A spammer’s worst enemy is an educated user. Here are five easy ways to make sure you’ll never be a spammer’s best friend:
1. Don’t display your email address as plain text on your website. A contact form is best, since it protects your email address from harvesting bots, but if you must display your actual email address, display it as an image. The bots can’t “see” text in images so they won’t be able to grab your address.
2. Don’t sell your mailing list. It may seem tempting as a way to bring in some extra income, but think twice. Even though your customers may have opted in and consented to having their email addresses given to third parties, you can’t control what those third parties might do with it.
3. Don’t respond to spam. Resist the urge to tell them off and ignore any unsubscribe links. If your email doesn’t bounce, it will simply tell the spammers that your address is active and responsive to spam.
4. Invest in a throwaway email address. Sign up for a free account on Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail or other free provider. Use it instead of your main account for registering on websites, shopping online, and so on; then ignore it. This keeps your main inbox free of spam.
5. Watch your ports and relays. If your company isn’t using it, block port 25 and make sure your network isn’t hosting any open relays. This will eliminate two popular spam tools and keep your domain from ending up on a blacklist.