Saturday, January 06, 2007

Changing my email address again

I don't like changing my email address because every time I do I lose contact with many people whom I only occasionally hear from. However, it became necessary to take action because the spam has overwhelmed my filters and I don't feel like paying for "better filters". The best filter is not having an email address the spammers know about.

The last time I went through this was the fall of 2003 when the SOBIG.F virus/trojan/whatever infected millions of computers around the world. So many people had my email address in their computers I was getting 3,000 infected emails a day, and that was the limit of what our server could handle (although Dixie was also getting hammered).

I've tried to be careful with the email address I set up because it took me a month to make the transition. Nonetheless, I've found myself on a few third-party marketers' lists and gradually the nonsense has built up. But what pushed me over the edge this time was that a blog I occasionally post to shared email addresses for about 2 weeks in November. The blogmaster apologized to me when I complained but it was too late. He had already fixed the problem by the time I found the leak, and there may have been more, but my spam had already overwhelmed my filters.

So I am once again changing my email address. I went through my outbound email for the past six months and sent out notices to nearly everyone I have been in touch with, except one group who will receive a separate notification. But there are many, many other people who have contacted me through the past few years who may have my old email addresses who perhaps have tried to contact me and cannot get through.

The most sure way to reach me is through the Xenite.Org Contact Us form. Of course, even though it's a custom form and script the spammers once managed to compromise that resource too. We had to implement some counter-measures.

I don't like spammers. I don't like the people who pay them money to spam. I don't like the people who click on the links in spam emails making it profitable for spammers to keep spamming. But what can I do, except change my email address 3 years or so?

The old one will soon stop working. I am presently using a quarantine mailbox to check for messages still being sent to that address. But in a few weeks, perhaps sooner, when I am satisfied that I have changed all my subscriptions and autonotifications (or at least the ones I care about), I will shut down the old address for good and move on.

Because I have my own server and domains I have that luxury. It's a shame not everyone else can do it. But at least now when I open up my regular email client and scan my 1200+ emails, I know they are spam-free.


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