Spam Sucks!!!! The email address shown near the bottom of this page is my third one since I have had my site and lure business. The first two got spammed to death. Every time I have to change addresses it's a huge pain in the ass and I lose important correspondence. I made this web page in an attempt to keep that from happening again.
There is a lot of information on line about things you can do to minimize the amount of spam you get. Your internet service provider probably has some on their home page. All of the things they tell you to do will help, but sometimes even despite your best efforts spam will start showing up in your mailbox. I have found the best way to keep this from getting out of control is to take a two pronged approach; limit your exposure to keep your email address clean and block as much as you can. Here are my five best and most awesome tips that you might not find anywhere else.
Tip 1 - Spyware and Address Books
Most people are not aware that one of the ways spammers get email addresses is by using spyware programs that get into your computer and harvest all the email addresses they find stored there. These programs look at your Outlook or AOL address book and mail folders and send all the email addresses they find back to the asshole spammers who made (or bought) the spyware. Besides using an anti-spyware utility like AdAware, a good way to defeat this type of data collection is to use a third party email service like Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, or GMail. These are called webmail programs and they save your address book on a remote server, not your own computer. If you insist on keeping an Outlook address book that's your business. But bear in mind that every email address in it may be at risk and if your computer gets compromised then all your friends might get spammed. Be a true friend to the Rocketman - if my email address is in your address book please delete it.
Tip 2 - Forwarded Messages
Did you ever get a joke or something sent to you that's been forwarded about twenty times before. At the top of the email is all the email addresses of everyone who got it before. There might be hundreds of them. Guess what? That's a spammer goldmine. Each email address represents a computer. Sure, your own computer may be secure but how about all those other ones? All it takes is one compromised computer and everyone's email address is spammed to death. Here is my next tip; don't save or pass on forwarded emails with multiple recipients. Especially, don't forward it to me. I don't care how funny, relevent, or dirty the message is. I don't want my email address out there on 100 unknown computers.
Tip 3 - E-Cards
So there you are at work and you just realized it's your wife's or girlfriend's birthday and you forgot to get something for her. You're in deep shit bubba. You can always take off at lunch and pick something up, but you also get the bright idea to do something like RIGHT NOW. You go to one of those E-Card sites and pick out something hot and send it to her. Well, you send it to her email address. Guess what else you just did. You gave her email address to a company that is very likely to sell it. Can you figure out who buys it and for what reason? Rocketman's next tip, forget the E-Cards. And especially don't send me one!
Tip 4 - Web Pages
My next anti-spam tip is never put your real email address anywhere on any publicly posted web page. That includes Guestbooks, Forums, Blogs, your own web site, etc. The reason is that there are spambots that do nothing but snoop all over the internet 24/7 reading web page HTML code and harvesting the email addresses. If you post your real email address on line you WILL get spammed. Yeah, I have a Guestbook on my site. Yeah, it's got a place where you're supposed to put your email address. It also says "When you type your email address, substitute $ for @ (like this: joeblow$aol.com) because that prevents slimeball spammers from stealing it". See how the Rocketman tries to take care of you? That's 'cause the Rocketman loves you. Well, he loves you if you're a MuskieBabe. If your a guy, the Rocketman just tolerates you. Barely. Back to the tip; if you absolutely must show your email address on line then disguise it. Use the $ instead of the @ and if you have a web site use a picture. My email address that you see everywhere on this site is a picture. You can't copy and paste it, or click it and make it send me an email because it's not in the HTML code. You can see it but the spambots can't. They don't have eyes.
Tip 5 - Foreign Spam
Know anybody in Tiawan? How about Bulgaria? Chile? Zambia? Me neither. Not all spam comes from the good old USA. Actually it comes from all over, and now that we are starting to crack down on spammers here in the USA more and more spam is coming from overseas. It's been globalized. The nice thing is that when a spam email comes from Tiawan the sender's email address ends in .tw (like this: firstname.lastname@example.org). The .tw (or .com, .gov, .edu, etc) at the end of the email address is called the "domain". If you use Yahoo Mail you can block addresses. You can block domains too. Some other email utilities let you do the same thing. Blocking spammers' addresses doesn't work. There are too many and they change all the time. However, domains are a different matter. Here is Rocketman's next anti-spam tip. When I get a foreign spam I just block the whole damn country. Spam comes from Poland and I block all mail from .pl. The way I figure it, if they can't get their shit together and stop spam from coming out of their country then fuck 'em. Sooner or later their non-spammer internet users might start to bitch 'cause they can't send email anywhere and then their government might take some action against the spammers. That's probably wishful thinking but oh well, I block their country anyhow. If you're interested, here is a list of the international domains: http://abacus.bates.edu/directory/internet.codes.html