A Technology Strategy for email and a desire to go paperless with crypto

I use lots of email addresses. One for immediate attention. But each of my other email ids has a specific purpose. Politics, professional job search networking, techie stuff, Manhattan College alumni aka Jaspers, Manhattan Prep aka my high school alums, one for work, and lots of secret ones for personal use. All it costs me is setup time! Outlook can poll lots of mailboxes pretty quickly; most only get looked at once per day.

;-)

Many of the email addresses are just a random string (e.g. HJPP 0S9L C9AW EBTY  @ gmail or W363 N93A DPO8 POAS @ gmail). I have several, probably a dozen, dedicated email addresses for different purposes.

I have “lost” a lot of addresses to spammers.

In one case, I know they used an alpha progression to eventually “discover” every address.  I wised up to it when some dumb spammer had “reinke @ att.net, reinkea@, reinkez@ reinkeaa@, …” in the To field. I noted that he quit at 12 so I went to 16 character names. So, I have adopted the long random strings as the “user” part.  Since 99% of the email use is “reply”, no one cares. Also since no one invests any time in the “name”, I can change it when needed (i.e., if it starts to be spammed). 

I have many ways for people to keep in or get back in touch, so it seems to work for me. For eample, http://public.2idi.com/=reinkefj or Plaxo or LinkedIn or Corex Cardscan or … …

It makes for compartmentalizing one’s email. AND, it makes spam and phishing laughable (i.e., a financial institution coming in on the manhattan prep account can be discarded without further adieu). Each financial institution has it’s own gmail account that is never used elsewhere. Hence, an email on the proper account has a high degree of reliability.

You might want to think about what strategy would work for you.

I really really want the financial institutions and every business to truncate paper. I always seemed to be buried in it. If they offer it, I have them discontinue the paper mail. No one does yet but one can only hope they will pick the idea up.

Having a background in cryptology, public key crypto should make this trivial.

The institution could accept my public key and give me theirs. Then they could encrypt my paper (e.g., a statement; bill; receipt) with their private key. Then, they encrypt it with my public key. And put it in the public email to my registered address. I could then decrypt it by using my private key and then decrypt it by using their public key. It is worthless to anyone without my private key.

Note the order of which they do it — SEQUENCE ONE their private key first then my public key; or SEQUENCE TWO my public key then their private key — doesn't matter.

They'd have to register my public key in their keyring somewhere. But when you consider the cost of mailings, they would have to save money. And, I'd be happier.

Wonder when?

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