Nowadays on any given day, 60 to 80% of my mailbox's content is spam.
I know a lot of people who complain about this sort of rate. Where does it all come from?
I'm not absolutely paranoid, but I'm reasonably careful about who my email address is given to. I almost never enter it into any electronic database without reading the relevant parts of a privacy statement first. (If I'm not satisfied, I'll use a throwaway hotmail account.) If it's going to be on display anywhere on the web, I'll usually try to make sure that a munted version goes on display.
I don't send token electronic birthday cards to people, and I ask others not to send them to me. In fact, my standard sig states "Please don't give my email address to commercial entities without permission."
When I'm filling in registration surveys on websites, I give them minimal marketing information. (eg. My occupation is nearly always "Other", if it's an option.)
I don't post to any major open mailing lists (eg. bugtraq) that are sometimes patrolled by spammers, although I know not everyone has that option.
I've had my current main email address for about two years now, and I can count the amount of spam that I've recieved on my fingers. I haven't been stingey about giving it away to places that I think have a use for it. I just don't give it to everyone and everyone without a reason first, and without checking them out. I don't think I've been ultra-paranoid.
For fallback reasons, I've purchased my own domain and I always give a unique email address to every company. This way if they leak it to spammers, I can usually trace it back to who was responsible, and block the specific address at my ISP if it gets really bad - I haven't had to do this yet. (For the record, I no longer trust realaudio to keep their database safe from spammers.)
What sorts of places do spammers get email addresses from apart from the places where people haven't been reasonably careful? Maybe I've just been lucky, and I'd like to know for future reference.
jesterzog Fight the light