Guest Author - Leena Kothari
We've all been bombarded with spam. No one in my world is so privileged that their inboxes are full of only emails they WANT to read. Those days are long gone. The battle now is - the enemy has arrived and we have to figure out a practical way to keep the bad guys at bay and maintain a degree of control over what is ours.
Spam offering online drugs, watches, and enhancements are almost inevitable. They find a way to sneak through the most dilligent of email servers, although some, like Gmail for instance, seem to catch and block a very high percentage.
Preventing unwanted emails would be fairly simple if we could identify the greatest single cause of spam. Fortunately - we can.
In case you don't know his or her name, get up, walk through your hallway to the bedroom and quietly enter your bathroom. It's important that you stay light on your feet, because you're about to come face to face with the number one cause of ninety percent of you spam.
When you find the courage, peek into your bathroom mirror and look deep into the eyes of the culprit.
Yes my friends, YOU are the number one cause of most of your spam problems. I know you are shaking your heads to and fro and vigorously denying any knowledge of my accusations, but the facts are facts.
Perhaps the number one marketing ploy on the internet is the collecting of email addresses to empower someone, somewhere, to email you at regular intervals. Whether you're requesting a free ebook, sample, report, newsletter, updates, or hundreds of other offers, chances are you will be asked for your email address to facilitate the offer.
Generally, when you sign up for anything, you should read the small print to see exactly what the 'terms of submission' include. You may be surprised to discover that you are not only agreeing to get the free 'whatever', but you are also agreeing to receive future emails with similar offers from the same marketer.
To make matters worse, the fine print also frequently includes a statement that the marketer may share your email address with other marketers who have offers that the original marketer feels you may be interested in as well. And you, by virtue of giving out your email address, are agreeing that this practice is A-OK with you, although you only wanted the free " Bee-keeping for fun and profit " report.!
Now, companies that you have never heard of, or had any dealings with, are bombarding your inbox with emails, and you're at a loss as to how this happened. You honestly thought you were being dilligent and protective with your email address, until you discovered marketers from far away places were tossing your address around like confetti at a parade.
There are ways to avoid these pitfalls, ways that require a minimum of effort on your part. One of my very favorite is a service called " SpamGourmet ". They are a freeware service that you can freely use to control who sends you emails, instead of some faceless marketer in Kalamazoo controlling who sends you emails.
Using it is simple. You provide SpamGourmet with your email address, which is the address your emails will be forwarded to. They don't even ask your name, since it isn't important for using their services. Once they have your email address, you set up a 'user name', and you're ready to begin using Spamgourmet's disposable email addresses.
"Self-destructing disposable email addresses", that's what they're called. Using Spamgourmet is a simple as filling out an online form with an address that looks something like this:
Keyword.email@example.com , with 'keyword' being a word that you can change at will to help identify where the email is coming from. For example, if you sign up for a report from ABC Supplies, your key word could be 'abc' or 'abcreport'.
The '4' is the number of emails you wish to receive from the sender. You are in total control of how many emails can be sent to this address (up to a maximum of 20 ). You can receive one, or you can receive several to see what follows after your initial email, and whether it's something you may be interested in. And too, if your email is shared, you will only receive your chosen number of emails, regardless of how often it's passed around. All the other marketers will have their emails bounced!
The 'username' is whatever name you selected when you signed up, and will always be the one constant in all your emails. Personally, being the creative guy I am, I use my last name.
So, if you wanted to sign up for a free newsletter from 'Hillbilly Lovemaking Tips and Tricks', you could sign up with - firstname.lastname@example.org . You'll get three whole issues to see if HLMT&T is for you. If it is, sign up again. If it's not, nothing lost. After the third issue, (or third email of any sort ) the email address will self destruct and any future emails will bounce and NOT be forwarded to your inbox.
Spamgourmet is a simple, straight-forward method of controlling what reaches your inbox. Shouldn't YOU be in control?
SpamGourmets Web Site