We bloggers want to put an email address out there on our blogs for people to contact us with. The spammers have “data mining” software, which grabs those email addresses off the internet and loads them into their spam email programs. So how can you protect yourself from this deluge of unwanted email?
Never Unsubscribe – Never Reply
I got an email this morning from a friend of mine, who mentioned receiving a spam email from Romania. This one was actually personally addressed to their email address, which often tricks people into thinking they had actually subscribed to receive these emails.
The bottom line is, spammers send these emails out in the hope that people will unsubscribe – or reply to the email asking them not to email again. Can you figure the logic in people who reply to scammers and spammers saying “Don’t email me again, ever.” – You never asked them to email you and asking them not to email you makes no sense at all. Like they’re going to do anything you ask them to do!!!
Once they have confirmed there is a real human being reading emails at that email address, they can sell it on to other spammers and make big money out of it. So set yourself a policy of never reply, never unsubscribe.
Is It Possible To Not Get Spam Emails?
Yes it is. You just have to keep your email address completely private. As in, you don’t give it to anyone, anywhere. Of course, that defeats the purpose of having an email address! You want people to be able to get in touch with you – you just don’t want spammers and scammers getting in touch.
What Can I Do?
There is a mail service known as Trust My Mail. I found out about this service a couple of years ago when scam victims were asking me – how can I make sure scammers can’t email me?
How Does It Work?
You get to choose a question which people have to answer before their email is put into your inbox. When someone sends you an email, they will receive the following message in return – click for a bigger image – When the person who sent you email clicks on the link within the email they were sent (or copies and pastes it into their browser, which is always the wiser thing to do on the internet) they will see this screen – Once they have answered it correctly the first time, that person is then always able to send you mail. You can put the answer to the question right below your email address on your website, and spammers and scammers will never find it – remember they do not visit your site to get your email address, they harvest it using data mining programs.
What If People Don’t Respond?
You can see pending messages, and if you recognise the address or know the person sending you mail, you can approve them yourself as well. I recommend you check your pending messages once every 24 hours.
Even better, you can now ask Trust My Mail (thanks to their new mail forwarding service) to forward messages on to another email address – and to send messages like you normally would, quite simply. This means you can keep your real email address 100% private on the internet, protecting you from spammers and scammers – and family members who forward every email you send to every man and his dog – and often to scammers and spammers as well!
It’s all free, by the way. And there’s no ads. No this is not a sponsored post, I just referred a lot of scam victims to Trust My Mail and always found people were happy with it – and it was easy for them to use, which is important..
I Don’t Like That Idea – Options?
There are a couple of other options which are relatively simple that may not stop the spammers and scammers completely, but at least makes it harder for them.
Make Your Email Address An Image -
You may have seen this kind of image around the place – note this email address I don’t use anymore so don’t ya’all email me at it! This is easily generated online thanks to this wonderful website – Email Icon Generator.
The only trouble with this is, your email address needs to be simple enough that people can work it out from the image. Try to use letters only because numbers will be confusing. You will find some people will get the address wrong or simply not bother, though. It is almost as bad as those Captcha word generator things for comments.
Put An Extra Word Into Your Email Address –
Then tell people underneath which word to remove. For example (this is not a real email address) emailmePOOP@mail.com <--- take out the Poop to reach me. The only trouble with this is people find it annoying and troublesome and might not email you at all. People used to use NOSPAM as the word to take out - don't use that word anymore, the scammers and spammers have worked that trick out. They're not complete nitwits, ya'all! ;)
Use One Email For The Net –
This is the solution I have chosen for myself. Make an email address which is for the web only and which receives email only – never use it for subscribing to things or personal emails or responding to anything. Be very aware that emails which arrive in there can potentially be spams and scams, and never unsubscribe to anything sent to that address – because you never USED that address to subscribe.
Make another email address for personal correspondance and keep that one to yourself and friends only. There’s no limit on how many email addresses you can have.
I use 5 different email addresses for this blog. One here for people to contact me with, one which receives all the comments people post on my blog, one which I use to email people back with, one which I use for things I have signed up for which are blog related, and one which I use when I reply to comments.
Stumble It –
I hope this might be useful information and helpful to everyone out there on the net, if you found it to be useful please stumble it.
Over To You!
What are you doing to protect yourself from spam and scammers? Do you receive a lot of scam or spam emails?