How to prevent spam

So, why do you get spam in the first place? Because it works.. people are still clicking the links, thus making the time and effort spammers put into this totally worth it. If everyone stopped "falling for it", spam would more-or-less disappear (or at least drop-off dramatically).

The five other big spam-prevention tips we recommend all the time (besides the catch-all and required score setting) are (in somewhat order of importance):

  • Never reply-to or click *any* link in any spam you get, even to unsubscribe/remove
Clicking a link will let the spammer know you're a real person and you'll end up getting a lot more spam as a result (most spam originates from servers outside of the US, so spam "laws" don't apply.. I.E. they don't have to remove you from anything, and will in fact just add you to many, many more lists).
  • Don't give out or submit your address to sites you don't trust
You can often find a "Privacy Policy" link on any site asking for your email address.. skim it, and if it doesn't specifically say they *won't* give your email address to any 3rd parties (this, and "partner" are just other ways of saying spammers), then you can assume they will, and we'd recommend using a totally different email address you don't care about, such as a free or address (hotmail will delete your account if you stop checking your mail for a few weeks, so we don't recommend them).
  • Keep your computer clean of viruses/trojans & spyware
Keep up to date with your operating system's (and web browser's) security patches and make sure your anti-virus software auto-updates regularly. This mainly applies to Windows users, but as Macs get more and more popular, I'm sure we'll start seeing similar problems with them. A lot of spam these days originates from peoples' home computers who happen to have a virus/backdoor running on their computer.. if you don't keep up to date with your scanning, YOU could be one of them.
  • Don't use common usernames
Usernames such as info@, contact@, mail@, webmaster@, sales@, etc. will almost always get spam, even if you never use them or tell anyone about them (it costs spammers nothing to send to as many random names as they can think of).
  • Don't post your email address as plain text on any web site, including your own
This is sometimes how spammers can find you in the first place (although this isn't very common nowadays). Instead, you can use an email *form* -- there are quite a few free form makers out there that you can use on your site:
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