowspam's running tally, this weekend I learned that I've achieved the dubious honor of having one million spam blocked. This happened over about a seven or eight month period. Maybe 125K spam per month ain't so bad, but the rate is accelerating to the point that I'm approaching 100K spam per week.

For crying out loud.

If I understand it properly, this makes me personally accountable for roughly 1/53nd of all the spam that Knowspam has ever blocked. And I'm sure they have more than 53 customers. Their service is fine, but it's become slow enough that it can take ten or fifteen minutes during the first mail check of each day to filter out the previous night's crap. And if I go a whole weekend without checking, by Monday morning I'm completely screwed.

I'm leaning toward killing "lou@louisrosenfeld.com" and adopting a scheme like Tog's approach (see bottom of page). And yes, I know, I just put my address out there again, but honestly, it's a bit too late for it to matter. Anyway, aside from recommending that I adopt better hygiene regarding how I publicize my future email address(es), I wonder what you think of Tog's approach or others that might be worth considering.

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Comment: Peter (Aug 15, 2004)

Holy cow! I'm starting to use tog's approach as well (I'm slowly migrating). I think it's obscure enough to be valuable (the spammers won't catch on until a lot of people use it). For extra security I also created an image with my email address in it for use on my site. I also use knowspam by the way - it still works for me :) I'm at 38,000 spams.

Comment: Lou (Aug 15, 2004)

Good point: keeping it obscure is to our advantage.

OK, everyone: forget you read this...

Comment: Eric Scheid (Aug 16, 2004)

a refinement to tog's scheme is to do this:yourname@2004.domain.com. This way after 2004 has passed you can set your DNS to say all mail for that domain should be sent to 127.0.0.1

What does this mean? Your mail server won't even have to deal with rejecting the messages, as they will never even come knocking.

Comment: Matthew Clapp (Aug 17, 2004)

I've had the same Yahoo! email address for about 5 years. Needless to say every spammer has it but I didn't want to give it up. I use Cloudmark's SpamNet. It's pretty slick and manages to block about 99% of spam without any false positives. I've been impressed.

Comment: Gordon (Aug 17, 2004)

I agree...my knowspam account is getting a bit slow...and Tog's thing seems like too much effort...especially the "chnage your domain (!) version...The image thing as well seems to contravene section 508...

I like the idea that we (legit. hard-working salt-of-the-earth e-mailers) work as a community collectively fighting spam using some sort of collaborative tool - if enough people block a spam then it gets blocked for *all* and then escalated in "the system" to some sort of federal consumers commission...never to be seen again...

Comment: Gordon (Aug 17, 2004)

I agree...my knowspam account is getting a bit slow...and Tog's thing seems like too much effort...especially the "chnage your domain (!) version...The image thing as well seems to contravene section 508...

I like the idea that we (legit. hard-working salt-of-the-earth e-mailers) work as a community collectively fighting spam using some sort of collaborative tool - if enough people block a spam then it gets blocked for *all* and then escalated in "the system" to some sort of federal consumers commision...never to be seen again...

Comment: Gordon (Aug 17, 2004)

Sorry for the double posting and typos etc above...shouldn't there be a *preview* button?...for people like me? ...god bless posting software...

Another comment on knowspam is that it *does* stop e-mail ever getting to you which is good if you are using your swanky new Treo 600 to download e-mail...

Comment: Are Halland (Aug 18, 2004)

My approach, which have worked for me so far, is to purchace a domain (halland.us) with a catch-all system receiving everything@hall..., and an easy way of forwarding and blocking the different adresses via my ISPs web interface.

Now each time I sign up for a potential spam-service, or post my mail adress on the web, I use a new or existing catch-all adress. I.e. when i signed up for a godaddy domain, i used godaddy@halla... Now, when I realize this adress gets spam-bombed, I just block it.

And I only give away main adress (are@hall...) to trusted people.

One potential problem is that it can be hard for people to know it's actually me when I sign up for AIfIA using aifia@hallan... Another potential problem is if someone else gives away my main adress.

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