This is going to be a short article.
I was, a few moments ago, looking at a Virgin Media e-mail about my installation date. It included the following at the end:
Don't miss out on our news and offers! Just add email@example.com to your address book
Adding people I have authorised to send me e-mail to an address book would be like creating a list of everyone I have given my home address to, and requiring they put an authorised return to sender address on the back of envelopes otherwise I will bin them.
Rather than having an e-mail address I give to everyone that needs my e-mail address, I give them each a unique point of contact. That is, to continue the analogy, a pseudo-department on the front of the envelope.
As a result, the e-mail address Virgin has for me no-one else has, and Virgin doesn't have the e-mail address I gave Watford Borough Council's Housing Benefit department.
How many spam messages have I received since I disabled my old e-mail addresses? Zero.
There Are All In Your Spam Folder, Surely?
What is a spam folder?
My mailbox on my mail server doesn't have a spam folder. It has a Junk folder which is empty (and no processing to put things in that folder). It also has a Deleted Items folder, with the latest message dated 08:00 on 29th May 2014 (32 weeks ago).
Nothing reaches my Junk folder because nothing gets that far.
Your Spam Checks Are Too Strict Then
My spam checks are basic. As long as your mail server complies with standards, and you e-mail me at a valid address, your e-mail will get through.
E-mails from servers that are blacklisted due to exploits or the like are rejected, as are e-mails sent from servers not permitted (by SPF/DMARC) to send e-mail for that domain.
Everything else gets through, and gets put into a specific folder for my perusal.
So You Do Block Mail!
No, I don't block mail. If an e-mail message is from someone I have given my e-mail "address" to, I should get it. If it is an abuse report, I should get it.
If you're trying to send an e-mail to me pretending you are my mail server, you won't be able to. Your DKIM signature won't be valid.
Spam-Free For 32 Weeks
I have been spam-free now for 32 weeks.
During that time, Gmail's alogorithms have been getting worse. Urgent security messages from my VPS have been going in the spam folder, so I haven't been alerted.
I am currently working on my phone system, but I will eventually be returning to e-mail and working on transferring the final e-mail contacts over to my mail server, followed by bringing my mail server in-house.