Prevention vs Cure. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, or so your mother always said.
There is no guaranteed way to prevent spam from reaching your inbox. Doing nothing, however, is not an option. No matter the precautions we take, unwanted email somehow manages to make its way into our email folder.
SPAM filters will do a very good job finding the bad stuff, but we are still left with the task of reviewing a SPAM folder, finding what we want and eliminating the rest.
The best option would be to never distribute your real (protected) address to the public, to keep it known to as few people as possible. There are 3 different approaches to doing just that, which we present below.
Option 1, create a second email address. Using whatever email service you currently use (eg: GMAIL, Outlook, Yahoo etc), create an additional email address. Simply use that address when one is requested of you and if you are unsure as to the reliability of the sender. This will reduce the likelihood of your primary address folder being contaminated with SPAM.
This is a popular option for many email users we speak with, but it is far from the best.
- By using this exclusively for some “untrusted” senders, your regular inbox will stay relatively clean.
- This requires you to predict in advance those senders that might be problematic, and use the appropriate email address.
- Once SPAM appears in the second email account, you are now left with a partially compromised inbox folder which is what you were trying to avoid in the first place.
- If the second address becomes badly contaminated, you are looking at creating a third or possibly fourth address. It is impossible to handle just the affected senders.
- Not all SPAM comes from questionable senders. Your protected email address inbox is still susceptible to SPAM.
Option 2, a temporary fake address. These include such products as TempMail, trash email and so on. These services allow you to quickly retrieve an address from the service web site, to be given to an email sender. For example, when signing up for a promo, you would go to the site, generate an email address and use it for the promo. There is typically no signup or registration.
- Typically requires no signup, so the service has no record of your protected email address.
- Quicker than approach #! above, since new addresses can be created quickly
- These emails arrive in the services public folder, so your inbox remains free of clutter
- Emails are typically deleted from the service after a set period of time (10 minutes to 24 hours)
- You can create an email address of your choosing (with no guarantee however that someone else is not also using the same one)
- To counter these temporary email services, email senders are beginning to delay sending out materials for 24 hours. This requires users to check back into the temporary email service regularly to determine if the email has arrived. If they miss it, it will be deleted
- The fact that they use a public email folder means anyone can see the email, read it and even delete it. There is no password protection on it.
- This service does not work well if you wish to continue receiving emails from a sender. If you are in doubt as to their intentions yet still want to continue correspondence. this is not a great solution.
Option 3, a managed Alias Address Solution, also referred to as Disposable Email Address.
There exists a third category of Alias Address services, such as the one provided by Soodonims. These services allow you to instantly create multiple Alias addresses which will then forward emails to your private inbox. It has characteristics of each of the solutions specified above. Senders forward email to an Alias address created by the user, and all email is forwarded on to the user’s regular email folder.
- Emails are forwarded to your private inbox which requires only a single place to view all emails. No need to visit the website of the service.
- Private, no one else can see your emails
- Can keep an alias active indefinitely, so you can decide at any time whether to keep or terminate email relationship.
- Senders can be blocked individually unlike option #! where an entire inbox can become compromised. If a sender becomes a risk, terminate only them.
- The user can reply to these addresses while still maintaining identity secrecy.
- Addresses can be handed out and “created” without ever going back to the website of the service.
- In order to keep emails private and out of public view, it is necessary to sign up with your email address and a password.
Conclusion. An alternate email address approach will go a long way in keeping your inbox clean and preventing unwanted, risky email. We recommend you keep the following in mind when seeking out an alias email solution:
- Easily created alternate addresses.
- A service that requires your protected address and a password. It means your email is private
- Services that do not delete emails in a fixed period. You require control.
- Services that do not require you to visit their sight to generate an address.
- Ability to surgically address individual senders and not an entire inbox.
- Services not requiring a username and password
- require a visit to their site to pick up email. This usually means emails are public.