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Be Paranoid About Your Email Addresses

Tip #8

Be Paranoid About Your Email Addresses

Everybody hates spam except the spammers. Spam accounts for close to 90% of all email communication. It?s big business. It?s profitable. For the chance to make a millions to billions of dollars with very little effort, spammers have a great incentive to make your life miserable.

Spam brings unwanted advertisements and the dangers of viruses, Trojans, malware, spyware, identity theft and control of botnets.

Receive email and chances are you will receive spam.

Your first line of defense is your email address. As much as possible use email aliases. These are throwaway addresses that can be used and discarded. Never respond to opt out offers. Hey, you didn?t opt in so do you really think they are going to let you opt out? Opt outs are just schemes to validate a live email address.

Turn off images in your email clients. Images displayed in email are another way spammers verify that you are using an active email.

If possible, do not display email accounts on your website. These are scanned by bots and used by spammers. As much as possible rely on webform communications through your website. This limits exposing actual addresses.

Filter all incoming email using commercial grade email filters. Develop black and white lists, but never rely on them. For example, it is a common practice for companies to place their employee?s email addresses on a white list. This can prevent internal email from being subject to spam filters. Oops! Which email addresses do you think spammers want to use to contact you? Email spoofing has become a huge problem. A spoof happens when a spammer or hacker tries to convince you that an email or website has an origin other than its true source. When it comes to email addresses they will spoof the addresses of you are your employees in order to breeze through firewalls and spam rules. An excellent way to foil these exploits is included in our article "The Cheap Way to Keep Spoofed Email Out of Your Inbox."

Next: Tip # 9 Use Country IP Blocks