It used to be that if you were careful with your email address, you wouldn't get any spam. If you didn't put your email address on a web page, or didn't fill out forms on questionable web sites, you could go years without getting any spam. I am careful about email addresses, and for years I didn't get any spam on some addresses that I keep very private, and share only with, say, my extended family.
But that's all changed now. All you need is to email someone who is running Windows (which is, of course, most of the world), and if they add you to their address book, you are a sitting duck. Sooner or later, if that person gets a virus, or even some other "legitimate" program gets hold of their address book, you are now on a spam list -- forever.
So your email experience can be ruined simply by having friends or business associates who use Windows, and who are perhaps not savvy enough to keep their computers completely clean of viruses FOREVER.
This bothers me because Microsoft could easily fix this. They could easily fix a lot of the problems that plague Windows, but they choose not to. Why, I don't know. But they could make the address book encrypted or otherwise unavailable to viruses and trojan horses. They could make mouse movements and keystrokes unavailable to programs other than the frontmost app, thereby preventing spyware from being able to function. They're not doing these things, despite years of abuse and fairly obvious solutions.
All of my previously sacrosanct email addresses have been compromised. I don't have any left that don't get spam. This really irritates me, because it isn't my fault. It's Microsoft's fault, actually. They are directly responsible for my receiving spam, and I don't like it.
Friends don't let friends run Windows, I guess. Or at least they don't email their friends who run Windows.
Here is a signature file that you might use in your email program:
If you are running Microsoft Windows, please do NOT add me to your address book. Thanks.