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Thread: Spam Mails

  1. #1
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    Spam Mails

    I have seen a discussion of about a year ago on the forum that not much can be done about receiving spam e-mails. Is this situation still the same?

    What I experience at present is that I receive about 30-40 mails a day trying to either sell me viagra and enlargement pills(?). My website host tells me that they(spammers) have found my e-mail address and go directly to my address and not via his server. According to him his servers can only stop spam when mail is sent via my website.

    My private e-mail is at mweb and I hardly ever receive any spam in my inbox.

    Can someone please explain this to me in such a language that I can understand this problem.

  2. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Hi Faan,

    Where does your email program collect its emails for the account that is giving you trouble?
    Last edited by Dave A; 16-Jan-08 at 02:17 PM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    Hiding your email address from bots is an important part of your website.
    There are a couple of ways to hide it.
    • Hex values
    • ASP Comment tags
    • HTML Comment tags
    • Use JavaScript
    • You can use encryption
    • Apache mod rewrite if it is an apache server
    • You can use CSS
    • You can use a form

    My point is there is many ways for you to hide the email address for spam bots. Your web designer just needs to make some changes. I am afraid however, that you might have to change your email address to start clean, these guys are going to sell and circulate your email address to more and more people.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Spam has really become about management these days, not really a lot of ways around it. As CM says, hiding your email address on your website (via one of those methods) will help a lot.

    Unfortunately, and inevitably, you will still receive some spam. There are a few ways of going about solving this, such as,

    1. Filter the SPAM on your mail server. This requires a reasonable amount of technical know-how to set up the correct filters, and still ensure your real emails get to you. Also, your email server still receives the SPAM (it just does not pass it on to you), which affects your bandwidth usage. There are a number of free and non-free packages available, e.g. DSPAM
    2. Filter the SPAM with client software. I'm not sure what mail package you use, but some email clients have reasonably good spam filters. You'll still receive the SPAM, and it will still use your bandwidth (both on your server, and your internet connection). Thunderbird has a filter which learns which emails are spam as you mark them.
    3. Use a service such as Google Apps, and set up your email address using Gmail's system. You can still use your same email address, and their SPAM filtering is the best that I've ever worked with.

    I think moving to Google apps could be a reasonable solution, as you can keep your current email address (some web hosting intervention will be required, but there are docs to explain what needs to be done). Then you can check you mail online at any time, as well as work with it via a POP or IMAP email client.
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    Thanks very much for the replies.

    Dave, I do not understand your question of where my e-mail program collects the mail from.

    Chatmaster, I am afraid you have lost me with all the internet jargon. What do large companies do? Surely they do not change their mail addresses on a regular basis as I am probably not the only one receiving spam. Am I correct if I say that when you have my address that you can send me a mail directly without going through my host's server?

    dsd. I will definitely try doing what you suggested. May be a good way to do it is to go via Google and let them catch the spam. I will have a look to see how it is done and try it.

    Am I not paying my host enough to expect them to handle it?

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    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faan View Post
    Dave, I do not understand your question of where my e-mail program collects the mail from.
    What I understood from you is that your email address is available on your website. If that is the case, spam bots will definately harvest your email address and your email address will be resold and distributed to spammers all over the world. Unless you hide it in the source code using the methods I stated.
    Quote Originally Posted by Faan View Post
    Chatmaster, I am afraid you have lost me with all the internet jargon. What do large companies do? Surely they do not change their mail addresses on a regular basis as I am probably not the only one receiving spam. Am I correct if I say that when you have my address that you can send me a mail directly without going through my host's server?
    No you do not need to change your email address normally, simply because proper web designs will hide your email address from spam bots. If the spam bot harvested your email address, it is already in their system, and you will have a problem with spam for the lifetime of that email address.

    Quote Originally Posted by Faan View Post
    dsd. I will definitely try doing what you suggested. May be a good way to do it is to go via Google and let them catch the spam. I will have a look to see how it is done and try it.
    Google mail allows you to receive email through their email address and then they will forward the mail to your real address. That way they act as a spam filter. You can simply set it up in their panel.
    Quote Originally Posted by Faan View Post
    Am I not paying my host enough to expect them to handle it?
    The handling spam mail is done by a system they can tweak and modify. They are supposed to address this for their own sake, as it will take load of their servers. It makes sense for them to find ways to identify spam mail and to get rid of it.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faan View Post
    Dave, I do not understand your question of where my e-mail program collects the mail from.
    Faan, If you go the Gmail route that Chatmaster has suggested, this might be irrelevant.

    What I'm getting at is where are the emails collected?

    In a normal set-up, you are reading your emails on your computer. Your computer collects these emails from a server that is online 24/7 (barring down time).

    Now when it comes to company domains, often that server is the same as is hosting your website and is part of your webhosting package. There are programs that can be loaded by those server administrators that can do some spam filtering at that point.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    I just played around a bit with the Gmail idea. I wonder if it will work if you forward your affected email address to the Gmail address and then from the Gmail address forward it to another email address that you have setup. You should be able to still sent emails using the effected email address. I checked out my shared hosting account with Webafrica and it seems to work.

  9. #9
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    CM, it is possibly easier (other than the DNS setup) and more effective to just use google apps.
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    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsd View Post
    CM, it is possibly easier (other than the DNS setup) and more effective to just use google apps.
    You are spot on Duncan, it will be. He just needs to point the MX records and he can go with them. Great idea, can't believe I missed it

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