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Mung Your Address

Mung???

What is Mung?

MUNG. According to the ↗ Acronym Finder, it means "Mash Until No Good." (Reports from Usenet suggest that the pronunciation is "muhnj.") In other words, do not give your valuable email address to strangers. Conceal or obfuscate it.

Of course you will use your normal unmunged address in your email, else how would your correspondent reply to you? Do not post it anywhere else. If at all possible, do not display it on any web page. The spambots that crawl the web 24 hours a day will find it and send you spam very soon.

Pick an email address that is not common. Use some form of punctuation in the address: bob.smith rather than bobsmith, or place a number in it somewhere: bob.smith7

If you choose the address bob AT domain.tld or other rather common names, the spammer's dictionary attacks will find you even if you never use the address!

How to Mung

You usually do not need to change the part to the LEFT of the @ sign, although you may. If you do, make it something like bob.mung.smith. Do change the part to the RIGHT. Do not use any domain name or top-level name that might be a real domain.

Usenet Newsgroups

If you participate in USENET, your email address will be found quickly; some tests have indicated that mere minutes have elapsed before a spam was sent to a fresh address posted in USENET. Mung your address.

Generally speaking, it is not necessary to leave your valid address in a newsgroup post, as all conversation is supposed to take place within the group. If you must, conceal it in your signature in the body of the post and write it as "My address is bob.smith7 and my domain is example and com" Do be aware some newsgroup charters may require a valid reply-to address.

Throwaway Addresses

Keep your private address private. If and when you need to post your address anywhere on the internet, use a different address just for the purpose. Free addresses are available in hundreds of places: myrealbox.com, hotmail.com, yahoo.com and so forth. Yes, it is a pain to remember to check all your addresses, but normally you would look at the throwaways infrequently.

Most internet providers allow you to have multiple addresses. Create new ones directly with your own provider. If your main address becomes polluted with spam (more than a dozen or so a day gets by the filters), see if you can block the main address and switch to one of the others.

Further reading

And to repeat...

Remember, stress these points to your friends:

"Never place my address in the TO field when you forward jokes - use the BCC field; and Never send me one of those e-greeting cards."

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