How Web Sites Can Generate Spam Email
Total Characters : 4322 - Format : HTML
Every day tens of thousands of new web sites come online, many attracting big
audiences, often due to free offers of advertising or special deals on products
Web sites can take several forms from selling products and services to
discussion groups, blogs, newsletters - the list is endless.
If you own and operate a web site you are prey to a method called "email
harvesting" where automated software reads your web site and collects email
addresses. This email is then used for spam purposes either directly by the
collector, or sold on by them to several spam firms. Harvested email is usually
good business for spammers as emails are usually current and active.
If you own, operate or manage several web sites the problem can be compounded.
Be aware of what is going on with spammers to use web sites to their advantage.
Be aware of what you should and should NOT do to avoid increasing spam email for
yourself and indeed your business customers, members, users, subscribers or
Popular harvesting and spamming programs
# Atomic Harvester: works by the user typing in a search term and then
letting the spider loose , it is claimed that this software will "vacuum''
thousands of email addresses from News groups, Web pages etc.
# On line providers and phone books. The idea being to harvest targeted
emails by searching for the most useful web pages on news groups etc.
# Desktop 2000 :Very popular bulk email server can be run from any home (or
business computer ) works with Atomic Harvester once emails are collected spams
them out by the thousand , main claim to fame is cloaking of senders address.
# Text bomber : Strips and mines downloaded web sites of any email addresses
- designed for chat logs and guest books
# Email_id (several versions of this): Perhaps the most sneaky software ,
will capture your email address (and name) by you merely visiting a site,
attempts to trick the browser into revealing name and email address by asking it
to submit a form relies on the site visitor not running browser in at least
default security mode (internet explorer) , if you are running in secure mode, a
pop-up will warn you and you can cancel the action.
Spamming sites reveal the creators to be novice small business operators ,
people with a lot of time on their hands and unscrupulous marketers who think
spam gets results.
Most spammers don't want to be traced and do take note of "complainers".
Some of the software will remove "complainers" and opt-outs from lists.
Check your log records you may find odd spider visits (not search engines )
these may be harvesters sweeping your pages and any linked pages. Spam hating
web masters may do several things to deter spam position: robot warning text,
poisoned scripts which lead to endless looping fake email addresses and one
cookie we found was from http://www.snark.com (an anti-spam activist) which will
send any spammer an account for $500 and a load of hilarious insulting text if a
robot picks up the bait, any web master can put this script on their site.
(There are other forms of collecting email for spam but this article only
covers software harvesting) How can you avoid harvesting of your web site emails?
Never show a valid email address in the text of any web page - hide the real
email in the HTML code - sales@spam solution.net is NOT a valid email address no
matter how it looks
Use databases to serve advertisements dynamically so email addresses do not
show on the site until an active site visitor calls advertisements via links
Use enquiry forms rather than direct emails to avoid displaying any real
email at all.
Set up SEPARATE email accounts for EACH web site especially those with high
traffic flow. This way you monitor spam specific to each web site or department.
Note: Each Spam Solution account can relate to a single "real email"
address you own but you can forward BOTH clean and spam mail to separate email
addresses for ease of identification.
Consider advising link partners and advertisers about the way they get
enquires or order and the need to hide email addresses.
Maurice Clarke is founding owner of Spam Solution http://www.spam-solution.net
dedicated to expand its fight against spammers. Offering a wide
range of guides on email control and spam issues have led us to
become a major force in the fight against spam. If you found this
article useful please tell a friend about it and us.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Maurice_Clarke