Spammers are Winning
There's been a lot of media coverage about spam. And despite the government getting involved and the various filtering tools, I think the spammers are winning.
As you would expect, e-mail addresses that appear on websites are being harvested and added to mailing lists. But what I'm trying to figure out is how e-mail addresses that don't appear anywhere are getting spam. Sure spammers are going to come up with common names like firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, but even addresses that don't spell anything and contain numbers are getting spam. How can this be? My guess: someone at theses companies is selling the addresses. Can anything be done about it? I doubt it. Am I going to try? No.
But there are two things that I've done recently. The first is to remove all e-mail addresses from this site. Anyone that wants to contact me now has to go through a form. Yeah, I know forms can be inconvenient. But I've kept mine short with only three input fields and none of them are mandatory.
The second thing is signing up with SpamGourmet. This free service allows you to create new e-mail addresses on the fly and specify a maximum number of e-mails that can be sent to that address. After the max, the e-mails are discarded and you never see them. This is great for signing up on other sites that require you to provide a valid address. Check it out.