Posted by: LarryO | November 11, 2010

Managing Spam

Email Spam is ongoing nuisance that is increasing on a constant basis. However, there are some simple steps available to protect your system from spam.
Main Causes of Spam

Spammers will employ any means possible to “harvest” or generate lists of email addresses and then proceed to spam millions of messages at those addresses with unsolicited emails hoping to grab some unsuspecting users.
Here is how spammers have most likely found a way into your Inbox:

1. Spammers “mine” the email addresses off of websites. By means of specifically designed software that searches through websites and captures the email addresses that are displayed on web pages.

2. Spammers”mine” domain registrations. Since domain registrations are public information, spammers can rather easily build up a database of all the valid domains out there and then start firing off emails at them. They send emails to “john@”, support@ or “webmaster@” or many other typical addresses with the odds being that these emails will arrive in some unsuspecting recipient’s mailbox.

3. They scavenge on public forums and newsgroups and harvest all the email addresses of those individuals who post messages to these groups.

4. They “mine” social networking sites where people provide their email addresses, opening the door to unsolicited email.
Steps You Can Take to Eliminate Spam

There are some steps you can take to drastically cut down the spam that you receive.
1. Remove email addresses from your website

Do not post any email addresses directly on your website. If you want customers or site visitors to contact you, then we suggest offering them an on-line form that they can fill out and that will direct the email to you without exposing your email address. Create an email address using a free email provider specifically for any online forums, social networking sites, and online orders. Never use your main email address for such activities.

2. Retire your email address

Probably the most important decision you need to make related to spam is deciding what to do about your current main email address. If you have registered your domain with your email address as the contact address or have your personal email address advertised across your site – or on other sites – you can be sure that spammers have it and are hammering away at it relentlessly.

Start a process of transitioning your email to another address, one that you protect closely and that is not generic. If you have an address like “dave@” or “sue@” or something that spammers will send to regardless of whether you advertise it or not, you are a sitting duck. Do not use the new email address online, reserve if for only trusted recipients and transactions.

Most domain registrars now let you register your domain without posting your email address. Removing your email address from your public domain registration is an excellent step.

When posting to email lists, use a secondary address – so you can protect your main address from public exposure and more easily filter the spam coming to your secondary address.

3. Employ Spam filtering

Even with the first steps in place, spammers will find you. Using spam filtering software is a must. Outlook provides a built-in spam filtering as do most free online email providers, such as Gmail and Hotmail.

Here are a few other pointers to consider:

When you get a spam message, never click the button at the bottom that prompts you to unsubscribe. Doing so will only notify the spammers that they have found a “live” address and will ensure a larger volume of spam coming your way.

Whenever you register for anything online, sign up for a service, or even fill out a paper registration card, consider using a secondary email address. You’ll also want to read the company’s privacy policy and find out if they sell their email addresses.


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