Newfangled works with independent agencies to create lead development web platforms for their clients.

Newfangled works with independent agencies to create lead development web platforms for their clients.

Keeping Your Email Off of SPAM Lists

Keeping your email off of spam lists

The first tip for minimizing spam is to stay off spam lists in the first place. Be very careful when you enter your address into an online form. Make sure the company you are submitting your email to is a trustworthy company and that they have a published privacy policy. Always look for and click the "do not share my address" check box if they provide one. An even better protection is to have a few "throw away" email addresses that you use for such forms. If you have the ability to add email addresses to your account set up a couple extra addresses like You usually can have these addresses set up to forward to your real email address. Use this address when filling out forms. This way, if you start to get spam on that address, you can simply delete the address and use another "throw away" address like You can use the same technique for subscribing to online newsletters or participating in online chat rooms or blogs. If you use your real address, there is not much you can do, except change your primary address, but sometimes that is just not a viable option.

If your are going to create a new primary email account it is a good idea to follow the format of first initial, last name, or something similar because spammers will often send email to "every popular name" It costs them so little to send an email that they can send hundreds emails to each common name in order to find one that works. This is why my four year old gets spam email in her account even though she has never filled out a web form in her life. She gets it because spammers send email to every common name at our domain and they hit on hers. Again, if you already use your first name as your primary email address (like me), it may be too late to adopt this practice.

Finally, you need to be careful about putting your email address on your website. Removing email links from your web site is unfortunately becoming more and more necessary now that spammers have software that can automatically harvest email addresses from sites. Instead you may need to rely on web forms that hide your email address from email harvesters. Another option is to display your email address as a graphic rather than as text. Unfortunately you cannot make the graphic a link that pops up an email window because the email harvesters can find the email address in the link as well.

If you're already on the lists

If you're already on these lists, there is virtually no way of getting off of them. Whatever you do, DO NOT CLICK the "click here to remove" links on the spam email. Clicking such a link will not remove you. Instead it will let the spammer know that your email address is working. They will continue to send spam, and they will likely sell your address to other spammers.

Another mistake is to set your email windows to automatically display your email as you click through your messages. If you display a spam email, even for a split second, the spammer can confirm that they have sent their spam to a valid address. This is because the images in a spam email are not usually included in the email itself. Instead the images are pulled from the server when the email is viewed. When your email software displays an email it "requests" the images from the server, thus informing the sender that the email has been viewed. These requests can be embedded with your email address thereby confirming it simply by viewing the email. To prevent this you can set your email window to not display email automatically and instead you will need to click on the emails that are real to view them and not click on the spam emails. In time, if you do not confirm your address by viewing the email or clicking the "remove" link, your email address might get cleared from a list. At the very least you won't attract additional attention as a confirmed email address.


Piet Nel | January 24, 2014 6:29 AM
I love this site

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