Will We Ever Pay For Security?

by James R. Stoup Mar 12, 2006

How many email accounts do you have? 3? 5? 10? One for work, two or three for your personal life, one for a special mailing list and maybe one for keeping in touch with your “friend” online who really thinks you are a 16 year old blonde girl named Tiffany. They can quickly add up and before you know it keeping all of your mailboxes cleaned out is quite a chore. Thanks to spam anyone who banks online has to be very careful about which emails they open.

Here is an example. I have both a yahoo and gmail account, both of which, I use frequently. Now, all of my personal business is conducted with the yahoo address. Paypal, banking, credit cards, everything. This works out well for my gmail account because I know that any email I get that claims to be from Paypal, my bank or my credit card company is just spam in disguise. However, this brilliant plan doesn’t work out so well when I go to check my yahoo account. You see, I still get just as much spam at the yahoo account as I do the gmail one.

So what happens? I have to carefully screen out each and every email I get, just to be sure it isn’t real. This is a huge waste of time, as I am sure anyone who has email already knows. Once upon a time I used filters on my yahoo account, but what happened? Yep, you guess it. It filtered out the real mail from Paypal along with the spam. This almost got me in big trouble when I actually had a problem with my account that one time. So, no more filter after that.

But what if I could get an email account that was practically spam free? No matter who I gave my address to I was guaranteed that no Nigerian bankers would need my help extracting large sums of money from their country. No one named Cindy, or Trixi or anything like that would try to talk me into buying videos of bisexual, virgin coeds named Mambi and Bambi. No offers to enlarge my manhood, get a fourth mortgage, or receive a degree online. And, most importantly, any email I got from Paypal, my bank or my credit card company, really was from them and not some phisher trying to scam me out of my ID.

If such a free account existed I would be all over it, sadly, I haven’t heard of it yet. But, what if such a service existed and all I had to do to participate in it was to pay a small fee. I would immediately ask how much? Would $20 per year be too much? Not for me. That would be a fair price to pay if I knew that my email was secure and spam free.

But things change a little bit when the number creeps up to, say, $50. Would that be too much to pay? Maybe. How about $100? Well, for me, that would be too steep for the security such a service would offer. But would that price be too much for someone who as already had their identity stolen before? Would that price be too much for someone who has ever been duped by a spammer? Maybe not.

The point isn’t how much someone would pay, the point is that, in a few years, I think services like this will become a thriving business. Consumers already buy home security devices to protect their homes, they buy products from Norton to protect their computers, why shouldn’t they buy a service that would protect their online identities? Giving people protection against online threats for a reasonable price seems to be a very realistic way to make money. And if I had to guess what company will seize on this opportunity first I would bet on Google.

They have the respectability, technology and market sense to capitalize on this opportunity. Think of this as the first step in Google’s attempt to completely ingrate themselves in all aspects of the web. This could be the tip of the spear as they try to create new ways of finding revenue.


  • 10 email address’ not me I have 100’s of them. I’m not joking; I do have 100’s of email address’.

    Frozonecold had this to say on Mar 13, 2006 Posts: 32
  • Why though…

    JJJJJ had this to say on Mar 13, 2006 Posts: 7
  • Why not? Actually most of them serve purposes, like my business one, my website’s one, my personal one, my spam one, and the rest are mostly for alternate identities.

    Frozonecold had this to say on Mar 13, 2006 Posts: 32
  • James. I haven’t received spam for the last 5 years. How much does this service cost me? Well just some intelligence and a few bucks.

    step1: http://www.godaddy.com. Create a domain name, something long you wouldn’t mind giving out to people, but with as few ‘real’ words as possible.
    step2: Set up the domain on a basic server: find a friend, make your own, or pay for a very cheap one (if all else fails, you can use godaddy’s email service.)
    step3: Create an email address: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    step4: install spamassassin onto the server: http://spamassassin.apache.org/
    step5: enjoy no spam. At all. Ever. If you don’t index your domain as a website, there is nothing for the spammers to find. And even if they do, spamassassin will do no wrong.

    As an example, my email address is: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (oh and look, i’m not afraid to give it out in its entirety! - Do your worst spambots!)

    Luke Mildenhall-Ward had this to say on Mar 13, 2006 Posts: 299
  • Believe it or not, comcast.net user accounts come with very good spam filters. They work off of a honeypot concept and not through statistical or Bayesian filters. I’ve never found a false positive. I rarely check now unless I think I should have received something but don’t. I get less than 10 spams a day on an email address that has been active 1998.

    James Bailey had this to say on Mar 13, 2006 Posts: 7
  • For those who think my above method is too expensive, laborious or confusing. I also receive approximately zero spam on my hotmail account (no, seriously - hotmail)

    I owe it all, quite simply, to choosing a very random username: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) - I use this for website signups.

    I am honestly so out of touch with spam. I actually thought people weren’t getting it anymore after the introduced laws. Let alone as much to consider “less than 10 per day” an easy amount :/

    Luke Mildenhall-Ward had this to say on Mar 13, 2006 Posts: 299
  • LMW has some good ideas. Creating email addresses should follow similar philosophies as creating passwords:
    - Include numbers
    - have minimum length of 8 characters.
    - minimize real words, especially names.

    eg .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) is asking for trouble,
    try .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    This also applies for creating any usernames. make them at least a little complicated!

    Chris Howard had this to say on Mar 14, 2006 Posts: 1209
  • Will We Ever Pay For Security?
    - Certainly yes!
    I’ve paid for Spam Bully http://www.spambully.com/. It’s the best $29 I’ve spent in a long time!
    I was getting at least 80 “spam” e-mails every day. My inbox was filled with junk and I constantly had to weed through it, wasting my time deleting 90% of incoming e-mails. I can’t tell you how tired I was of people offering me free XXX videos of mature women or Viagra.. After I installed Spam Bully, within 24 hours no more junk. It was easy to install and it just started working without me having to do anything. I didn’t even wait until the free trial period was over to buy it.
    Spam bully is a plugin for Outlook and it filters all my pop, hotmail, gmail, imap and exchange accounts.. I’m very happy with it!

    -Bill had this to say on Mar 14, 2006 Posts: 1
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