Lately, a day doesn't go by where there isn't an article that appears somewhere about the problem of spam clogging the Internet arteries and mailboxes of the world. Politicians are fighting over possible legislation to combat spam, technologists are discussing new technologies or changes to old protocols to combat spam, and recipients are complaining loudly about spam.
I say... "What spam?"
I believe I have the spam "problem" firmly under control, and it is to the point where I receive no spam at all. Want to know how? Read on.
Get a web client email account. To completely avoid spam, or at least keep it well under control, you will need to have a web client email account. Most any free email account will do, though some such as hotmail have spam problems of their own, so pick one wisely. I use a free email account from a video games site I frequent regularly, ign.com.
Don't read web client email. When you do receive email in your web client account, scan through the headings and delete immediately any you do not recognize who the sender is. Do not read them first! Delete any and all messages which appear to be spam. Believe me, you won't be missing a thing.
Be selective. Only give out your primary email account to friends, family and trusted associates. This does not include sites you visit where it asks you to enter your email address. In almost every situation you come to where your email address is requested, your web client email account is the one to use. Never, ever, ever give out your primary email address to anyone you do not know unless you trust them!
Never forward. Are you one of those who gets lots of email with a subject line: "Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: ..."? If so, you are setting yourself up to receive spam. These types of messages carry with them lots of overhead in terms of previous addresses it was mailed to, as well as addresses it was sent to including yours. I believe these to be treasure troves for email address thieves, and anyone eavesdropping on the net for this purpose will likely snag your address along with the many others contained in the same email. So, never, ever, ever forward messages on to others. If you receive a funny email that you absolutely must share, extract the funny part -- whether a link or a block of text, or a gif or jpg image -- and create a fresh new email message using your web client email account and send it that way.
While I won't guarantee that spam will stop for you as it has for me, I do believe it is very likely you will have similar results if you practice the guidelines I have outlined above.