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Tips for Minimizing Spam

1. Never post your email address anywhere on the web.

Signing a guestbook, subscribing to a discussion forum where email addresses are listed in messages, registering to enter a contest or a site - etc.

2. Avoid subscribing to mailing lists which might be stolen.

Spammers regularly attempt to steal mailing lists, knowing that only a few of the addresses are invalid.

3. Don't list your email address on web pages or web forms.

Spammers have programs which spider through web pages, looking for email addresses. Or they scan the HTML for the email address the completed form will emailed to.

If you absolutely must list an email address on your website, create a new one dedicated for that purpose, which can be filtered for spam and changed when it's unmanageable. Then keep a special "top secret/never published/high priority" unfiltered email box which you give out to your customers.

4. Use a backup email address for your domain registration.

Sad to say, but WHOIS or Domain name registration addresses are most frequently spammed, but you MUST keep your address current on your domain registration to get expiration notices - so you could use a yahoo email address which you check infrequently.

5. Make sure your web browser is correctly configured.

Some sites use various tricks to extract a surfer's email address from the web browser, sometimes without the surfer noticing it. Those techniques include :

a) Making the browser fetch one of the page's images through an anonymous FTP connection to the site. Some browsers would give the email address the user has configured into the browser as the password for the anonymous FTP account. A surfer not aware of this technique will not notice that the email address has leaked.

b) Using JavaScript to make the browser send an email to a chosen email address with the email address configured into the browser. Some browsers would allow email to be sent when the mouse passes over some part of a page. Unless the browser is properly configured, no warning will be issued.

c) Using the HTTP_FROM header that browsers send to the server. Some browsers pass a header with your email address to every web server you visit.

6. Avoid IRC and chat rooms.

Some IRC clients will give a user's email address to anyone who cares to ask it. Many spammers harvest email addresses from IRC, knowing that those are 'live' addresses and send spam to those email addresses.

7. Don't use AOL.

Spammers harvest AOL names from user profile lists. Many "newbies" use AOL - and newbies are prime targets for spammers because they typically don't know how to avoid scams or understand how to handle spam.

8. Don't list your email in white or yellow pages.

Many white and yellow pages have an online version. Spammers harvest the email addresses in those directories.

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