A Guide To Avoiding Spam For Web Site Writers

When I first put this site on the web I had my email address on it in the ususal way and I started getting spam email almost immediately.

I found out that this is because the spammers' computers automatically search the web to find email addresses written on websites, message boards, and anywhere else that they can spot them, so that spam can be sent to them.

If you are doing a site, or already have one, then I recommend hiding your email address in a way that people can read it on screen but the spammers' computers don't recognise it and copy it for their address lists.


'Hiding' Your Email Address

My email address has no hyperlink and is purely text on the web page and people who want to mail me have to copy/paste it into the address box of an email, or write it on a bit of paper and type it in!

I have also added a word in, so that even if the spammer's 'web robot' finds it, it won't be able to email me!

It appears on my page as -

ianclareDELETE@waitrose.com  (please remove the word DELETE from the address first)

As well as having the added in word DELETE to confuse the 'webbots' it is also written in something called Ascii Code. It may sound complicated but isn't actually so, if all you need to do is disguise your email address! People can't actually see anything different by looking at the page, as you can't now on this page.

Many of you will know, but some won't, that if you 'right click' on a page and select 'view source,' when using Internet Explorer to surf, a notepad file opens and you can see the HTML language that your page is actually written in.

If you do these two steps now your computer will show you the html for this page of mine.

I guess you can do similar with Netscape Navigator and other browsers but I have never used them.

In the code, my email address is the lines between the comments < MAILADDRESS START > & < MAILADDRESS END >

All the funny symbols that you will see in it is the Ascii Code, and each &# followed by 3 numbers and a semi-colon (;) produces one letter of the address on the screen.

To change your email address into ascii code is simple; You find an ascii code generator on the web and it does it for you.

I use http://www.wbwip.com/wbw/emailencoder.html where you just type it your email address and hit 'enter' The window then comes up with the ascii code and you can then copy/paste it into the html of your web page.

If you used Front Page Express or another web page creating program and haven't looked at HTML, then it really is as easy as the steps above to disguise your email address. All you need to do is view the page you have written on your computer and 'view source' and then replace the bit where your program has put your email into the HTML with the ascii code you get from the code generator. All I did was count the number of characters in 'ianclare' and then stick the bit that produces the word 'delete' in the in.

You could copy and paste the email bit from the 'view source' of this page of mine and then just change the relevant bits for your own email address instead of mine and paste the whole lot into the web page source HTML that your program has written.

Your program may have written some other bits to do with making a clickable email link for readers, but just paste the whole lot over and that will stop it.

I hope this makes sense!

First on this page are two software programs that fight spam, and if you scroll down below them is a way of 'disguising' your email address on your web page in a way that spammers computers won't find it, but it can still be read.


Firetrust MailWasher Pro

MailWasher Pro is a great little program produced by a company called Firetrust in New Zealand. I have been using it for months now and I am very pleased with it. It does exactly 'what it says on the box'.

The price is surprisingly reasonable when converted from dollars to pounds and the service the company give is excellent.

The program can be downloaded safely and in use very quickly. It has free upgrades for life!

You get to see what email is on your service provider's computer waiting for you to download and you can delete the spam without ever needing to actually download it onto your computer at all. This saves a lot of time if you are downloading lots of email by modem.

I get a couple of hundred mails up on the screen in a minute or so, rather than waiting several minutes to download it all.

MailWasher Pro uses filters that spot the words that spammers use and constantly updated lists of addresses that spam comes from to mark spam for instant deletion and they are very effective.

I can wholly recommend downloading the free trial and trying the program.

If you like it you pay the money after a month and if not you just delete it.

It really is that straight forward.

You can click on the links or the ads on this page to see the company's site and try it.



Benign Virus Protection

Firetrust Benign is the other program that they make. It provides e-mail users with a pro-active solution that eliminates e-mail borne threats, both known and unknown.

It protects by removing any potentially harmful code that an e-mail may contain.

It checks every email that you download onto your computer and recognises harmful attachments, e-mail worms, non-standard HTML, scripts, web bugs and other e-mail borne threats, and rewrites the message to give an entirely safe e-mail.

This means that if a friend sends you an email that you accept because you trust them then even if they have accidentally 'caught a virus', you won't get it from their email.

If they have also sent a file attached to the email, the file would need to be scanned in the usual way by an anti-virus program. Benign deals with the email, not the file, but it can be set to delete all attached files or to change its name to keep it safe until scanned, and thereby add protection).

It does other clever stuff, that their site explains well.

I do make a commission if you click on the links and then, after the free trial go on to buy either
MailWasher Pro or Benign , but I wouldn't recommend them if I didn't think they are a great solution to spam, individually, or together.

If you enjoyed my LEJoG web site and The Ultimate Links Page, then think of it as a possible way of rewarding my effort!

You get MailWasher and/or Benign for the same price as anyone who else who buys from Firetrust, and I make something too.

(If you have disabled cookies then please accept the one you get when you click the links, or they won't know that I recommended them to you!)




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