We hope that we can deliver a powerful message to all of our current and future customers today in order to fight internet and email spam. It has come to my attention that a few of our clients have been receiving some spam that gets past the filters. Believe us when we say we regret this happening, because when you get spam it costs us money just as it does yourself. Our systems block about 99% of all spam that you actually see, so keep in mind what our email overhead is for you to get 20 spam emails per day.
There is a way to stop it, if every website owner out there and does one simple little trick, spam bots will not be able to exist — the one simple thing: Decoy. A decoy you ask? Well spam bots toil through your website (every single page they can) until they find an email address firstname.lastname@example.org is what they look for. When they find it, that email is added to a list that is sold to MILLIONS of email marketeers world-wide. Then you get spam. So, lets add into the scenario that you give them a BUNCH of fake email addresses that do not work and email addresses that ONLY a bot would see. What happens? Like usual the bots capture these email addresses, sell them to spamming companies but, here comes the catch; when the mail server sending out this spam gets to the fake email address it waits (because the domain doesn’t exist) for a response (unlike a real email address which is answered instantly and then allowing the server to move on to the next), then wait, until after about 15 seconds, the server times out, then it moves on to the next email, and if it is fake it waits, waits, waits… Etc. If enough people provide enough fake email addresses, these spam engines will loose so much money they they won’t be worth maintaining.
Here is where I submit to you a way to prevent spam bots from getting your email addresses and preventing them from spamming other people:
1) First thing is first — NEVER, EVER, EVER post your email address in public! If you want someone to see your email address, disguise it with “you AT domain DOT com” where a human can instantly read this as an email address, yet a bot wouldn’t look twice at it. You can also type your email address in an image, and then upload that image — this also works really great at allowing humans to read your email address while keeping it off the email harvester’s radar.
2) Create decoys — In your code, if you’re using our CMS solutions, under the HTML tab use the following codes, but use your own random email addresses:
<span style="display: none;"> <p><a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a></p> <p><a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a></p> <p><a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a></p> </span>
Be sure to add as many email addresses as you possibly can! How does this work? The key is in the style tag (style=….) as you can see using CSS it is set to display: none, which means once your web browser processes the HTML code, it will not display anything in between the <SPAN> </SPAN> tags. Spam harvesting bots completely ignore styles and other HTML code and only search for that @ sign and then check the email syntax and then the evil begins — however if you follow our instructions, they’ll find that coveted @ sign, they harvest that fake email address, and for each email address you give them, their servers will spend about 15 seconds each trying to figure out why they won’t work which is where we turn evil into GOOD.
If you have any questions on this article or would like more information feel free to leave us a comment and we will get right back with you!