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I have been told placing a dot in the e-mail address before the @ deters spam. Is this true?

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I don't think that this would help- in fact, I'm almost positive that any mail sent without the exact address will not be received, or will result in a "undeliverable" from the server.

The best protection against spam that you can have is to make sure that you read sites' privacy policies VERY carefully, and that you don't place your address out in the open (such as posting it on this site without some kind of fake character in place of the @ so that it would show up as "address#mail.com" or something like that).
 
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