How to save yourself from Craigslist and other spam emails?

How can you save yourself from Craigslist spam emails?

Recently I listed some items for sale on Craigslist and the next thing I know, my inbox was filled with spam emails.  These emails were intended to get my PayPal and other account information.  They were not related to the items I was selling at all.

When I stared to clean-up my messy inbox, I found that most of the emails in my inbox were unnecessary. For example:

  • Tons of spam emails,
  • Advertisement/promotion emails and newsletters from services you use like eBay, PayPal, iTunes, Google,  etc.…
  • Twitter follow emails
  • Emails from other social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn etc.
  • Forwarded emails from your friends containing chain emails, jokes and philosophical articles.
  • Friend request mails from Orkut, Facebook and other unknown networks that someone in my contacts started using….
  • Various other invitation emails to the services your friends use like Plaxo, hi5 etc.
  • Job alerts even if you are not seeking employment.
  • Finally, a small number of important personal emails.

Result —- Email and Information overload and Inbox filled with ever-increasing ‘Unread mails’ which I thought of reading later but never could get back to.

Now the question is how to reduce this email overload and save yourself from Craigslist like spam emails.

There are some services which you can use to reduce a bit of this burden.  I have selected these 5 services which can be of help time to time depending on where you want to use them.  Most of these services let you created Self destructive / temporary disposable emails.

Self destructive / Temporary Disposable Emails

Following are some email services that give you temporary emails.  The emails you can use while checking out new services, shopping sites and the places you are not so sure about. These disposable emails will get self-destructed after the defined time automatically, enabling you to try new services without revealing your real email address.  This way, you fight spam emails to your real emails.

  1. Scr.im:  There are times when you want to give out email address in public e.g a forum, blog post, job posting etc.  But that can end up getting heavy spam in your Inbox.  Scr.im(currently in beta) converts your real email address into a link that can be shared anywhere you want.  Trick is, the spam bots won’t be able to read your email address and if they are human they need to prove it to show your real email address.
  2. Mailinator:  You create your own email randomly but ending with any of the seven domains like …@mailinator.com, …@mailinator2.com, …@sogetthis.com, …@mailin8r.com, …@mailinator.net, …@spamherelots.com or …@thisisnotmyrealemail.com.  Check on the site if the id you created got any email.  As simple as that.  No sign-ups, no passwords.  You can even check this email using RSS.
  3. Melt Mail:  Define time frame (3 hr, 6 hr, 12 or 24 hr) to use the temporary email.  Good for places where you need to provide email just to get a download link or key for any software or something.  Use this service, provide your temporary email and be assured you will never receive any email from that site again after temporary email is destructed.  In between all emails sent to this Melt Mail will be forwarded to your real address.
  4. 10MinuteMail:  Similar service but emails self destruct in 10 minutes.  Though you can buy more time on the same page.  Your emails will show up on the same page your temporary email was created.
  5. Guerillamail:  Similar service but emails self destruct in 15 minutes 1 hour.

BONUS:

  • Gli.ph:  When you create your Gliph account you can create Cloaked Email addresses.  With cloaked emails linked to your real email (kept secretly), Gliph lets you avoid giving out your real personal information at places like Craigslist, eBay and all when you shouldn’t have to.  

Please feel free to share this article with as many friends as you like, post it on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ etc. but remember don’t spam your friends.