Wonder Where the Spam Comes From?

For awhile now I have been paying attention to the technology field... most importantly the "bot" part of the technology. I wasn't surprised on what I found, but I was feeling good about myself.

Spam (aka unsolicited commercial e-mail) reaches your email box multiple ways.

1- Search and Populate: Spammers use spiders (or spambots) to crawl the internet looking for email addresses. Most importantly they are looking for the "@" sign and the "mailto" tag.
2- Service Provider Approach: This approach uses an email providers name (example AOL.com) and adds common attributes to the front of the providers name (deb@aol.com then deb01@aol). Once the spammer gets feedback that an account is active it keeps sending email to it. Some spammers sell your email address to other spammers until your address is everywhere.
3- You accidentally submitted it to a site which you thought was legit... but actually is a spam service... or a site that sells addresses to spammers. You see these sites or advertisements everywhere... they usually say something like "enter your email address to be entered in the drawing".

I have to say there are no sure-fire way to stop spam because spammers are generally overseas in countries that don't have laws against spam and recently spammers have been using personal computers owned by unsuspecting private citizens that do not keep up on anti-virus, firewalls and ad-aware softwares.

How does this pertain to your website? Well many webmasters have a "contact" page that contains an email address or a form to fill out. A spambot can see your address, encrypted or not so you should create a picture of your email address which IS NOT LINKED (see mine to the side) and not named as "email" or "contact" or "address" but something different. I would name the picture something "site" related and the "alt tag" description is "site" related and not "contact" or "email" related.

Other areas that are spambot hot spots:
Guestbooks - These are almost a given with new personal sites. Why? I don't know. Maybe it has something to do with having a gadget, or maybe they think people want to leave comments. I can tell you, about 10% of the websites visitors will leave a regular comment (good or bad) but 100% of visiting spammers will leave their message. Sometimes the spammer is just posting their link to a site and then there are spammers that are actually post a link that contains spyware.

Now many Guestbooks now come with a way to control spam by asking for your approval, but this won't stop all the spam. Spam will be innocent and overlooked... but it's still there.

Forums, Blogs - The largest producers of spammers. Now everyone who joins should be allowed to share their site(s) but it's the "adult themed" or "general scams" that will start showing up. I see "Make Money Fast", "Viagra", "Porn" and various scams, but they don't see the forum. Why? I physically approve all members before they are activated. Talk to the forum host to set up general procedures and you'll never have to worry about uncontrolled spam.

Link Submissions - This is an area where if you don't monitor it, you will be creating more harm for you than good. You must continue to monitor your link and their links so it doesn't become "one-sided".

Besides all of that above, check out this site below!

http://english-75213867460.spampoison.com - Fight Back Against Spammers! WWW Robots (also called wanderers, spiders, crawlers, or bots) are programs that crawl the Web continually retrieving linked pages. When a spammer's bot visits your website, blog, forum, etc, all pages and sites linked to it will be searched looking for email addresses. Now you can fight back against their robots!

I need to tell you that you will never stop the spammers, but if you can contain it before it hits your published site, the better and more professional your site will become. So put the spam controls in place and keep up the standards and you'll be okay.

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