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Article published on Tue, 28 Mar 2023 20:24:26 GMT

Written by Bart Nijbakker

Discover how to fight spam effectively by becoming a true spam slayer!

How to fight spam

There are two kinds of spam: nice spam and evil spam.

Nice spam is from reputable companies, which allow you to select your options, and unsubscribe if you like. It can be annoying, but is easier to stop.

On the other hand, there are various disreputable actors out there who send evil spam. The unsubscribe links might not work, or even contain ads or malware. This type of spam is better fought off by simply blocking the senders.

In this article, I will teach you how to combat both of these types of spam. I will also explain how to become a true spam slayer, which might be cheaper and easier than it sounds.

Stopping nice spam

If you think the spam you are receiving is of the "nice" kind, for example because it is from a company that you bought products from, then simply following the unsubscribe link (usually found at the very end of the email) and submitting your choices should be enough to stop them from sending you mail.

Stopping evil spam

If unsubscribing does not work, or you're receiving emails from companies other than those you have done business with, it's safe to say this spam is evil. In order to stop it, one solution is to block the sender. This is easy if there are only a few spammers active.

However, if many random spammers are sending you evil spam, blocking every one of them can become a full-time job. In this case, the easiest solution is changing email address. This is very annoying, because all the legitimate correspondents will also need to be made aware of your change. And sometimes, this does not even solve the problem, as we still don't know where the spam comes from.

Finding the source of evil spam

Every now and then, companies have a data breach. This is unfortunate, but sometimes quite inevitable. Sometimes, it's not the companies you bought products from, but criminals who stole your email address from this breach who are sending the spam. If this is the case, it can become much harder to stop. To be safe from all kinds of spam, whether it be nice or evil, becoming a spam slayer is a good choice.

How to become a spam slayer

Protecting yourself from all the modern sources of spam maybe seem like something that only computer experts can achieve, in truth it's quite the opposite. The solution I will show uses email aliases in order to detect where spam comes from, and allows you to simply block an alias to stop receiving emails from that source altogether.

What is an email alias?

An email alias is like an anonymous email address which hides your real inbox. All emails sent to this alias will be forwarded to the original inbox, and as an additional benefit, some alias providers remove email trackers. This means that companies and criminals alike will no longer have direct access to your personal inbox, and that emails can be traced back to the source more easily.

Blocking spam using email aliases

Imagine John Doe, who has a personal inbox at He fills in his email address on a shopping page in order to receive a discount. After a while, he starts receiving more and more spam, but he does not know whether it comes from the shopping page, or something else.

Now imagine if John Doe would fill an anonymous email alias for his personal inbox, such as into the shopping page. He will be able to see that any emails associated with it come from his alias. If the shop starts sending him spam, he will be able to see that it came from the shop. Even if the shop gets breached and criminals start sending him spam, because he did not fill his real inbox but an alias, the criminals will only have the alias and John will still be able to see that it originated from this same alias. In order to stop the spam, John can simply disable the alias.

Privacy warning

Email aliases do have a risk of their own, which does need to be addressed before I continue.

Any alias providers will be able to read all emails that are received and sent through the alias. Therefore, always choose an alias provider that you trust, and keep in mind that your communication there might not be private.

This might not be a big deal for shopping websites, but is especially something to keep in mind with more important things such as banking accounts.

In order for the email trick to work, the real inbox needs to be properly hidden. Aliases such as will not always work, because the private email address is clearly visible in the alias. Several companies and organisations provide fully anonymous email aliases though.

How to get an alias

Here is a list of email alias provider that I personally recommend:

Provider Description Privacy Pricing How to use
DuckDuckGo DuckDuckGo is a private search engine company, but they also provide several other services such as Email Protection. DDG Email Protection aliases are completely unique, so they cannot be traced back to your private email address. Email Protection also removes trackers, which is a small additional benefit. DDG stores famously minimal data about you, so they are a good option for privacy, and the reason I recommend them. Read their Privacy Policy to learn more. DDG Email Protection is completely free of charge and allows you to create unlimited aliases. The aliases are also short, using the small domain. In order to start using DDG Email Protection, go to and follow the instructions to install the browser extension or mobile app.
Firefox Relay Mozilla also has an email alias provider, called Firefox Relay. Firefox Relay email aliases are also unique, so they cannot be traced back to the original email address. Mozilla prides themselves as a pro-privacy non-profit organisation and should be trustworthy. Read their Privacy Policy to learn more. Firefox Relay is a freemium service, offering 5 email aliases free of charge. The domain used is In order to start using Mozilla's Firefox Relay, go to to get started.
AnonAddy AnonAddy is an open-source privacy-focused service providing email aliases. They allow you to create aliases including a username, but also completely anonymous ones. AnonAddy also has some extra features such as PGP encryption and custom domains. AnonAddy is an independent service, which also allows you to self-host the alias server. I have not tried them yet, but can recommend their service. Read their Privacy Policy to learn more. AnonAddy is a freemium service. They provide 20 aliases for free (for 2 recipients, with max. 20 MB bandwidth per month). The domain used is In order to start using AnonAddy, visit their website at to get started.
SimpleLogin SimpleLogin is a French company providing email aliases. They support features like PGP encryption and custom domains. SimpleLogin is a privacy-focused company. Personally, I use SimpleLogin the most and can definitely recommend them. Read their Privacy Policy to learn more. SimpleLogin is a freemium service. They provide 10 aliases free of charge. SimpleLogin has recently partnered with Proton, and provide free service to premium Proton users. Go to to start using aliases from SimpleLogin.


Please do your own research, making sure you trust the provider before you choose them. I have tried most of these providers, and only recommend ones that I trust myself. I am not affiliated with any of the companies or organisations in any way.


Spam can be annoying and time-consuming, but there are always solutions available. I encourage everyone to become a spam slayer and use email aliases.

And as always, remember that knowledge is power, which is especially true when it comes to the digital realm.

Stay safe.

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