Best Email Address Practices For Combating SPAMPrint This Post
To kick the new year off right I am sharing a strategy to fight SPAM and email annoyances; it is a common sense approach to SPAM. This concept I can not take full credit from, although I can no longer find the original source to cite; so I will take credit for it now. If you can find the original cite, please post it in the comments; I only remember it was a security consortium and it was in their best practices (circa 1990).
So the secret is to take a tiered approach to email addresses. The three tiers of email are Personal, Semi-Private and Public. I have used this strategy for years and it works! Basically you need to create three email accounts and I will explain how to use them below. I recommend using Gmail; because you can have the other two accounts forward mail to the one you login to daily, so no need to check three separate accounts. You are creating a level of trust with each of the email addresses from most trusted to least trusted. You should choose passwords for the accounts the same way; hardest to easy. I will use fictitious name for the example below of John Doe.
First step is sign up for your uber secret ‘Personal’ account. This account should be used for your banking, bills, blockbuster account and personal information; that you would never want to intermingle with relatives or friend’s conversations. The naming of the account should probably be something that a normal person (friend) would never figure out. Like John Doe would be best to sign up for an account like firstname.lastname@example.org. Make it personal by attaching a nickname you would like to have appended to your real name, but do not use something that is common knowledge about yourself. This account should also have a very hard password with letters, numbers, symbols and have a length of 14 characters or better.
Second email is your semi-personal account. This account will become your main account, it will be used for email directed to friends, family, etc… The name for this account for John Doe should be JohnDoe@gmail.com or Doe.John@gmail.com, but something that can be given out in normal conversation. Even nicknames are great… As long as it is not something inappropriate like DoeKiller@gmail.com or you probably won’t get an email from the girl you just met in passing. This account should have a somewhat secure password that you can type in quickly.
The last email is your SPAM account… The account you use for forums, signups, and anything that you know you’ll get SPAM from. This account will become the untrusted email account so anything sent to this email takes lowest priority and should be considered a scam. For this account you can create a pretty simple password, but do not use one from the other accounts.
The last step is to login to Gmail account the will be Personal and create a filter to forward mail to your semi-private acount. Since this account holds emails from banks you should probably forward and keep a copy. Next login to your public account and forward to your semi-private account all mail and select delete after forward. This account will basically create alot of mail and you don’t want it to pile up forever. Last step is login to your main semi-private account and create labels and filters by using the ‘To box’ to sort by.