One of my clients has some of our better anti-spam measures in place, and we block about 85% of their spam. Because they're a firm of accountants and financial advisers, it's harder than usual to avoid false positives -- but we do a pretty good job.
Every time I visit this client, I'm given a hard time about how much spam they're getting. I tell them that without these measures in place, they'd be getting approximately six times as much.
While I was there yesterday, I had long conversations with a couple of them about the ways in which spammers get hold of valid email addresses. In particular, I talked about being careful about which websites you type email addresses at. I said, amongst other things, that in general you can't make any assumptions about what any particular website is going to do with your email address.
These are conversations I've had repeatedly with various of the people at Client B, including (on previous occasions but not yesterday) a certain one of the partners.
Blair (my boss) had an email from this parter this morning.
> I'm using a new tool called Plaxo to update my address book. Plaxo
> makes this easy by sending messages like this one -- and if you
> download Plaxo too, you and I will automatically have each other's
> latest contact info right inside Outlook without needing to send
> emails back and forth. You can get plaxo at [snip url].
I'll reiterate what just happened.
This client pays us good money to filter their spam.
I'm contracted to advise this client on all IT matters.
I've had frequent conversations with them about behaving sensibly online to minimise their exposure to spam.
And one of their partners has just uploaded their whole address book to an online database which has, as one of its selling points, that it keeps passing his own contact information to other users.
Please, please, don't let anyone who has my email address pass it on to a third party without asking me first. Third parties, in this instance, include any random attractive-looking online service that happens to take your fancy.