Mailing lists that eventually become spam

SpamBot 3000 is ready to... serve

SpamBot 3000 is ready to… serve

Occasionally I will opt into a mailing list – but very very rarely will I do so with a real e-mail address. 1  One of the domains I own allows me to specify a “catch all” e-mail address where mis-addressed e-mails will be sent.  The most useful part of this is that I can give out an e-mail address of any sort I want @mydomain.com and the e-mail will be redirected to the account I actually check.  Later if I discover that it wasn’t such a good idea to have given out an e-mail address like that, then I can always forward all e-mail to that address to trash.

For the most part as long as you’re not giving your e-mail address to really sketchy websites or posting them in plaintext somewhere, I’ve found many newsletters/e-mail marketers are pretty ethical.  What’s interesting are those companies that have passed on my (fake) e-mail addresses.  What I’ve found is that they tried to market to me at that address for a few years – and then apparently gave up – at about the same time that I began receiving spam to that address.

Which brings me to a minor rant.  The company I work for2 posted all of the employees’ e-mail addresses online in plaintext.  What a colossally bad idea.  Although I’ve asked the IT guys to at some level of obfuscation3 to our addresses, the requests have gone unheard.  My work e-mail, which is managed by Gmail, does a pretty good job at catching spam – but this seems an unnecessary step.  Even with these protections, I’m still getting phishing e-mails, Nigerian scams, “medications” over the internet, offers to purchase plaques commemorating awards, and all kinds of nonsense.

Uh, yeah, I don’t know where I was going with this one.  :)

  1. Photo courtesy of Tinkerbots []
  2. During my day job for a company you’ve never heard of doing something far less interesting than making awesome robots that make awesome things []
  3. Which would be easy since the company website is on WordPress and there must be a dozen plugins that do exactly this []

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