Are you tired of getting a ton of spam everyday? I am too but unfortunately there is no solution to eliminate it 100% but there are smart ways to avoid and reduce spam. The method I’m going to talk about is aimed at bloggers and how they can easily implement a preventative measure to reduce the amount and chances of spam being sent to them.
With the popularity and ease of setting up a blog, the number of people blogging increases daily. This is great but one main problem is most of these people aren’t usually educated in proper techniques such as spam prevention.
Did you know that putting your email address anywhere on your blog or website is an open invitation for new spam? Yes, you heard me right. Little do you know that trying to be nice and provide a method for your readers to contact you only causes you more harm than good.
Let me give you an example. The usual way to include your email address on your blog is to use the mailto: tag. This is the case if you use Blogger and any other blogging platform. Unfortunately for you, spam harvesters use “web spiders” to troll the internet and look for email address links on websites and blogs. When they come across your site they will look at the html code and grab your address.
The best way to beat spam bots as well as giving your readers a way to contact you is to use a contact submission form. That way your email address is never displayed and a script handles the entire mailing process. This is a great option if you use WordPress but for people using Blogger, it’s not an option.
You don’t know how many Blogger blogs I’ve come across and just rolled my eyes. There it is…their email address listed right on their site. Look out spam, here it comes! So my quick solution to protect all blogs (especially Blogger users) from spam bots is to replace your email address with an image.
There are several sites out there that can create free email icon images for you but I like using this email icon generator site because it provides several cool options. My favorite is the branded email image based on your email host provider.
Here are some examples of email images I created in a few seconds:
As you can see, it supports all the popular email domain addresses as well as an option to create your own custom email address. It even hosts the image for you if you don’t want to copy and upload it to your own server. I recommend uploading it to your Blogger site so you’ve always got it available regardless.
Make sure after you use these images you do NOT turn them into a mailto link. If your email address is anywhere in the html code, spam harvesters will find it. I had a friend that I shared this trick with and he replaced his email address with this image but didn’t remove the mailto link! He might as well of not even used the image.
Ever wonder if your email address is publicly available today? A good test to see what sites publicly list your email address is to just Google it. If your email address is firstname.lastname@example.org then you’ll see that there are over 500 results in Google which is obviously a bad sign (I hope Steve Jobs has one heck of a good spam filter). There should be zero listings of your email address when you do a search. If not, you should go down the list of sites and ask them to kindly remove your email address because they are just feeding it to spam harvesters!
I usually Google my personal email address a few times a year just as a safety check. Just last year as I was doing my check, I noticed there was one site listing it! I was so mad and immediately contacted the site owner to take it down. It was an article submission site and they were carelessly publicly listing all their users email addresses. That’s just bad business. Eventually they took it down and I told them they should do the same for everyone else in their system.
If there’s one thing to take away from this article it’s to remember to never ever ever list your raw email address on your blog. It’s a guaranteed way to get spam faster than you can say “spam me please”. If you don’t believe me try setting up a new temporary email address and don’t use it for anything except this test. Now paste it on your blog and see how long it takes before you start getting junk email.
I hope the end of spam comes in the near future because just like you, I’m tired of wasting time in my day filtering and deleting junk email. Google or someone, please come up with a solution soon!
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