If you are a Website Owner, there are some simple steps you can take to stop or, significantly, reduce the amount of Spam hitting your Inbox. This relates to implementing a sensible Email strategy and taking steps to protect your On-line Forms from Spam Bots.
Step 1 – Use more than one Email address
There are many occasions when you have to submit your Email address when transacting with other businesses and institutions on the Internet. Many people make the mistake of using their own personal Email address in all instances. This approach will, significantly, increase the chance of your Email address ending up being spammed.
As an individual, a better approach is to create, perhaps, three different email addresses;
- Your main personal Email address for giving to people you trust i.e. friends, family and existing clients. You want to protect this address at all costs.
- A second Email address to use for businesses you have no reason not to trust or are important i.e. HMRC, your Internet Banking provider etc. In this scenario, keep a note of all the businesses/institutions you have submitted this Email address to. If in the future it begins to attract spam, then simply create a new Email address, then update your contact email address on each of these websites.
- A third Email address for every other business/institution you have no reason to trust or do not, particularly, want to receive emails from i.e. Online Shopping sites. In this scenario, if the email address begins to attract large amounts of Spam, which it most likely will, then simply delete the Email address and create a new one.
Step 2 – Protect Email addresses on your Website
- Try not to use info@ as one of your generic contact email addresses. Spam Bots can easily guess this and, most likely, it will attract a lot of spam.
- Avoid using Catchall Email facilities, since, these to will attract a lot of Spam.
- Avoid using the mailto: code prefix in any of your website email addresses. In fact, avoid putting a full email address on any of your pages i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Avoid using a linkless image as your Email address, since, it is not user friendly.
Step 3 – Protect your Online Forms with Captcha
If your Online Forms are unprotected, most likely, your Website will start attracting large amounts of spam within weeks of setting up the Form. Although not foolproof, it is much better to add Captcha facilities to all your Website Forms. Captcha requires the visitor to re-enter (type in) a unique image code, already displayed on the Form. If you use Adobe Dreamweaver, then Linecraft do a very good Captcha Extension and is only $26 to purchase. Alternatively, simply, Google “captcha scripts for websites” to see a list of free scripts you can implement or purchase.