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Webmaster Advice - Avoiding Spam

Yes, if you are a webmaster, it's likely that you have to (or want to) post your email address on your website. Unfortunately, this means sooner or later some spam-bot is going to sniff out your address, and start sending you messages. I've actually shut down email addresses of mine because they were averaging fifty to sixty pieces of spam per day. Very annoying.

So, what to do, if you have an email address that is being spammed because it's been posted on a website?

Here's a possibility, which I've done with one of my email addresses. Post something on your website's contact page similar to the following, which I posted on my website Articles For Educators:

If you would like to contact webmaster, you can send an email to [your email address]. Please note that, due to horrific amounts of spam I receive on an hourly basis, I have set up my system to automatically delete any emails to this address which do not contain the following in the subject line: "AFE:". Thus, your email should have a subject something like this: "AFE: A question about your website". If it does not, I will not recieve it!

Having posted that, you open your email software (in my case, Outlook) and set up the following rules:

Rule #1: Emails received on account X, and containing the text "AFE:" in the subject line, should be moved to a specific folder. Stop processing more rules

Rule #2: Delete emails received on account X.

You see? The first rule grabs all the "legitimate" emails and puts them in the folder I want. The second rule takes whatever is left over (illegitimate, so to speak) and deletes them.

Now I never see anything but legitimate emails on that account. Please note, however, that you should not do this with either your personal or your business address, as you will end up losing valid emails from friends/business contacts who already have your email address.

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