Step 3: Creating Email Aliases
How to create unique email aliases at your domain ...
The technique of creating aliases is fundamental to the success of the Spam Plan - it is at this point that most people will kick themselves for not thinking of such an obvious, but brilliantly simple idea!
From now on, instead of giving out your ISP address to everybody, you create a unique alias at your domain for each contact. For example, if you have an account at amazon.com, you would give them the address email@example.com. Your ebay account would use the address firstname.lastname@example.org and so on.
Your existing contacts and online accounts will need to be notified of the new address that they must use - which is a little time consuming - but it's something that you only have to do once and then you are spam free forever!
To make life easier, it is often more practical to use one alias address for several different contacts - this is the approach I use when I am dealing with reputable companies that I trust 100% not to sell my address, because in these cases you are extremely unlikely to ever receive spam from them.
For example, instead of creating 2 different aliases for amazon and ebay (email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org), you could just create one alias called email@example.com and give both of those companies this address.
If you have multiple bank accounts, it is probably not necessary to create multiple aliases for each bank, such as firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com - just create one general alias such as firstname.lastname@example.org and give this to all your online banks.
Aliases To Avoid
When you are creating aliases, it is important to avoid certain generic names, such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org - this is because spammers know that most people will create these common aliases at their domain, so they will just 'guess' what your address is, knowing that maybe 50% will get through.
To receive the email which is sent to all of the unique aliases you have created, you simply need to go into your control panel and set all aliases to be forwarded to your main ISP address.
Your ISP (Internet Service Provider), is the company you sign up with to gain access to the internet - eg, if your ISP is AOL, they will give you an email address such as 'email@example.com'.
When you check your email using Outlook Express or some other email client, it is this ISP email address that most people set their computer to log into
Why do this?
Every time you give out an email address, you are taking a chance that it will end up on a spammers mailing list. Assigning a unique address to all of your contacts doesn't lessen this risk, but it gives you a way to fight back when it happens.
If a spam email arrives in the future, you will be able to tell who sold your address, because they were the only person who was ever given it. A simple, but very clever trick! More importantly, you will also be able to cancel their address and stop the spam instantly, without affecting any of your genuine contacts - this is what makes the Spam Plan so effective!
Hopefully, you are now starting to realise why this is much better than having one email address, which you give out to everybody.
Catch All or Default Address
Any email that arrives which is not addressed to one of the aliases you have created will be classed as your 'catch all' or default address. It is safe to say that pretty much 100% of email that is addressed to a non existant alias will be spam - so it should be dumped!
To dump this spam, you set your catch all or default address to be forwarded to an address often referred to as the 'blackhole'. Any email sent here will never be seen by you.
Alternatively, you can set your default address, so that it 'bounces' a permanent error message back to the spammers - this way they know the address is not valid and will probably take it off their list.
ISP Address Security
It is vitally important to stress that your ISP email address should NEVER be given to ANYONE! It's only function is to receive messages that have been forwarded from the aliases you have created. If your existing ISP email address is receiving spam at the moment, you will need to get a new one.
When you wish to send messages from Outlook, or some other email client on your PC, you need to be able to send them with your chosen email alias showing as the 'From' address. To do this, you create multiple accounts within your email client for each alias address that you want to use.
When you are composing a new message or replying to an email you have received, you will be able to manually select which account you use to send the message, and hence which email alias will appear as the 'From' address. The replies that you send using your alias address don't give away your private ISP address to the recipient.
Some email clients have a nice feature, where it identifies which account has been used when you receive an email, so that when you click 'Reply', the correct 'From' address is automatically selected for you. In other words, if you receive an email from your bank, sent to the alias firstname.lastname@example.org, when you send a reply it will automatically be sent 'From: email@example.com'.
If you are worried that this will be a lot of work, creating loads of different accounts within Outlook, then don't panic! Many of the alias addresses you create at your domain will be for incoming mail only - you will never wish to respond to the sender - so you only have to create Outlook accounts for those addresses that you will need to reply to.