Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

Companies that sell your email address

I stumbled upon a post on Eric Lundt’s blog (co-founder & CTO of FeedBurner) where he listed a handful of companies that have sold his email addy without his consent. Since we all HATE spammers and those that sell our email addresses, I thought I’d pass along Eric’s findings:

  • Datek, which merged with Ameritrade in 2002 and is now TD Ameritrade
  • United Airlines. I’ve created multiple email addresses for United and received spam on all of them
  • Micro Center, the electronic store
  • Vindigo. I no longer use their service.
  • Network Solutions. That gives you confidence, eh?
  • 1-800-Flowers

I started to do the same thing about 6 months ago: I create a specific email address for each company I give it to, which allows me to identify which companies are selling my email addy to the f’ing spammers (I highly recommend doing the same). Sometimes, I get lazy and don’t feel like creating a new address when I’m in the middle of registering with a website. During these times, I provide my generic ‘spammable’ email.

In the past 6 or so months, the only company that has sold my address is:

  • Accuquote (they aggregate quotes from various life insurance companies)

Feel free to post a comment if other companies have sold your email address.

Btw, if you’re already getting spammed on your primary email account, check out my previous post on ‘How to stop spam email.’


Filed under: Email, Spam

How to Stop Spam Email

Tired of being spammed? Not happy with your email’s spam filter? Well, believe it or not, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a VERY effective email address that you can forward your spam email to. After forwarding your spam email to the FTC’s email addy, your spam email will decrease by 90 – 100%. All you have to do is forward any spam email you receive to the following email addy: spam@uce.gov. After about 1 – 2 months, you’ll notice a dramatic drop in spam email. Now, you may still receive a handful of spam per month but keep forwarding them to the FTC and they will eventually stop.

I started doing this about 6-8 months ago when my .Mac email account was compromised and, after about 2 months, all spam email stopped. I find this to be much more effective than relying on spam filters. With this method, you’ll never have to worry about your spam filter catching false positive emails and you help the FTC get back at the spammers. 🙂

Filed under: Email, How-To, Reviews, Spam