While we do provide tools for you to minimise the amount of spam hitting your email account, the old adage, "prevention is far better than the cure" applies.
So, how did that nasty ol' spammer get your email address to start with? Or more to the point, how didn't he get it?
Spammers get your email address from all sorts of places. Trolling forums, buying mailing lists from nefarious practitioners, or just plain old site scraping. This means if you publish your email address on your site without any encryption, be sure a spammer has it in their database and it is being forwarded around from list to list as you read this.
They can get your address from guestbooks, whitepages, and can even purchase lists of email addresses from large corporations.
Here's a few tips to help you prevent most of the spam hitting your inbox.
- Use a throw-away email address to register on forums, lists, newsgroups, resgistering for newsletters etc. Try not to use your primary email address for registering on sites, and especially ones you are not sure about.
- Don't put your email address on your site in plain text. Use web-based forms with captcha, or use an image, or an encoded email address. Having your email address on you site like this "mailto:email@example.com" will most certainly be collected by a harvesting bot.
- If you recieve spam email, and it has the option to unsubscribe, well, don't. All this does is confirm to the spammer that your email address is valid. It will then be on-sold to many other spammers and your spam folder will fill up more quickly.\
- Filtering your email is also an important thing to do. You will notice that spammers try to fool the spam filter by misspelling words, replacing characters with alpha or numerical equivalents, or just plain old freindly subject lines. If a spam gets through, pick out some of the keywords in the email and set up some rules in your mail client to immediately send mail with those words in it to the spam folder.
- Utilise the spam filter options on your sites control panel. If you need some help on how to do this, pelase let us know.
So, while these tips may not stop all spam hitting your account, it will, hopefully, help reduce some of it.