Protecting Your Business From Spam

Even being as careful as possible with my email address, I still used to receive more than 100 email messages a day, which is no exaggeration. Only about 10% of those emails were from people that I knew and the rest of the messages were unwanted email?"spam". And I'm sure you can relate to my frustration. It is estimated that over seventy-six billion unwanted email messages were delivered in 2003, costing companies more than $10 billion each year.

So How Do They Get Our Email Addresses?

In making online purchases, you should always realize that your email address could be given or sold, regardless of what the merchant's privacy policy may state. Even filling out an online survey or registering your email address to become a member of a web site is subject to having your email address given away. Also, there are spider programs that spammers use that search the web and "harvest" email addresses, much like search engine spiders do when they acquire web site information.

Tips To Avoid Getting Spam

1. Don't Click "Unsubscribe": On the bottom of some spam emails you will find an "Unsubscribe" link. Some of these are legitimate links, while others are tools to indicate that your email address is valid. Unsubscribing could actually result in getting more unwanted email.

2. Spam Filtering: Some ISPs or domain services carry spam filtering options, and there are filters and rules you can use in some email programs (i.e. Microsoft Outlook, Eudora and Apple's Mail OSX). While no spam filtering program can eliminate spam completely, it can greatly reduce the amount of spam you receive. But you must be careful in using any sort of spam filtering mechanism, as you may ultimately filter out some of your wanted email.

3. Get Two Email Addresses: Use your primary email address for business or personal use, and the other for making online purchases and for filling out web site registration information.

4. Update Your Web Site: The best overall solution is to have people contact you through a form on your web site, as your email address is not so easily revealed. If you must have direct links to your email address on your site, consider having a link that simply reads "email" or "contact" instead of spelling it out on a web page.

There are many simple methods that you can use to help reduce the amount of spam coming through to your business. By using these tips, you will not only save yourself time and money, but you will ultimately send a strong message to the people send unwanted email.

About The Author

Edward Robirds is a success-driven artist and interactive media developer based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since 1996, Edward has been building business relationships with several association and commercial clients around the world. Founder of www.DreamseaArtworks.com, Edward uses his artistic skills, expertise and passion to design and develop web sites, interactive CD-ROMs, and print media for his clients.

[email protected]

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