Unsubscribing from lists

Written by Richard Lowe

I'm sure you've received messages from mailing lists and wanted to unsubscribe. Perhaps you don't remember subscribing inrepparttar first place, or maybe you've just grown tired ofrepparttar 109666 subject. For whatever reason, you just want to get offrepparttar 109667 list, and you want off fast.

On virtually every list, it is common practice to putrepparttar 109668 unsubscribe instructions atrepparttar 109669 bottom of every message (Yahoo groups, also called egroups, is an exception in that sometimes there are no unsubscribe instructions at all). You simply do what is described and you will be removed fromrepparttar 109670 list.

In most cases, a simple blank email to an email address or a clicked link is all you need to do. Sometimes you need to includerepparttar 109671 word "remove" or "unsubscribe" inrepparttar 109672 subject or body ofrepparttar 109673 message. It just depends uponrepparttar 109674 conventions ofrepparttar 109675 list.

Now, this article only applies to mailing lists to which you have subscribed (opt-in). Before you click on any link or send an email off to parts unknown thatrepparttar 109676 message is not spam. Never reply or click on any links in spam - just deleterepparttar 109677 message unread.

Don't get mad about receiving mailings from various lists. Most of these now require double-opt-in, which pretty much means you have to want to be subscribed. This is very safe forrepparttar 109678 list owner because not only dorepparttar 109679 list members subscribe torepparttar 109680 list, but they must also do something else (usually return a blank email) to verify that they indeed do want to subscribe.

It's generally not a good idea to try and reply asking to be removed fromrepparttar 109681 list. Most lists have specific unsubscribe functions and simply writing an email saying "please remove me" will not work. Quite often, in fact, a reply will instead be sent to ALL members ofrepparttar 109682 list, which simply makes you look foolish.

Also,repparttar 109683 list owner is using one ofrepparttar 109684 list services because it automates everything. Think ofrepparttar 109685 effort that he or she would have to do through of all requests were handled manually. Thus, it is in everyone's best interest to spend a couple of minutes to learn how to unsubscribe so it is done properly.

Sins Of The Internet: Email Spiders

Written by Richard Lowe

Warning: this article is not forrepparttar squeamish. It contains graphic descriptions of one ofrepparttar 109665 biggest evils onrepparttar 109666 internet. If you can face down this evil you can reduce your load of spam by several times. Hold onto your seats and try and keep down your lunch - you are about to learn one ofrepparttar 109667 secrets of how ruthless, unethical and, well, downright evil spammers steal your email address - and what you can do about it.

If you have access to your web site's log files, you will quickly find an interesting phenomenon. Your site is being visited a lot more often than you think it is. In fact, if you look closely you may be shocked to find that your HTML files are actually being used to harm you and others. In fact, you may be seeingrepparttar 109668 footprints left by some ofrepparttar 109669 tools used by unscrupulous spammers to steal your email addresses.

Oh wait, let me back up a bit and explain a few things. Each time you visit a web site a record is kept of every page, graphic, sound file, video or anything else that you access (look at or download). This record is called a log file. Each line withinrepparttar 109670 log file is one "hit" (other things are recorded also, but that is not important to this discussion). A "hit" is getting one "thing" from a web site. A "thing" can be an image, an HTML page, a video, a sound file or anything else. In fact, generally when you look at one HTML page you are actually "hitting"repparttar 109671 web site many times, once for each file onrepparttar 109672 page.

Each of these lines withinrepparttar 109673 log file records a number of pieces of information so that webmasters can later see what happened (don't worry, they are not generally interested in individuals - they want to know things like how many people are using Internet Explorer verses Netscape). One critical piece of information is calledrepparttar 109674 "user agent". Generally this containsrepparttar 109675 browser name (Internet Explorer for example) or spider name (googlebot, for example, isrepparttar 109676 spider forrepparttar 109677 Google search engine).

Examine these user agent fields and you will find out many interesting facts. You will see that your site is being visited a lot more often than you would think by lots of things with strange names:

- Googlebot - Slurp (used hundreds of search engines including Hotbot) - Scooter (Altavista robot) - Lycos Spider (used byrepparttar 109678 Lycos search engine) - and many others as well.

Most of these are innocent 'bots, used byrepparttar 109679 major search engines to keep their indexes up to date. These robots are very important, for they keep your pages listed so you will get traffic. Occasionally they have other uses, including checking your pages for changes, saving your pages for offline browsing and various statistical functions.

You will also find some other names buried in your log files. These go by names such as EmailSiphon and Cherry Picker. These robots are malignant and are used by spammers to harvest email addresses. What they do is scan every single page in your web site, as fast as they can, looking for email addresses. Specifically, they are usually looking for "mailto:" type links.

Many websites have these kind of links. They are convenient, simple and create a great way for visitors to send an email to someone. In fact, it's hard to find a website which does not have email addresses embedded somewhere withinrepparttar 109680 site.

In addition, people often leave their email addresses in guestbooks, message boards and other online communities which translate to web pages. Spam harvesters love these types of pages, as they can get dozens, hundreds or even thousands of different, valid and usable email addresses quickly and easily.

How do email harvesters work? Well, some scum spammer will install one of these programs on his system. He will tell it to begin scanning, which it will do rapidly and efficiently. In fact, these generally scan a web site so quickly thatrepparttar 109681 server cannot do anything inrepparttar 109682 meantime (most "good" spiders, onrepparttar 109683 other hand, limit their visits to one per second, minute or even hour in order to allow other people and spiders to userepparttar 109684 site while it is being scanned).

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