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Windows Mobile (soon to be Android), and other toys aka gadgets

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Sunday, March 23, 2008
  Reduce email from 800+ to 50 25 per day

About 10 years ago, I started my personal website, jimtravis.com. The domain package included a catchall email account which allows you to use any name/characters before the @ sign in the email address. A catchall account is beneficial because you can use a unique email address for all your correspondents, and receive all emails in your main email account. Ten years ago, spam was not the problem it is today, so the email received was usually just from desired correspondents. Over the years, my correspondents, usually companies, sold their email lists, and the amount of spam I received exploded, I recently was receiving 800+ emails a day; approximately 98% was spam I had no interest in receiving.

The following steps resulted in a reduction of daily email from 800+ to about 50 25:
  • I eliminated the catchall feature so only email addressed to the main account name, and approved aliases would be accepted. In order to implement this, I had to create about 150 aliases. You use quite a few unique addresses over a ten year period. I checked the email in my saved folders to obtain most of the names before the @ sign that I had used. This step reduced my email by about 50% since all the spam email addressed to random names/characters, or addresses I did not create aliases for (no longer desired to receive mail from them) would be rejected.

  • Since 400+ emails a day were still too many, I checked the addresses that received most of the spams. I found that about 10 aliases were receiving about 90% of the spam. Since the names before the @ sign are unique and generally used for only one contact each, it was easy to contact the companies the aliases were originally used for, usually via their webpages, and change the email addresses. I eliminated the 10 offending aliases, and reduced the amount of daily email from 400+ to less than 50 25 with only about 10 spam messages.

  • I will continue monitoring the amount of email received, and if spam increases, I will check aliases again to determine the offending addresses. I would create a rule which filters all the email for the unique offending address into a separate folder so I can ascertain all the contacts I used that email address for (usually just one), and then change the email address with the appropriate contact(s). Once satisfied that I had changed the email address for all the associated contacts, I would delete the alias from the approved list, and again reduce the amount of email received to an acceptable level.
If you don't have a catchall account, and/or use email aliases, this procedure won't benefit you, but it did reduce the amount of email I receive by more than 90%.
I was a Palm OS champion for years, but switched to the Windows Mobile platform in 2005. My experiences using my Windows Mobile devices, and other electronic devices will be detailed in this blog. The posts reflect what I like, and do not like about a device, or application. Your needs, and opinion may be different.

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