SPAM, Spam & more SPAMWritten by Gillian Tarawhiti
SPAM, AND NOTHING BUT SPAM. by Gillian Tarawhiti, Community Training Centre, http://www.millionairerippleeffect.com For new and possibly old netpreneurs SPAM is common term for electronic 'junk mail' - unwanted messages sent to a persons' email account or mobile phone. The SPAM act (CAN-SPAM ACT, EUROPEAN SPAM ACT, AUSTRALIAN SPAM ACT) identifies SPAM as unsolicited commercial electronic message(s). The act covers email, instant messaging, SMS (mobile phone text messaging) and MMS (mobile phone graphic messaging). Under SPAM act all commercial electronic messages must meet following conditions. Any message that doesn't meet all three of these conditions is defined as SPAM. 1.You must have CONSENT 2.You must IDENTIFY yourself 3.You must provide a way to unsubscribe If we use this forum as an example of all three, you will find that in order to gain access to this forum in terms of posting. You had to complete a registration that in part advised that you agreed to certain terms and conditions. In doing so you EXPRESSED CONSENT. By registering to this forum you have also IDENTIFIED yourself beit as a non-de-plum In terms of unsubscribing, every email that you receive from this forum has a unsubscribe in it, also you have an 'ignore' facility which in part as same effect. COMMERICIAL ELECTRONIC MESSAGE
Fighting the SPAM WarWritten by Telian Adlam
It is reported that 60%+ of internet traffic on mail servers are spam messages. If you run a website, you can be sure that you are (or will be over time) receiving a tremendous amount of unsolicited email messages. If you havenít started a website yet, remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. There are safeguards you can use to minimize number of unwanted messages you receive.
WHOIS data: When you register a domain name, you are required to provide contact information for WHOIS database, which can later be harvested by spammers for e-mail addresses. To protect yourself from such unscrupulous people, I suggest using a dummy account with a free email provider such as Yahoo or Hotmail (donít forget to check it at least once a month) - if youíve already registered your site and have listed your primary email address in WHOIS contact information, it is highly recommended that you update information with a new dummy email address. Your host and registrar will have your primary email address on file - you simply need to remember to keep your information with them up to date. If this seems like too much work for you, you can always use a WHOIS privacy service such as WhoisGuard service provided by www.namecheap.com ($4.88 - which is a great value).
Your web pages: One of first things I do when creating a website is create a contact form with email address embedded in mailer script such as PHP or ASP. Why? There is a lot of software floating around out there designed solely to crawl website harvesting them for valid email addresses (some will even ignore robots.txt file completely). Once youíve created your forms, you can then begin to include your email addresses in your web pages for those who wish to email you directly from their email clients - you can write your email address as yourname[at]yourdomain.com and instead of using Ďmailto:í link - hyperlink it to your contact form. You may also include a note for your visitors to replace [at] with @ sign. Make sure you remember to do this with all email addresses within your site.
Newsgroups/forums/subscriptions: Itís a hard pill to swallow, but these areas are not safe from email harvesting either and even worse, some newsletter publishers donít even adhere to their own privacy policies (very rare, but it does happen). Be careful where you post your email address and donít make it a habit to sign up with every forum you should come across. Make sure you find information useful to you and that you trust website first. For extra protection, use a an email address other than your primary one for all your subscriptions (ex: firstname.lastname@example.org). If you wish to post an email address in forums for readers to contact you, try to use format described in previous section with a note to replace [at] with @ and hyperlink it to contact form on your website.
Unrouted email messages: An unrouted email message is a message addressed to an email with your domain name that does not exist - i.e. email@example.com, only you never created an firstname.lastname@example.org account. The default setting is to have these messages delivered to root email account. Many webmasters donít realize this and webmail for root account never gets checked - I came across an account with 75 pages of unrouted email messages (roughly 14,000 messages) and taking up about 15MB of their of webspace. Believe it or not, some spam software is designed to create plausible names (i.e. admin, contact, customerservice, webmaster, abuse, etc. @yourdomain.com) and just go for broke and hope account exists.