Did you ever wonder how you got on some spammer's list? Wouldn't it be nice to have proof, not just a suspicion, when you start getting pump-and-dump spam a week after signing up with a new stock broker? A SpamFinger address will give you that proof.
Did you ever wish you had a "disposable address" you could use on some suspicious website, without having to first register that address with your Email Service Provider? Our SpamFinger addresses can be made up on the spur of the moment.
A SpamFinger address is just like a regular email address, but your individual name has two parts: an alias and an access code, separated by a dash, e.g. tomj-8*7*3. The alias should not be your regular email name, or spammers will just drop the code and spam your real name. The code is any string of numbers or letters, with a few * "wildcards" that match any one character.
Using 'tomj-8*7*3' as your secret SpamFinger address, you could tell that sleazy broker your email address is 'firstname.lastname@example.org'. The 5 and 1 will identify the broker. The 8, 7, and 3 are required. Any address that doesn't match every character except the * positions will be rejected as "User Unknown".
1) Don't go overboard on the number of different addresses you hand out, or you will never remember them yourself.
2) Don't make your code too simple, or the spammer will figure it out. 'tomj-*' is probably too simple. The five digit code above is about right. Spammers deal with millions of addresses, and they won't make a huge effort to crack your code.
3) Keep one address as your general "disposable address", and use it until it gets "spammed out". Usually it takes a few months for a new address to get on those "100 million address" CDs spammers sell to each other.
4) Don't give your email address to a porn site, or you will be spammed out within a month. That's what I've been told, anyway. :>).