[Update 12/2016: Unfortunately, DesktopOne is being discontinued, so this fabulous spam solution is no longer available.]
“For tis the sport to have the (spammer) hoist with his own petard.” – Shakespeare, Hamlet
Finally, we have a free and effective solution to your spam problems!
I’ve always gotten my share of spam in my email inbox, but something happened several months ago that sent the spam problem out of control. Evidently several of my email addresses, including some that are only used internally, found their way into spam lists. Probably this was due to an “inside job” at my email service provider, such as a worker at that company selling client email addresses for profit. Although it’s not something I can prove, it’s hard to imagine another way that these internal email addresses could have escaped into the wild.
Seemingly overnight my inbox exploded out of control, with typically about 300 bogus emails per day. That averages out to a spam every five minutes, 24 hours per day. First thing in the morning I’d be greeted by perhaps 100 spams in my inbox, making it very easy to completely miss or accidentally delete a legitimate email. Note that these spams are not the “opt in” type of spam that you might get from a real company – your bank, a department store, Amazon, etc. Those types of emails can be annoying too, but you can opt out of them, or unsubscribe. I’m not counting those in my 300 per day.
The spam I am talking about is the real kind, and more often than not it is the dangerous kind – spoof emails with bogus links or infected attachments, usually courtesy of cowardly international shysters, criminals, and con artists. Such spam accounts for about 80% of my email.
This is not an easy problem to combat. I could change my email addresses, but this would be very disruptive making it difficult for my customers to reach me. I can’t unsubscribe to them because I am not subscribed in the first place, and in any case the return email addresses are generally fake. If they do offer an unsubscribe option, it is only as a trap that lets the bad people know that my email address is attached to a real person – clicking the unsubscribe button will make the situation worse.