Spam email is not fun for anyone, however I’ve seen some people go about combating spam in the wrong way:

There are a variety of companies that offer an anti spam verification system.  Basically, when a person emails a recipient for the first time, their email is prevented from reaching the recipient’s inbox.  The sender is sent an automated email, instructing them to click a link and complete a captcha (those anti spam image verification tests).  Then, and only then, will their email be delivered to the recipient.  If they fail to complete these verification steps, then the email won’t be delivered.  While I applaud the idea of fighting spam, I see this particular approach as a bad idea for the following reasons:

1. It tells those sending email to you that your time is more valuable than their time
Forcing the senders of legitimate email to complete a captcha tells them that you would rather have them jump through hoops than to deal with spam yourself.  It sends the wrong message to clients, and can be insulting to colleagues.  We don’t make clients and colleagues solve a puzzle before they enter our offices or call us on the phone, and email should be no different.

2. It can block important emails
Some people’s spam filters will end up blocking the verification emails, causing the original message to be lost in limbo.  Other times, a person will send an email before boarding a plane or otherwise losing internet access, causing a time critical email to be delayed for hours or longer.  Other people may send email from devices that lack unrestricted web access, preventing verification even if they receive the automated verification email.

3. It is unnecessary
I have email set up on about a dozen domain names of mine, including catch-all addresses (so any email to any address at the domain name reaches my inbox).  I also have my old gmail and student email accounts forwarded.  My various email addresses appear on many websites… Yet only about 2 pieces of spam make it past my spam filters every day, and I very rarely have a legitimate email caught by the spam filters.  Normal spam filters work well enough, and don’t burden those who email me by making them jump through captcha hoops.