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How to Prevent Spam from Getting in Your Inbox
This short article details a few ways to prevent spam from getting in your inbox. If your email client is already getting inundated with junk, consider installing a spam filter application such as SpamButcher. Advanced junk email blocking software can be configured to filter mail so that most spam is deleted before you download it.
The only way to really prevent spam is to make sure that spammers never get your email address to begin with.
First, never post your email address to the web. If you must make your address available to users, there are a few work-arounds. One option is to post your email address as an image. You'll have to create a JPG or GIF file, but you can easily do this with "Paint" (it's included with Windows in your Accessories program group).
Another option is to obscure your address by spelling it out, such as, "rich at spambutcher dot com". The downside is that this looks somewhat unprofessional - but it certainly will prevent spam.
The same rules go for Usenet groups and online forums. The catch is that you commonly must provide a valid email address to access them. For these, consider obtaining a free throw-away email account. Yahoo! can be a good choice for this.
If you host a domain, many ISPs have options to configure a "catch-all" account for your domain. This allows you to provide a separate email address to anyone who requests one from you. For instance, if you are purchasing products from Bob's computers, you could give them the address firstname.lastname@example.org. If that address starts getting spam, you know where it came from. Even better, you can prevent it from getting in your inbox by choosing to block e-mails sent to the address once it becomes problematic.