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One of the easiest ways to attract SPAM and viruses is to publish your email address on a website

Computer Safety

It still amazes me how many times I see an email address on the Contact Us page of a website. This is one of the simplest ways of inviting a torrent of daily SPAM and attempts to email you a virus.

But I want people to email me from my website

That's fine, we suggest you have a securely coded enquiry form that uses a different email address for example:

 websiteenquiry@mydomain.com and hides this away from prying eyes.  If you wish to use an auto-responder along the lines of "thank you for your enquiry...'  Send your email back from an email address that does not exist - e.g. no-reponse@mydomain.com

I'm fine, my email address is not published anywhere on my website

OK - but it might be somewhere else online - so I suggest you try this little test. 

Go to Google and type your email address in speech marks

e.g. "myaddress@mydomain.com" and search. Did you find your email address on other websites?

If your email address in peppered all over the Internet it's probably too late to get it removed.  (Oh and by the way - sending your email address via Facbook or Twitter is the same as publishing it on the Internet.)

You are then faced with 3 options:

Option 1 – Change Your Email Address

Disadvantages

  • Everybody with your current email address will not be able to email you (however see advantages second point)

Advantages:

  • You will stop getting spam immediately
  • You could create an ‘auto-responder’ on your old email address that will tell people that this email is no longer used and what your new email address is (but making it hard to read for automated spammers)

Option 2 – Run a service like StopYourSpam.com

Disadvantages

Can’t think of any disadvantages!

Advantages

  • You can continue to use your current email address
  • Around 90% of your Spam will be quarantined before it is even delivered to your email (significanlty reducing the load on your server and the computer collecting your email
  • You can ‘whitelist’ regular emails from trusted email addresses
  • Visit here for more details

Option 3 – Do nothing

Of course if you are only getting a one or two spam emails a day you could choose to do nothing - except manually delete the offending emails.

We would still suggest you act quickly to remove your email address from any websites. - You might be lucky to get them off before the SPAMBots sniff them out!

By the way - Marking SPAM emails as Junk in Windows Live Mail or Outlook is futile!  This is because most spam is delivered from enormous numbers of random email addresses.  And it can grind your email to a halt as it attempts to run through the hundreds of rules you have created.  In some cases we have seen Outlook and Windows Mail Crash or Lock up because there are just too many Junk Mail rules.

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