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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Use Gmail to get rid of spam

I first got an email address back in 1993 and in those days you thought nothing of giving it to all and sundry - spam was still meat in cans. That soon changed and after a few years I was getting several hundred unwanted emails a day. A change of email address helped but pretty soon the flood resumed. That's when I was tipped off about  Gmail - and how I could keep my email address and get rid of almost all the spam.

In some ways, Gmail is just an ordinary email service like Yahoo or Hotmail. The key difference is they have got a really good spam blocking system.

So, here's how I used it:

  1. I opened a free Gmail account
  2. I set up an autoforward from my normal email to send all my mail to the new Gmail account
  3. I could have stopped there and just read my email in Gmail and adjusted it to send replies "From" my old email address
  4. However, I prefer to read my email via a separate program so I used the autoforward in Gmail to send the messages on to an ordinary email account which I access with Thunderbird
Gmail settings screen

So the upshot is I "haven't changed a thing" but Gmail is silently cleaning up my email.

 If your existing email doesn't have an autoforward facility, there's a facility in Gmail called Mail Fetcher that pulls your email out rather than your old account pushing it into Gmail. A disadvantage of this is that incoming email may be delayed

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