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How to Deal with Email Spam

Blocking and Managing Email Spam

Dealing with email spam is like putting up with house flies and picnic ants, it comes with the territory. And if you have a wide web presence, the spam will come in droves.

I receive up to 100 pieces of email spam per day and have become accustomed to deleting them. The more visible you are on the Web as search engines pick you up, the more hackers and spamming will get worse. Beating the spammers is not easy. There are highly intelligent email spam applications that will send thousands of emails by creating random combinations of names to a single domain name.

For example:
marketing@domain-name.com
info@domain-name.com
sales@domain-name.com
customer@domain-name.com

Fortunately, there are some popular ways to handle incoming email spam.

Graphic Email Links

Remove all visible email hyperlinks from all your website pages and replace them with a graphic of your email ID or simply type out your email in text as yourname (at) domain.com. Using this method, you are assuming your website visitors will recognize that they need to remember and manually type out your email replacing (at) with @. By removing all the email links in your website pages it’s highly unlikely that spam-robots will find and detect your email ID.

Advantage: Cuts down on some spam (not all, but some).
Disadvantage: Makes it difficult for someone to quickly send you an email (when you remove the email hyperlink. This may also make the potential sender think your email link is broken).

Email Form Security Scripts – CAPTCHA

You can have a developer install security scripts on all web forms. This type of system requires a user to enter a random code in ANY web form before they hit the submit button.

Advantage: Cuts down on most spam (not all, but most).
Disadvantage: Doing this makes it a little more difficult for someone filling out your web-based form. The less you require a person to do in order to contact you, the better. See example below:

CAPTCHA spam blocker

There are now newer versions of form security available from Google called Google reCAPTCHA.

Email Filter

Ask your website hosting or email provider if they have a email spam filter.

Advantage: Cuts down on some spam. (not all, but some).
Disadvantage: Sometimes there is an added cost

Do Nothing

As a business owner with a wide web presence, dealing with spam is a necessity. I have to deal with spam because I prefer not to put up any blocks or barriers between myself and customers.

Advantage: All emails get through.
Disadvantage: All spam gets through too.

I am of the mindset that if you want the world to beat a path to your door, it’s better to keep the proverbial pathway clear and unencumbered. However, if you’re getting 1,000 spam emails a day, then maybe it would be best to consider options 1, 2 and 3.

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