Tip of the Month
So much for the doom and gloom... An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here are some ways to dodge the scavenger bots or programs spammers use to find email addresses:
- Dont display your email address in public more than necessary. Consider disguising or munging your email address if it appears on your web site. You can split the components of the address or insert HTML code into the middle of the address to make it harder for the spammers programs to harvest your address.
- If you post to Usenet or chat rooms, disguise your address. There are many ways to do this so that real people can figure out how to reach you. Take a look at what others in your chat room are using. Be aware that some spammers scavenger bots are no longer thwarted by a simple nospam insert like myname@firstname.lastname@example.org
- Never list addresses in your email correspondence. Jokes or anecdotes that make the rounds end up with very large email address lists and many fall into the hands of spammers.
- Consider an email address that begins with a letter later in the alphabet. Many lists are sold in alphabetical order and spamming sessions are often terminated before they finish the entire list.
- Early versions of some browsers gave email addresses away routinely. If you suspect this may be happening to you, reconfigure your browser.
- Never respond to a spammer. Dont ever hit the remove link on a spammers site, if that option is offered. Responding in any way, only lets the sender know there is a live human being at your address.
- Never sign-up with sites that promise to get your name removed from spammers lists. In many instances, these services only exist to verify addresses for spammers.
- Do report spammers to ISPs and email providers. In most instances, email providers ask you to forward the email (with full address path information on the sender) to them at: email@example.com. If you believe the spam involves fraud or deceptive practices, forward it the Federal Trade Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are already battling a spam onslaught, there are some useful websites (some are selling anti-spam software; others provide useful information including detailed instructions on how to set up filtering techniques). Check out the following: http://spam.abuse.net; the Anti-Spam Home page at http://vps.arachnoid.com/lutusp/antispam.html; and www.junkbusters.com
If you want to purchase anti-spam software, check out www.spam-fighting-software-reviews.com for reviews of new products, including the latest product from the team (www.mailwasher.net) who developed the popular (and free) mailwasher, anti-spam program.
These articles are intended to provide general resources for the tax and accounting needs of small businesses and individuals. Service2Client LLC is the author, but is not engaged in rendering specific legal, accounting, financial or professional advice. Service2Client LLC makes no representation that the recommendations of Service2Client LLC will achieve any result. The NSAD has not reviewed any of the Service2Client LLC content. Readers are encouraged to contact their CPA regarding the topics in these articles.