July 1, 2007

Fed Up With Spam? This can help!

Are you as frustrated as I am with Spam? This week I got an apologetic message from a client who was thoroughly embarrased by a spammer who stole his e-mail address. This creep sent everyone in this doc's e-mail address book a solicitation for porn, complete with a smutty photo! And somehow it was sent from the doctor's e-mail server so his address was in the "From" field. How horrible!

Luckily I hadn't checked my e-mail account that morning, so when I did I recognized the spam and trashed it. In the last few weeks not just one, but TWO of my e-mail addresses have been hi-jacked by spammers. One of them was a new address I had just set up! I hadn't even used it yet and in just 3 days I received 185 spams!

I thought using a contact form on my website would be a safe way for people to send me an e-mail without exposing my e-mail address to spam-bots that crawl around websites harvesting addresses. Boy, was I wrong!

I called my webmaster because I thought there might be some security breech on his servers. He explained to me that some spammers now have automated programs that will take your domain name and try dozens of name and initial combinations derived from the domain name when your real name appears in it. Sometimes they stumble on an address that works!

So, what can you do about spam? My webmaster recommended this book to me and it delivers good value at very reasonable $9.95. We've added the recommended security measures to my contact form and I now have a strategy for setting up hard-to-guess and "disposable" e-mail addresses.

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