Avoid Being Spoofed

Personally, I’ve never used my “real” email address in any correspondence. By “real” I mean the one that Roadrunner gave me (or before that, the one that earthlink gave me).

I always send emailthat looks like it came from my website.  There are numerous reasons why I do that, but a big one is that people are careless with other people’s email addresses and that’s how an email address can fall into a spammer’s hand.

When that happens, you start getting tons of spam or the emails you send go straight into a spam filter trash bin because someone has spoofed your email address.

There are 2 main ways spammers can get your email address:
1. You show your email address on your website.  Bad idea.  Use a contact form instead.  Yes, you may lose a client or two, but over the life of your website, which is better: possibly lose a potential client or delete hundreds of emails a day just so you can find the legitimate emails?     And even if you don’t show your email address, be sure that your email address isn’t easily accessible by the “view source code” option in every browser.  If it can be see in the source code, then spambots can retrieve it and use it.
2. You get a virus that sends out thousands of spam emails to every email address in your computer. That virus will then send out even more spam that appears to be from each person in your email address book.
But I use Norton (or McAfee or AVG or whatever) and I keep my virus definitions up to date and scan my computer nightly for viruses, so how could I get a virus?

Well, maybe you don’t get the virus but you send an email to me and 10 other people, but instead of sending the email to yourself and putting all our email addresses in the bcc field, you just enter our emails in the to: field.  So, everyone can see everyone else’s email address and if that gets forwarded enough times without any of the forwarders taking the time to delete all those email addresses, sooner or later it’s going to end up in a pc that’s infected with a spammer’s virus.

So (if you’ve made it this far), be polite.  If you want to share something with me and 50 other people, please don’t show my email address to people I don’t know.

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