|How Do Spammers Get Your Email
by Rosalind Gardner
As much as I try to stem the seemingly endless flow
of spam, the crap just keeps arriving my Inbox.
For example, this week I received "New affiliate
programs from 2004-02-10 to 2004-02-14 :: Subscription
I'd never heard of WeAreBlahBlahBlah.net, let alone
subscribed to the newsletter. But the address used
explained exactly how the spammer reached me.
I've set up numerous 'special' addresses for customers,
affiliates, subscribers, merchant partners and others.
For example, if I join XYZ's affiliate program,
I might set up XYZ@rosalinds.com and give that address
to them to contact me. If I suddenly start to receive
spam at that address, then I know EXACTLY who the
'leaky' culprit is.
Here are other ways spammers get your address.
Spammers use scavenger bots, programs that 'harvest'
email addresses contained in "mailto:"
HTML tags. Those are clickable email links that
open your email program with the address already
placed in the "To" field.
Some sites request various details via forms, e.g.
guest books & registration forms. Spammers get
email addresses from these because the form is publicly
available on the web, or because the webmaster sells
Paper (Offline) Forms
Some companies sell lists of addresses obtained
from convention participants or contest entrants.
Unless the domain registrant has paid an additional
fee to make their registration private, a simple
Whois lookup reveals the registrant's address.
Although most registrars have enhanced the security
of their WHOIS databases, by requiring a special
code be entered before information is displayed,
many spammers take the time and trouble to grab
addresses this way.
>From Web Browsers
Some sites use various tricks to extract a surfer's
email address from the web browser, sometimes without
the surfer noticing it.
This is another major source of email addresses
for spammers, especially as this is one of the first
public activities newbies join, making it easy for
spammers to harvest 'fresh' addresses.
Sending Test Messages
Have you ever sent a message to an invalid address?
You get an 'undeliverable' or 'failure' notice back.
Some spammers use this to guess email addresses
by sending test messages to a list of made-up or
guessed addresses. They know they've got good addresses
for those that did not result in failure messages.
Online Yellow Pages
What could be more alluring to a spammer than a
directory of names and email addresses filed by
These are ingenious. I tell five friends, and my
friends each tell five of their friends, and so
on and so forth. The email addresses all build up
in the cc field and are a spammers delight.
Spammers buy lists of email addresses usually passed
off as those belonging to people who opted-in to
to obtain information in a specific category.
Let's put spammers out of business.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Use 'throw-away' addresses whenever you're not sure
of the source, and don't sign up unless there are
clear 'Privacy' statements on the site.
If worse comes to worse, and you're fighting your
way through a mountain of spam, install anti-spam
software on your computer.
© Copyright Rosalind Gardner, All Rights Reserved.
About The Author
Article by Rosalind Gardner, author of the best-selling
"Super Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797
in One Year Selling Other People's Stuff Online".
To learn how you too can suceed in Internet and
affiliate marketing, go to: http://NetProfitsToday.com.