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Anti-Spam Two Step for Webmasters

Written By: Thomas Benton

If your email address is on a website that’s been online for
a while you’re being blasted with unsolicited email (SPAM).
You can delete it or you can eliminate much of it in two
simple steps.

Step 1: Scramble Your Email Address

It isn’t human visitors to your site that are causing the
problem. It’s website spidering SPAMBOTS. These spambots
go out on the web and harvest any email address they can
find. These harvested email addresses are then sold by
unscrupulous *spam pushers*.

Your goal is to hide your email address from the spambots,
but still display it for your website visitors to see.
If the spambot doesn’t recogize your scrambled code as an
email address it won’t harvest it.

Search the web for scripts that will scramble your email
address. You will find many free scripts and some that you
can purchase. Some are simple and easy to install. Others
can be a little more complicated.

The one that I like is called EScrambler. It is a free script
developed by InnerPeace.org. You can visit their site and copy
the source code (permission given on the site). Or, go to
http://www.webdesignwisdom.com/escrambler.shtml.

This simple script generates a javascript that scrambles your
email address. Just copy the script and paste it in your HTML
instead of the normal mailto:me@mydomain.com. Your email
address is displayed properly for visitors to see, and
the HTML looks like anything but an email address.

An example of *me@mydomain.com* in escrambled form:

Step 2: Send Spam to Your Auto-Delete Account

Now, just because you’ve scrambled your email address, that
doesn’t keep all spammers from sending email to you. Some will
just use something like *anything*@yourdomain.com because
they understand that most websites have email forwarding.
Anything that is emailed to your domain will be forwarded to
an email address you specified.

You never have to see this email if you forward it to another
email address that automatically deletes it.

You will need a free email account that offers some simple
anti-spam features to use as your *dump account*.

You must be able to designate email addresses from which you
will not accept any email. You may already have an account
that can handle it. If not, look into Mail.com or Lycos.com.

Then make your free email dump account the default forwarding
address in your website’s email handler. Go to your free email
account and set it to reject all mail received from YOUR domain.

Then have email that is sent to your published email addresses
(those you have scrambled on your site) forwarded to your normal
forwarding address. Or, set them up as individual POP accounts
if your hosting service offers this feature.

Now you will receive email from your website visitors who
actually read your email address on your website and all other
email will be deleted.

This is a very effective way to get rid of most spam that is
generated from your domain. It won’t eliminate all of it.
The volume of spam that I was receiving decreased by 90-95%
after I made these changes.

This tactic will work for sites that have been online with an
unprotected email address too. Change the email address on your
site to a different scrambled address. Forward all email that
is sent to your old posted address to your dump account.

If you’ve been using your primary email address on your site,
you’ll need to notify everyone that your email address has
changed. This makes it more difficult, but worth the effort
if you’re being slammed with spam.

About the Author

Thomas Benton is the owner of WebDesignWisdom.com and the
publisher of Active-eBuilder, The Do-It-Yourself Web Design
and Internet Marketing Ezine. Visit Tom’s resource-rich
website: http://www.webdesignwisdom.com

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