Take Control of Your E-Mail and Kill Spam

Posted August 15, 2015  |  Filed under Technology

Do you get a ton of unwanted spam? Do companies you deal with sell or give away your e-mail address? Do you want to have complete control of your e-mail? If you answered yes to any of these question, let me show you how.

NOTE: For the purpose of this article, the domain names and e-mail addresses I use are made up and fictitious as of the writing of this article. These could be later and used later on down the road.

Many of you will have an e-mail account with a free service such as Google's Gmail, Yahoo, or through your Internet Service Provider (ISP). These are good and cheap accounts, but you don't have complete control over them. What happens if your e-mail address gets comprised and you start getting a ton of spam? You have to close your account and open a new account. Then you have to spend a lot of time to notify all your family, friends, social network accounts, banks, and others that you do business with of your new e-mail address. Well I am going to show you how you can take total control of your e-mail and be able to easily handle situations if your e-mail address gets compromised. I created this method and have been using it for over 15 years and it works great. Yes you will have to spend about $10 to $20 per year, but the benefits will greatly outweigh the cost and you will be asking yourself why you haven't done this long time ago. So let's get started.

First you need to get a domain name and hosting company. A domain name is what you type in the URL field at the top of your browser, such as www.Google.com. "Google.com" is the domain name. What is cool is that you can create your own domain name, as long as it has not already been taken. You can possibly even use your own name. For example, if your name is John Smithz, you may be able to get the domain name JohnSmithz.com. If it has already been taken, you can try to putting in a dash in the name, such as John-Smithz.com, or adding a number to the end, such as JohnSmithz1.com. You can also create a cool domain name such as StarMaster.com, provided it has not already been taken. I would strongly suggest that you keep the name very conservative because you may want to use your e-mail address on your resume, job application, or something else important. You don't want to have a domain name that would offend a potential boss. Once you have your domain name, you need to register it. A registrar is where you register it at. You also need a hosting company to host your domain name and get a hosting company. I would suggest using a company that is a registrar and is also a hosting company, such as 1and1.com or GoDaddy.com. There are several others out there you can use. You can easily research and find one on Google.

Now once you have your domain name and a hosting company, you will be able to create and use an e-mail address with your domain name. In most cases you will be able to create as many e-mail addresses as you want. You are not stuck with just one. I have about 15. This is where we start getting into the method I was talking about taking control of your e-mail. For the purpose of this article, let's assume you registered the domain name JohnSmithz.com. So, assuming your name is John, you would be able to create and use the e-mail account "John@JohnSmithz.com".

If you are not aware of it, there are basically two types of e-mail accounts. First there is a standard e-mail account that you are used to using where you can send and receive e-mail. The other is called a "Forward" account. This type of account simply forwards any e-mail it receives to another address when e-mail is sent to it. For example, let's assume you create a Forward account called "John1@JohnSmithz.com" that forward to your main account "John@JohnSmithz.com". When an e-mail is sent to "John1@JohnSmithz.com", it simply forwards it to "John@JohnSmithz.com". It does not have an inbox to hold it. These are very handy and I will show you why later. There is one thing to keep in mind about the Forward accounts. If an e-mail is sent to a forward account and then forwarded to a regular account that you designated, don't respond from that account. Then they would have your regular e-mail address. You may want to set up a "throw-away" account that can easily be deleted to respond to it if you need to.

You are probably wondering why I had you get your own domain name and hosting company. The reason is so you can create multiple e-mail accounts and create Forward e-mail accounts. Now let's talk specifics about my method. The first you want to do is to create a few regular accounts. Create one to use when writing to your family, such as "John@JohnSmithz.com"; one to use with your friends, such as "ItsJohn@JohnSmithz.com"; one to use with your bank accounts, such as "MyAccounts@JohnSmithz.com"; one to use with your social networks, such as "Networks@JohnSmithz.com", and one for your on-line subscriptions, such as "Subscriptions@JohnSmithz.com". You may find others that you want to create as well. Now the first two you created, one for your family and one for your friends, only use these e-mail addresses for these purposes only. Let me explain why. If the account you use for your friends gets compromised, then all you have to do is change it and will only need to notify your friends of the change. You don't have to notify your family, bank accounts, subscriptions, or social networks. See where I am going with this?

Let's talk about your bank accounts. For your bank accounts, department store accounts, and any other accounts, you will want to create a separate "Forward" e-mail account for each of these and have it forward to your main accounts e-mail address "MyAccounts@JohnSmithz.com". For example, you would create these three Forward accounts: "SmithBank@JohnSmithz.com", "StateBank@JohnSmithz.com", and "WalDart@JohnSmithz.com". All three of these would forward to "MyAccounts@JohnSmithz.com", which would be the only one you would need to check. You would give each bank the Forward e-mail account for that bank. There are three great reasons for this. First, it increases the security of your different accounts. If one gets compromised, the hacker cannot use it at your other banks. Second, if one gets compromised, you only need to change one and notify only one bank. And third, if one of your banks sells your contact information to somebody and you start getting spam from that person on that account, you will know which bank to go to complain. What do you think?

Now for your subscriptions and social networks, you would simply set them up using forward accounts like you did for your accounts, and for the same reasons. Now you have total control of your accounts and don't need to spend a lot of time changing and notifying people when an e-mail address gets compromised. This may sound like a lot of work, but it really is not. You can register a domain name and get a hosting company in just a few minutes. New e-mail accounts only take about a minute to set up. And once set up, you are done. Just enjoy the control of your e-mail then. You may think - now I have five e-mail accounts to check. True, but you can easily set them up in an e-mail client such as MS Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, or others. Your hosting company may have an online solution as well.

Let me show you another little trick you can use. Have you ever gone to a web site to download something and they want your e-mail address to download the item? They just want your e-mail address so they can start sending you spam or sell it to someone else who will send you spam. For these sites, I just create a quick "throw away" forward e-mail account, give it to them, download the item I wanted, then delete the throw away account. Ha! They don't have my e-mail address. Throw away accounts are good for a lot of things.

There are so many other benefits you can get from going this route. For example, you can create e-mail accounts for your family and friends if you want. Since you have a domain name and a hosting company, you can create a website, such as a personal website or a professional website. You have lots of things you can do. But the important thing is that you have total control over your e-mail. Keep in mind that you don't have to set your accounts up just like I outlined above. You can do whatever works for you. The method above is how I have it set up and it works well for me. I hope this article has been helpful.

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