By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

E-mail update

I think most of my problems stem from the fact that my personal e-mail address, dan {at} dankennedy {dot} net, has become so compromised over the years that it’s practically useless. I’ve been isolating those messages at the source, and it seems like there’s two or three good messages for every 300 spam messages. Worst of all, robots have grabbed hold of it and are using it to try to spread spam to the four corners of the earth.

My Northeastern address, da {dot} kennedy {at} neu {dot} edu, seems to be relatively unharmed, as does my actual Gmail address, which I try not to use.

Occasionally I’ve seen services that allow you to set up the Berlin Wall of spam blocks: If someone isn’t already in your address book, he can’t get through unless he answers a question or fills out a form or something. Does anyone have any experience with that?

Although even if I set up such a trap for my personal address, it presumably wouldn’t do anything to stop it from being used as an outgoing address by spammers.


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  1. Anonymous

    Dan, was your spam-besieged email address posted on the Web in the past? If so, I would think that’s the reason you’re getting such a high volume of spam.I’m a little surprised at the amount you report. My ISP filters likely spam into a folder and it amounts to a couple hundred a week. It does catch the occasional “real” mail, but I don’t have so much spam to plow through that it’s a major chore to rescue those.If you get yourself another e-address and don’t post it on the Web naked, so to speak, you’ll of course reduce your spam right away. But I’m guessing it will stay at manageable levels if your address isn’t retrievable by bots searching Web postings.I’d say try to avoid the so-called “whitemail” things. For one thing, they’re extremely alienating to people who want to reach you to force them to fill out a form and submit a request for approval to send an email. Ugh.And I would think it would be a real nuisance for a somewhat public figure like yourself, too, because of the hassle of figuring out whether you should “allow” this or that totally unknown emailer to send something into your inbox.

  2. Des

    Spammers grrrrr Bring back hanging

  3. Dan Kennedy

    Anon 1:05: I left it completely unprotected for years. It was all over the place, in machine-readable form. Still is here and there. So there you go. That’s why I think reclaiming it might be hopeless at this late date.

  4. MeTheSheeple

    I was using three different packages through Thunderbird to capture spam, one of which ran it through something like eight different blacklist sites. There were not one but two Bayesian filters involved.I was still completely and utterly deluged, plus I was getting a bunch of false-positives and losing e-mail from friends.I thought of just forwarding my e-mail through Gmail to add a fourth spam filter. Now I just use Gmail.This is a long way of saying … you can try, but you’re not going to be happier with anything else. Sorry.

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