Practical Security for Practical People: Sinkhole Spam

I’m zero-percent famous. I know that. But a few years ago, I realized that everywhere I turned someone was asking for my email address. Mostly to spam the living daylights out of me.

I felt out of control of my own digital address. Kind of like getting my front yard TP’ed. Everyday. With manual clean-up.

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So I decided to play the game.

First, I signed up for a free, encrypted email service (e.g. protonmail). Let’s call it my new digital home address.

Then I signed up for free, disposable email addresses (e.g. 33mail). Let’s call them my digital P.O. boxes.

Now, when I visit a website that asks for my digital address, instead of giving them my digital home address, I just give them a digital P.O. box of my choosing.

Imagine signing up for a newsletter with a temporary address (e.g. rickybob[@]sup.33mail.com), forwarding responses to a permanent inbox, and then having the ability to unsubscribe from anything you don’t want to see ever again.

Takeaway: consider your life online and how you can reclaim your digital domain. Maybe you need to setup two private digital home addresses and a digital work address. Maybe you need an entire collection of online P.O. boxes to distance yourself from spam. Think about where you’re currently subscribed, and how frequently you want to check the mail at each of your ‘addresses.’ You won’t regret it.

I reclaimed my digital address. You can, too.



Graham Westbrook