A British developer has come up with an ingenious way of getting rid of annoying spam emails and getting revenge on the people sending them in one fell swoop.

These days, subscribing to a newsletter or buying something from an online store usually results in a deluge of follow-up promotional emails.

For some people, filtering these into a junk mail folder is a satisfactory solution, but others would rather put a stop to the emails altogether, by clicking the "unsubscribe" button at the end of the email.

However, many companies are lazy about managing unsubscribe requests, and even if you think you have unsubscribed, you may continue to receive messages in your inbox.

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Now, Rory Ashford, a creative developer from Huddersfield, has come up with a brilliant solution, which he described in a tweet.

He suggests that by changing your email address to one owned by the company sending the spam, it will end up receiving its own spam messages, and you will be left spam-free.

The tweet has gone viral, attracting 2351 favourites and 2823 retweets at the time of writing. In a follow-up tweet, Ashford said he had employed the tactic on a few sites, and it had worked "like a charm".

Earlier this year, in June, security firm Symantec reported that the overall rate of spam emails had dropped by more than half for the first time in more than a decade.

Phishing rates and email-based malware were also down, suggesting attackers are targeting people in different ways, such as through messaging apps and social networks.