Catching companies that give your e-mail address to spammers

Spam e-mails
Spam e-mails

Into every life, a little spam must fall. About half the e-mail sent every day is junk. You can be as careful as you want with your e-mail address, yet somehow, word gets out, and the junk flows in. But there is one thing you can do to trace leaks when they occur, and it's free.

The secret is to create a new e-mail address every time you open a new account or contact a company. For example, when you deal with United Airlines, you might make an address called United12345@yahoo.com. For Dell, it might be DellAddressForMe@hotmail.com.

Then, when spam comes in, you can look at the address it was sent to and know who leaked your details. If spam starts trickling in via AcmeBirdSeed3923, you'll know that it was Acme that's got the leak, since it was the only company that uses that particular e-mail address.