Spam, The Stuff You Love To Hate
by Lala C. Ballatan
We all get spam, and we all hate it. I always thought it would be great if
I could open some spam, press a button on my computer and have a zillion
volts of electricity shoot through the phone lines all the way to the
computer that sent the spam and turn it into a smoldering pile of metal
Before I made a few changes I used to get about 2,500 spam EVERY DAY! Now
I only get about 250. Still a lot, but only 10% of what I used to get.
Learning how to do this for your own website, and your clients' websites,
will make you a hero in everyone's eyes.
So let's talk about some of the things you can do to cut back on your
One of the things I did to reduce my spam was to remove the "Catch All"
setting on my web hosting company. A "Catch All" does just that. It
catches all e-mail sent to your domain name, in my case that would be
Anything@CreativeCauldron.com, which would include JeffColburn@CreativeCauldron.com,
Giggles@CreativeCauldron.com, PinkElephants@CreativeCauldron.com and so
on. Any e-mail address that ended with @CreativeCauldron.com was grabbed
by my hosting company's e-mail program and sent to me.
When you remove the "Catch All," you need to tell the e-mail program what
e-mail addresses to send to you. Many people just use Info@DomainName.com.
You can add more whenever you want, but the more e-mail address you have
the more spam you will receive. No longer receiving 2,250 e-mails a day
really helped my sanity and reduced my stress levels.
To reduce my spam even more, I set up filters in my e-mail program. These
filters automatically move any e-mails into the delete folder that meet
the criteria I set. I can then quickly scan this folder to see if
something wound up in there that I really want to read. Some of the words
I set up in the filters include various body parts, mortgage, meds, and
other similar words. I actually have over 50 words in the filters, with
new ones being added all the time. Be careful what you use for filters
though. Maybe you've been getting spam about growing some part of your
body. You could put "grow" in a filter, but if you run a gardening website
you may have people sending you legitimate e-mails about growing plants.
With "grow" as one of your filters, then these legitimate e-mails would go
to your delete folder. Along these same lines, many filters will prevent
you from receiving ezines you have subscribed to, some kind of ads you
want and more. So be careful.
You can also use forms on your website to let people contact you. Just
create a form where the person can put in their name, e-mail address and a
short message. They click on the Send button and off it goes. The software
that harvests e-mail addresses can't get your e-mail address from the
form. At least, not yet. To make your form more secure you can use
NateMail at http://www.mindpalette.com/formprocessing/index.php to process
your form. There's a free version and a paid ($15) version.
One very common way to keep your e-mail address from being harvested is to
This is the simplest script you can use.
Replace YOUREMAIL with your e-mail address, like JeffColburn and replace
YOURDOMAIN with your domain name, like CreativeCauldron. Then paste this
The link will look like JeffColburn@CreativeCauldron.com
Your Link Text with whatever you want displayed on your website. It can
be, Click here to e-mail, My e-mail address, or whatever you want.
Your Link Text http://hotlib.com/articles/show.php?t=Spam,_The_Stuff_You_Love_To_Hate#
Tim Williams has an interesting solution to the e-mail harvesting problem
by turning your e-mail address into ISO-Latin-1 code. Take a look at
If you're feeling adventurous, go to http://www.tutorialized.com/tutorial/Protecting-Your-Users-Email-Addresses-with-PHP-and-MySQL/639
and you will find a tutorial that will tell you how to hide your e-mail
address using PHP.
This should give you a good arsenal of weapons against having your e-mail
address harvested, and cut down on your daily dose of spam. But remember
to keep current with anti-spam techniques. Spamers will eventually find a
way around these measures so you'll want to stay one step ahead of them.
About the Author
Jeff Colburn is a website designer and writer. His goal is to make the
process of creating or updating your website easy and simple for you,
while creating a website that meets all your needs and expectations. Jeff
can also create all of the copy for your website.
Copyright Lala C. Ballatan - http://www.CreativeCauldron.com