The best way to protect your email address is to not give it out. Of course this defeats the purpose of having an email in the first place. You need to give out your email for a variety of reasons, but you don’t want to get on multiple sales lists. And of course you don’t want to be subjected to possible virus attacks, as well as the many con artists trying to get you to give out banking information.
The best approach is to have more than one email Some people will have an email that they seldom give out, and when they do, it is only to friends or businesses. Their other email will not be very important and given out any time an email is necessary. Although this email account may have an important message from time to time, you will experience a bombardment of advertising.
Free email accounts are available all over the web, so create however many you need. You can have one private email for social reasons, another for business, and a third as a type of throwaway email that you give out to most people or businesses. However many you use, always protect your most important email account from being added to a business list. Whenever you get an advertisement, make sure you unsubscribed from the list. If you suspect it is a dangerous email, simply delete it.