I have written a few times on my struggles in dealing with spam email and trying to prevent it hitting my account.
Once a spammer has your email address it is circulated widely among bad actors and those companies who sell hosting or domains to them aren’t really going to do much about it, not that they can anyhow. These companies are reactionary to problems rather than put in place something pro-active to stop them from buying their resources in the first place.
At the end of the day, if you want to get rid of the spam, the only solution is to delete your email address and start from scratch again.
The main email address that received spam I’ve had for many years. I had previously used it on social media platforms. In 2012 LinkedIn had a data breach for which many emails and passwords were sold on to Russian crime syndicates, and most likely went further afield than that.
The email was based on a domain I owned, here is the process I went through in deleting it:
- Gather information on all those people/companies that had that email address, so I could update my details
- Delete the email address
- Deleting the email address took some time as it cleared the internet to truly become deactivated. In other words, for a couple of weeks I still saw messages go into SpamExperts until it was truly gone
The worst part was updating my details with companies for which the process was difficult or impossible:
- Before deleting the email I needed to log into the account then change the email to my new one. Some systems send a message to your old email account before you can update it to a new one. This is a bit of a nuisance if someone loses the email without any prior warning, in which case they will have to call the company to have it updated that way.
- Some systems use the email address in their database as the primary key, therefore totally impossible to change it. Most companies will use a username in which case it’s easier to change the email. So, for some companies I had to delete the account and create another one, part of me just couldn’t be bothered doing that so they have potentially lost a customer just because their system isn’t designed that well.
Going through this process was painful but totally worth it:
- I could review all the information the company held on me, and some I noticed had an old address.
- I could decide whether I wanted to hear from the company, many times I didn’t so I decided to delete the account
- Then, I could change the email according to where I want their information sent to. So, if it was a general email list I would rather send it a gmail account than my own business account.
- Even if I wasn’t deleting my email account I might have gone through the process for some of the reasons stated above.
I just hope criminals don’t get my current email address but I fear it’s just a matter of time.