Combating SPAM

Written By: Darren Cronian

Everyone who communicates on the internet via email has the same old problem of SPAM and its becoming more apparent that the recent unsolicited commercial emails (UCE) laws implemented in the US and Europe are not having an impact.

Did you know that over 60% of SPAM is from the US? I was quite surprised by this fact.

So how can we combat this problem – I am sure the majority of you will have this problem, many of you will be advertising on websites who do not hide your email address, some of you will participate in forums, or have your own website.

Professional spammers use software called Harvesters which scans websites and gathers millions of email addresses, that is why it is important that you protect your email address and do not display it on forums, websites or divulge it to websites which do not have a privacy statement.

There are a number of ways where you can protect yourself.

Set up free email accounts

Use an email address from a free email provider, ( Hotmail and Yahoo) that way if spammers do get hold of it you can report it as SPAM and quite easily create a new account. I have a number of email accounts that I use for subscribing to newsletters, emailing friends and family and one for entering competitions etc.

Create an HTML form

Rather than displaying your email address on your website you could instead create a HTML form where the email address is hidden and visitors complete the form and the results are sent to your email address – if any of you need any assistance on setting this up, just drop me an email. If I get a big response I will publish a guide to setting this up in a future issue of the newsletter.

Many holiday rental companies do not know how to set up a form on an enquiry page, if the holiday rental company you advertise your property on does not have this facility and your email address is displayed for all to see then contact the company and get them to look into this.

SPAM software

You can download software which will scan your email before it enters your email software, like Outlook, you can then block any email coming from that email address, IP address or domain name. That way when emails come in from the blocked sender they never appear in your Outlook inbox. I bought some software called Mail Washer, its easy to use and doesnt cost much. If any of you use software to combat SPAM, then let me know and Ill publish this in the next newsletter

Spam blocking websites

I am not too familiar with this type of blocking, but you can subscribe and enter your email details on to a secure website – all emails sent are directed to this website, and the sender has to click on a link before it is sent to your inbox. On some of these websites you can either deny or accept emails from the sender, and all rejected emails are sent to the blacklist folder.

About the Author

Darren Cronian is the writer of various articles for holiday home owners and renters. Darren also runs and owns a UK-based holiday company called Worldwide Holiday Homes

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