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Stop Spam and not the Spam you eat from the tin!

PHP Code Snippets > Stop Spam and not the Spam you eat from the tin!/p>

by Steve Dawson Web Developer


How to stop spam emailsWith the massive amount of information and the speed the Internet is able to handle, communication has been revolutionized with email. Users are able to send messages across the globe in seconds and to many people at once.

Recently, however, some Companies have abused the technology used to drive these communications, by sending out thousands and thousands of emails with little or no purpose other than to increase traffic and advertise products.

Spam volume is predicted to increase nearly 40 times over the next 5 years! As if the clutter in our inboxes wasn't overwhelming already now is the time to start thinking how to prevent it form happening to you.

The email marketing companies who Spam you, harvest addresses from the web, you can never be too careful about entering your email address in web-based email sites, logins, shopping carts or even request forms. The most common way that these grab your email address is when you respond to them. They achieve this by sending out masses of emails to as many addresses as possible and if your reply to them, well, you have just given them a valid email address to send Spam to.


To try and prevent you becoming a victim of Spam try and follow our guide below:

  • Never respond to Spam emails
    Oh sure, they say they'll take your name off the list, but they're lying. What they really want to do is confirm that they've got a valid address. Also, if you respond, they'll sell your address to every other spammer meaning you'll soon be flooded with even more Spam mail.
  • Don't advertise your email address
    It seems like a good idea at the time, but posting your email address on your website or personal home page is just an invitation to spammers. Spammers and the people who sell spamming as a business have software that "harvests" email addresses from the Net. This software crawls through the Internet seeking text strings that are something-@something.com. When it finds one, it saves it on a database with other email addresses.
  • Use a second email address
    Newsgroups are the popular way for spammers to get your email address. If you post to a group, you're going to get Spam -- it is just a matter of time. So how are you supposed to participate? Use a different email address than the one you use for talking to friends and relatives. In other words, have a public address and a private address. You'll just have to deal with the Spam in your public account.
  • Don't give out your email address to everyone
    If a website is asking for your email address, they want to use it for something. Be sure you know what. Read the terms of use and privacy statements of any site before telling them your address. Ask yourself some simple questions. Are they going to share or sell my address? Do I want emails from this website? Do I trust them? Is it worth the risk? If you can't answer these questions satisfactorily, if you can't find their privacy statement, don't tell them your address.
  • Never buy anything advertised in Spam
    The reason that people Spam is because they can make money. They make money, like all advertisers, by convincing people to buy a product. If no one buys the things advertised in Spam, companies will quit paying spammers to advertise their products. So don't be fooled by the cheap prices in Spam, they are misleading and should be ignored.

If you do have to place your email address on your website, then make sure it is encoded. This helps to prevent your email addressed from being harvested. Ideally though you should have a contact form on your website instead of an email address. This prevents the email marketing companies from finding out your email address.

To encode your email address to use in your website, I have written a free script, an email address encoder which can be used online, which will encode any email address that you enter. You will then be able to copy and paste the code into your website to help you fight against Spam. This method is not foolproof but will prevent the majority of spammers getting hold of your email address from your website.

If you are a victim of Spam and many Individuals and Companies are, the only way to prevent receiving Spam is to contact your provider and delete the account which is receiving the Spam. The emails that are then sent to this account will be bounced back to the sender. If you are a business, however, using this method could cause you a loss of emails leading to a loss of orders. Once the Spammers have your email address, you will be on every email database and CD-rom that is sold to many different companies that send out Spam. Remember its not just one company that use Spam to gain advertising its a lot more than you think. So treat your email address like your phone number, never give it out unless you know whom you are giving it too.

Another trick the spammers get up to is they get your domain name and then using an automated process, just add a prefix of the most popular email aliases that are used, such as; sale@ or info@. The trick to avoid spam is to use less common email addresses if at all possible.

So to prevent spam you will need to follow these few guidelines and get yourself a spam filter or contact your ISP to install one for you.


Here's to less spam in the world .....

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