Hide your Email Address from Spammers
Copyright 2005 Jason Tarasi
Do you ever wish you could travel back in time and smack yourself for doing something dumb?
If I had a time machine, I would travel into the past and warn myself about SPAM (Right after I played the winning numbers for today's lottery).
Come step into my time machine, and take a journey with me into the past. Let me show you how I conquered spam, and how you can follow in my footsteps.
When I was younger, my best friend had a basement stocked full of spam. His family couldn't seem to get enough of it.
The moment I walked into his house, the aroma of spam filled the air.
When I was the ripe old age of twelve, I made the mistake of my life...I tried a spam sandwich. My friend convinced me that it was "really good, dude."
In my defense, I was starving and there was nothing else to eat. That thirty second experience still continues to haunt me.
This wouldn't be my first nightmarish encounter with spam, however.
Ten years later, while building my very first Website, I naively put my email address on every single page of my site.
I wanted to give my visitors a chance to ask me questions, make comments on my site, etc.
As my Website grew more and more popular, I started to receive 100 spam emails a day. Then 500, 1000, 2000...until it became unbearable.
I needed a solution and fast.
The first thing I had to accept was that my old email address was now useless. So I had to give it a proper burial and let it go. Then I created a new email address and applied spam prevention techniques I had diligently researched.
The result? A spam free email account.
Let me tell you, it is total bliss my friend.
You are in a war. You vs. the enemy (Spammers). The war has swung to the other side, but by using guerilla warfare tactics, you can turn the tide of battle.
To win the ever growing battle against spammers, you have to study your enemy, then prepare your battle plan.
This may be the most important sentence you ever read about spam prevention, so pay attention - Spammers cannot fill your inbox with their junk if they can't find your email.
It really is that simple.
With that in mind, below you will find your battle plan:
Step 1: Say good-bye to your old email account
If your inbox is filled with spam, dump it. I know using a new email address can be painful, but in the end you will be happy you took this advice.
Once the spammers find your email, you will never be able to regain full control of your inbox.
Step 2: Create a 'dummy' account at Hotmail or Yahoo!
Whenever you post on a message board, sign-up for an offer, or are asked to give out your email, use this dummy account.
Never use your main email address in such a manner, especially on a message board.
Many people try to "disguise" their emails while posting on a message board, under the false assumption a spam bot won't grab this email.
As an example:
john @ myemailaccount.com
The enemy has now programmed their spamming software to recognize these disguised emails.
Step 3: Use a contact form on your Website
This is a critical step. So listen closely.
Many savvy Webmasters use contact forms to prevent spam. However, it has to be done correctly to be effective.
If you have your email address ANYWHERE within your HTML, the new spamming software will find it.
You can't use HTML encryption to hide your address, like you could in the past. The enemy has created new software that breaks down this code and grabs your email.
Many contact forms require you to use your email address to send the form information. BIG MISTAKE.
The spam bots will grab any email address in your HTML, even if it is in your contact form.
Your CGI script should contain the response email address - it should not be in the HTML.
When you are creating your contact form, use the "Mail-To-Form" script
Step 4: Make a graphic of your email address
If you must have your actual email on your site, create a small image of your email address.
Then link this graphic to your contact form.
Now your customers can write down your actual email address and contact you at a later date.
The war rages on against spam, but by using these guerilla warfare tactics against spammers, you will soon achieve your FREEDOM!