Anyone who operates their own website knows that you need to provide a way for visitors to contact you by email. The big challenge is providing easy email access to your visitors, without letting junk mail (SPAM) flood your email inbox. The techniques described in this article by Dan Thies allow you to dramatically reduce the amount of junk mail that you’ll receive.
Preparing and Preempting
You need a couple things before you can really take effective action against SPAM. Your email software must be capable of filtering incoming email. All of the major email applications (such as Eudora, Outlook, and Pegasus) support filtering. We will use multiple email addresses to allow us to filter out SPAM and identify the source – you can’t combat SPAM effectively without them.
The first step in fighting back against the spammers is understanding where they get your email address. You must diligently protect your email address, if you ever hope to stop them. Once your email address gets into the wrong hands, it will be sold on CD-ROM (via junk mail, of course) to thousands of spammers. Once that happens, you’ve lost the fight.
The Big Battle: Securing Your Website From Spambots
Almost every website operator wants search engine spiders to visit. After all, search engines are the best source of free traffic on the web. In the event that you don’t want them to visit, they are easily kept at bay with a properly formatted “robots.txt” file.
Unfortunately, there’s another group of spiders out there crawling the web, with an entirely different purpose. These are the spiders that visit site after site, collecting email addresses. You may know them as spambots, email harvesters, or any number of unpublishable names.