One of the biggest problems my clients face is e-mail overload. Not to mention receiving tons of spam in their business e-mail inbox. If this has happened to you, chances are you’ve inadvertently made it easy to spam you. Instead of waking to e-mails that are relevant, you wake to hundreds that are just junk! I’m going to give you some tips to spam-proof your website. And an e-mail inbox full of messages you want to read…
 
Update Your Domain Contact Information
 
When you register your domain you’re required to provide an e-mail address. This e-mail address becomes public information unless you select to keep your registration information private. I understand there are business building reasons to not do this, so you can simply use a separate e-mail address for registration. Free accounts like hotmail, Gmail or yahoo are good for this purpose. You can visit them from time to time to sort through the junk and relevant information. This step eliminates you from receiving tons of spam to the e-mail accounts you use on a daily basis.
 
Update Your Website Text
 
SPAMbots essentially scour the internet seeking identifiable e-mail addresses. Now, you of course want to have your e-mail address on your website; you want visitors to be able to contact you. This also means your e-mail address is susceptible to those SPAMbots.
 
The use of JavaScript helps hide your address from would be spammers. The code essentially changes the appearance of your e-mail address so E-mail harvesters are unable to recognize your e-mail address in the code of your website. However, it still retains 100% functionality on your website.
 
Another quick way to hide your e-mail address is to use an e-mail encoder. The one I use the most is this simple page with clear instructions. Simply type your e-mail address, click on “encode” button, and copy and paste the resulting HTML code to your web page.
 
If you don’t know how to use JavaScript but have done your own HTML coding you can find quick examples of how to change the code online. You can also outsource the task for a few dollars. If you’re in the midst of launching a new business website, ask your designer to take care of this for you as it really does take just a few minutes.
 
Another option is a mod_rewrite. This is a bit more technical in nature and requires you to have it installed and accessible on your server and .htaccess file. Again, if you’re not technically inclined, ask your website developer or a technical virtual assistant to handle this for you.
 
Change Your Contact Forms
 
Many people have opted to using contact forms instead of placing your e-mail address on your website. Personally, I don’t like filling out forms when I need to contact someone. It just feels impersonal and I never know if the person got the e-mail or not. Also, this may reduce the spam you receive though it won’t completely eliminate it. If your e-mail address is still in the html of your website the SPAMbots will still find you.
 
Share Discriminately
 
Finally, when sharing your e-mail address with others, especially on social networking sites, blogs, and forums consider writing it out. Instead of janedoe@email.com write JaneDoe at email dot com. This helps prevent your e-mail address from being picked up and added to a spam list.
 
If you are already buried with spam, it may be time to ditch your current e-mail address, create a new one, and notify your friends, clients, and associates.
 
SPAM is a nuisance; however, there are a few simple things you can do both on and off your website to reduce it: hide your e-mail address using encoders, share your e-mail address carefully, use a contact form, and finally, assign an e-mail address for newsletters and domain registration. The spam will stay out of your primary e-mail inbox.

Tell me your anti-spam tips below!

Warmly,

Lisa Wells