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How much spam does your website generate?

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  • How much spam does your website generate?

    Let me be a little more specific. The website for the non-profit organization I volunteer with has a simple hyperlink with our e-mail address (which then brings up a new message window using whatever the viewer's default mailer is.) The problem is that we get more junk mail on this address than "real" mail. Is there a way to get around this?

    I'm working on my own website at the moment and I really don't want to generate a bunch of spam for myself. If I were to create a form with a "click to submit" button, does that get around the web trawlers looking for e-mail addresses to spam? (I realize I can use MailWasher, but I'm wondering if there's a way to stop the mail at the source?)

    Thanks,
    Jeanie

  • #2
    Unfortunately, the spiders used for trawling email addresses look at the html source and probably search for items like mailto and @. Retouchpro's way of protecting the email addresses is quite good, but that will probably also be hacked sometime.

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    • #3
      A web-only email interface will cut down on spam. It will also cut down on emails in general, since some people (like me) don't like them.

      You'd think that with RP and my other websites I'd get a ton of spam, but I really don't. Of course, definitions of 'ton' vary, but I'd guess I get maybe 5 a day.
      Learn by teaching
      Take responsibility for learning

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      • #4
        When you recieve each piece of spam and down load it it sends a ping back to the source - this tells the sender of the spam that the email address is active and they will send you even more spam.

        To avoid the inicial spam ping you can use a program such as Lydia. This program allows you to look at the list of the emails you have recieved. You can then open each email and it gives the first 20 lines in the email - this way you can check the content of the email - if you then notice that it is spam or a possible virus, you can simply delete the message with out down loading it and avoid the ping that will send you some more spam.

        I have been using a program like this since I put up my web site and don't recieve that much spam because the spiders think the email address is not active and move on to bother others

        Hope this helps

        Clare

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        • #5
          Al, I was afraid the trawlers were searching HTML - which is why I asked the question.

          Doug, I feel the same way about web-only e-mail interfaces, which is why I asked this question to begin with. Since Al mentioned it, can you explain how the hiding of e-mail address on RP works? Is that part of the forum software, or was it an addition that you programmed in?

          Clare - thanks for the info on Lydia (and the info on pinging - I hadn't realized that.) Do you (or anyone) happen to know how Lydia compares to Mailwasher? It looks like they both work with messages still on the server, but it appears that Mailwasher then allows you to download to your preferred e-mail browser, while Lydia is the e-mail browser. Is that right?

          Thanks everyone for your responses. I find I'm worrying about the strangest details as I design my site!

          Jeanie

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          • #6
            Hi Jeanie,

            Lydia can be used as a email program but I don't use it this way. I check my headers delete what I don't want and then use eudora as my email program. (I am not a fan of outlook!)

            I don't know about the mail washer program. Lydia is very easy to set up and if you have broadband you can set it to check your mail every 10-15-60- minutes depending on how oftern you want it check and then it tells you when you have new mail.

            Clare

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            • #7
              Thanks Clare. The way you describe it, it sounds very similar to Mailwasher.

              Jeanie

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              • #8
                Email addresses here aren't really hidden. If you type your email address in a post you'll be vulnerable for spam. But the forum software makes it so that there's no reason to ever do that, since you can email any member with a mouseclick, and you have the option to turn what little email functionality it offers completely off via your control panel.

                But ultimately it's just web-based email, except it knows who the sender is and prevents non-members from using it.
                Learn by teaching
                Take responsibility for learning

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                • #9
                  Got it - thanks Doug. -Jeanie

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                  • #10
                    Jeanie,

                    One possible technique to stop them harvesting your email address from your website is to use the Unicode values to code the characters of your email address:

                    @ @ E E M M U U c c k k s s
                    . . F F N N V V d d l l t t
                    - - G G O O W W e e m m u u
                    _ _ H H P P X X f f n n v v
                    A A I I Q Q Y Y g g o o w w
                    B B J J R R Z Z h h p p x x
                    C C K K S S a a i i q q y y
                    D D L L T T b b j j r r z z


                    e.g. [email protected] would become fred@abc.com

                    Unfortunately SOME spambots can still parse that too...

                    If you are really keen to foil their evil plots and are comfortable with Javascript then check out this page which discusses a variety of even better (and so far undefeatable) options.

                    Hope this helps...

                    Leah

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                    • #11
                      ooh, excellent tip Leah, I never would have thought of doing it that way. right now I'm trying to learn PHP right now, so when I actually get a website up, I'll write a script using that for web based email so I can avoid as much spam as possible. (and if I ever do actually get that script done - I still have a long way to go for learning PHP - I'll definitely post it in the forums here somewhere for anybody who wants to use it)

                      - David

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                      • #12
                        Awesome info Leah! THANKS!! (I don't know that I'm "comfortable" with Javascript, but I'm not UNcomfortable with it. )

                        David, what would be the advantage of a PHP script over a Java script? Is it that some browsers don't support Java (and that's not an issue with PHP?)

                        My brain is about to explode!

                        Jeanie

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Try Cloudmark

                          You might try using Cloudmark. It is a plugin of sorts for Outlook that uses the contributions of all it's users to create a database of spam, It filters your incoming mail and sends the spam to a spam folder. YOu can unblock or block any mail. The mail you block gets sent to their database as spam and contributes in helping everyone else filter their email for the same emails. I know that probably doesn't make sense. I am not sure how to explain it more simple though (I am very tired right now).

                          I think it does a good job. I have never had it block a client's email and it seperates most of the junk. I just go thru the folder once every day or two and make sure there isn't anything in there I want to see, then I delete the contents.

                          http://www.cloudmark.com/

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jeaniesa
                            David, what would be the advantage of a PHP script over a Java script? Is it that some browsers don't support Java (and that's not an issue with PHP?)
                            Hi Jeanie,
                            the advantage to PHP (and the reason I'm learning it before I get into Javascript much) is that it's a server side language meaning that all the scripts you write run on the server then display as an HTML page for any browser eliminating the possibility of browser compatibility (which can definitely be a problem with javascript, the menu bar here is an example, a lot of people had problems with it, but as long as people keep their browsers updated it's generally not a problem) the other advantage to it is that your code is kept hidden since it only runs on the server and your page is output in HTML, where with javascript, your code is right there to anybody who decides to do a "View source". ASP is the same idea, but I prefer to go with the open source stuff and from what I've seen and learned so far, I like PHP better anyway.
                            Originally posted by jeaniesa
                            My brain is about to explode!

                            Jeanie
                            I know how you feel, I feel like that all the time these days!!

                            - David
                            Last edited by d_kendal; 01-17-2003, 03:55 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Since general PHP info is a bit off-topic from the original purpose of this thread, I've continued the PHP discussion here.

                              Jeanie

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