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Avoiding Junk Email

Mark Edwards
08-03-2003

Most of us deal with a large number of email communications each day. Increasingly, we are forced to deal with junk, bulk or spam email. This junk email costs our time, to process and delete these unwanted messages, and resources, where we attempt to filter out these emails before they reach our inbox. Of more concern, pornographic emails can potentially embarrass us in front of clients.



Here are three simple rules to help keep your email address off junk mailing lists.



TIP 1. You should just delete spam email rather than responding to it!



If you have ever responded to a junk email, you are described as "active and highly responsive". Junk emailers pay a premium for these addresses so you doom yourself to a life of spam by responding to such messages. No matter how annoying these emails are you should just delete them.



TIP 2. Do not display an important email address when registering your domain name.



As soon as your domain name is registered it is available in a public database. Spammers trawl through domain name lists finding target sites to visit. They record the contact email addresses from your domain registration details then record your website address.



When you register a domain name you should use an unimportant address. Hotmail addresses are great for this! There is only one important communication you will receive from your domain registration company; your renewal notice and that comes in the post anyway. This stops the spammers stone dead. Getting this step wrong can be frustrating. The contact address for a domain name I had registered for 18 months was receiving about 10 junk emails every day until I shut it down.



TIP 3. Do not display contact email addresses on your website.



Once the spammer arrives at your website a piece of software looks for email address to store as targets for junk email.



This process is very efficient unfortunately. The last domain name I registered was visited by a spam robot the first week my site went online. I had not promoted it in any way at that stage! Too bad our customers are not as determined to find us on the Internet! To avoid this you should use contact forms rather than supplying your email address on the website. There are other more complex ways of achieving this however space does not permit me to explain them today.



Without taking any further measures, following these simple steps will avoid most junk mail and reduce the effects of an annoying, time wasting problem!

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