Spam filter is the solution that most people resort when they try to steam the flood of junk mails and spam.
However, there is a problem!
First: Some spam will still get through.
Second: Some legitimate mails will be stopped as spam.
And that legitimate messages get caught in the spam filters is a big problem. It is a big problem for both the sender and for the receiver. If you use POP accounts on your ISP or use free email accounts like Hotmail you will sometimes be forced to use their spam filters. You are often not even told that legitimate messages may be deleted.
Why will they get stopped?
There are several reasons!
Spam filters may give red flag to an email simply because it contains words which the filters also find in spam messages.
Often newsletters you sign up to get blocked because too many messages are sent out at the same time or some subscriber have complained accusing the sender of spamming. The rules of the spam filters changes over time as this is an ever going arms race between the spammers and the anti spam filter manufacturer.
So how can you stop the flood of spam hitting your email account?
Simple, you have to go stealth!
Look at email spamming as a war.
Using spam filters is like putting on armor. It gives you protection, but it will also cost you and give you less flexibility.
The spam sending gangs, there are estimated to be fewer than hundred worldwide, machine gun bombard only email accounts which they can find.
This means that if they can’t find your email address they can’t spam you.
So how do they find you?
Contrary to popular beliefs they don’t find your email address because you sign up to a newsletter or to legal product information.
Instead they collect or harvest email from web sites using spam boots. The spam boots works in a similar way as web content collecting search engine spiders except they only collect email addresses. They also collect email address from address books found inside email software like Outlook or Eudora. They do this by using viruses and spywares.
Your solution to avoid getting on their lists is to go stealth and become invisible to the spammers!
What do I mean by that?
Simple you hide your email address or addresses from the email harvesting spam boots. But at the same time if you have your own web site you want your viewers to be able to read or click on your contact email.
One common solution is to rewrite the email address on the web site.
Let’s say you email is: [email protected]
You can rewrite the address as [email protected], info @ mysite.com, infoATmysite.com or something similar. The email address is then readable by human viewers, not by the spammers. The downside of this method is that the email address is not clickable from your web site.
Another method which is preferred by commercial web sites is to use a contact form that also hides the address from the spammers.
One solution which I use and have found to work well is to hide the address from the spam boots with java script. The address then becomes clickable for the viewers. You can learn how to use java script and hide your email addresses from the spammers at http://www.data-backup-and-storage.com/stop-spam.html
You should also use firewall and anti virus software as a protection so that spammers don’t get access to the email addresses from within your computer. As an extra precaution you should also use spyware removal software. This will remove possible spyware from your computer. All this measures should protect you from spammers and their spying eyes.
However, be careful! With this method in order to work you should adopt a strict email discipline and limit the number of people with access to your email addresses and not spread them around.
But, what if your emails already have been spread into the spammers mailing lists?
It is important to understand that the spammers want new and fresh email addresses.
Therefore they continuously harvest the Internet for addresses.
The answer is, use Google!
With Google you will find the web pages on which your email addresses are located. Just perform consecutive searches using Google typing in one of your email address in the search box.
You can then contact the owners of those sites and ask them to remove the email address.
The spam will not stop immediately, but after a couple of months the flow will start to recede.
Copyright 2004 Per Strandberg