Keeping an Email Address Sacred

Album Cover: First Impressions of Earth

"Don't be a coconut. God is trying to talk to you."
The Strokes / Ask Me Anything

Posted on October 13, 2005 12:55 AM in Computers
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

I've realized that you can't keep an email address sacred. It's just not possible. Well, okay, it's possible...but you have to never give it out to anyone, never use it, and never even think about using it. That's about the only way to keep an email address sacred.

I have two email addresses that I have never exposed on a website. I've never used either of them for any purpose other than sending direct emails (or replying to direct emails) from actual people. However, the addresses are no longer "sacred" as I am receiving spam at both of them.

My theory is that when you send a direct email to a real person, you are at the mercy of that person from that point on. So really, kind of like the "only as strong as your weakest link" idea, the sanctity of your email address is only as dependable as the security of the least secure person you have corresponded with.

If I send an email to person x and person x uses an application like Outlook Express for managing their email, at that point I might as well be using Outlook Express too. If person x manages to get spyware or, worse, a virus on his or her computer, I might as well start using my once "sacred" email address to sign up for free iPods and such.

So like I said, if you really want to keep your email address sacred, don't ever use it. Just sign up, login once to make sure it works, and then never use it again.

Disclaimer: The approach recommended here does not apply to Hotmail, Yahoo or any other free, non-Gmail email addresses. Expect to receive spam at those types of email addresses before you ever get a chance to send an email to begin with.


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