Top Document: Address Munging FAQ: "Spam-Blocking" Your Email Address
Previous Document: 2. Basics
Next Document: 4. Actions
See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
3a. What does 'spam-blocking' or 'address munging' mean? (Both terms refer to the same thing - from this point on, the author will use the terms 'mung' and 'munging' term to refer to the practice.) Address munging is the act of modifying one's email address so that email sent to that address will not be delivered to the person doing the modifications. Typically, this is done in posts to Usenet, in order to avoid receiving unsolicited commercial/bulk/boilerplate email (UCE/UBE). The Jargon File defines 'mung' as `Mash Until No Good', probably originating at MIT; sometime later the recursive acronym `Mung Until No Good' became popular. It means 'to make large changes to a file', or 'to destroy data either accidentally or maliciously'. It was probably derived from 'munge', which is why you will see both words used to describe the practice. Then of course there are the Chinese beans. 3b. Munging DOES NOT MEAN MAKING YOURSELF ANONYMOUS Trying to hide your identity by faking your email address simply does not work; even an amateur detective can quickly identify the source of a message if the From: line is the only thing that's been tampered with. It is possible to be truly anonymous when doing almost anything on the Internet, but it takes a lot more work than simply changing the From: line. Trying to hide from spammers by changing the "name" or "real name" portion of your posted address also does not work, because that part of the address has nothing to do with email delivery. In fact, you should make it a point *not* to change your "name" if you decide to mung your address. Many people on the Internet have a consistent name or handle by which they become known. Changing this part of your identity only makes you unidentifiable to people who have come to know you on the net.