How to protect yourself against spammers?
Here are 10 proposals for solution with their advantages and disadvantages (sorted by ascending significance):
1.) Publish your e-mail address on your .tel domain.
After you will get too many spam e-mails, exchange it with a new e-mail address.
(In case .tel will become a global accepted solution in the future, the e-mail address won’t play a role for contacting others anymore, because the .tel domain owner can be reached only by e-mailing the .tel domain instead.)
+ It’s the easiest way people can reach you.
+ Your main address will always stay the same: your .tel domain!
– You’ll get spam for sure.
– You’ll have additional effort every time you’ll change your e-mail address.
2.) Publish your e-mail address on a subdomain and don’t link from the main page or other websites to this subdomain.
+ Automatic crawlers won’t find your e-mail address as long the subdomain is not linked from anywhere.
– Only people who know your subdomain will find your e-mail address.
3.) Add the information “No spam please!” or “Please avoid messages regarding topics like … !” into the label for your e-mail address.
+ You can hope decent people will follow your instructions.
– This is an ineffective method since spammers won’t follow your plea.
– It gives your .tel domain a non-professional impression.
4.) Don’t publish any e-mail address on your .tel domain.
Instead you can instruct your contacts to ask for your e-mail address, e. g. with a short instruction on your .tel domain.
+ You avoid the biggest danger of getting spam.
– Your contacts are forced to reach you on different channels first, and you have to tell them your e-mail address personally.
5.) Don’t publish your own e-mail address, but the one from your secretary.
+ You delegate your communication and will get only wanted e-mails forwarded.
– You have to give control for your communication to somebody you trust.
6.) Instead of using the contact type “E-Mail”, use the contact type “Info” for text and adjust your e-mail into a format intended to be read by humans only (instead of crawlers), e. g. “name (at) domainname (dot) tld” (instead of “firstname.lastname@example.org”).
A little bit trickier will be this version: name@domainDELETE_THISname.tld.
Senders have do delete the part DELETE_THIS before they use your e-mail address.
(But probably not every user will understand what to do in this case.)
+ Only advanced crawlers will identify your e-mail address; that can reduce the amount of spam you receive.
– Your contacts can’t use a comfortable link to contact you anymore and have to type your e-mail address manually instead.
7.) Separate your communication into private and public.
Use one e-mail address which you give away only to trusted contacts and one which you make public.
But don’t make it too complicated for you: try to use not more than three e-mail addresses (one personal, one business and one public e-mail address)!
+ You can keep your important messages separated from newsletters and junk.
– You have to check several e-mail accounts regularly.
8.) Don’t make your e-mail address public and grant only access to people you trust via TelFriends (by marking the e-mail address as private).
Visitors of your .tel domain will automatically see a link “View private data”.
+ Steady way for avoiding spam!
– Your contacts have to open an account at TelFriends to get access to your e-mail address.
9.) Hide your e-mail address and use the contact form from TelMailBox.com instead.
+ Steady way for avoiding spam!
+ Automatic spamming routines can’t read the captcha code.
– People can contact you only via your .tel domain until you tell them your non-public e-mail address.
10.) Use an e-mail provider which offers you a reliable spam identification service like Google Mail or Hotmail.
You don’t have to use an e-mail address in the format email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, but you can use these services also for your .tel domain in the format email@example.com (see here).
+ Since you can’t avoid spam completely (because e-mail addresses are collected by spammers on several ways), a good spam filter is obligatory.
– If you don’t use your own server (with all the effort for administration of your e-mail application and spam filter), you rely on the security and service of a third party.
Since not all solutions are effective when fighting against spam, I strongly recommend following the suggestions number 8 till 10 (best all three)!
Further advices for reduction of spam:
- Never load a received spam e-mail completely in your browser or e-mail program (e. g. the included pictures), never react to it in any way (no answers, no complaints and no buying) and never click a link inside of it (including the faked unsubscribe option)!
All that would help the spammer to identify your e-mail address as active, so you will get more spam for sure!
- Report spam: Before you delete your spam, forward your spam with the full e-mail header included to firstname.lastname@example.org as this is the spam box for the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).
E-mails sent to this box will be investigated. If it is indeed spam, the original sender can be charged $500 per e-mail. The more e-mails they get from different users but same spammer, the more it’s likely to be investigated.
Find more information at FTC.gov/spam.
- Go to Google.com and type your e-mail address into the search box. If Google can find your address, probably spammers have got it, too.
Make sure you delete the e-mail address from your own websites and ask other services (e. g. via e-mail) for deleting your e-mail address (or updating it to another, e. g. to your public e-mail address for secondary purposes).
Easier and more effective in this case would be just to change your e-mail address and try to avoid that it will become public again!