KDnuggets : News : 2002 : n21 : item2    (previous | next)


From: Gregory Piatetsky-Shapiro
Date: 4 Nov 2002
Subject: New Poll: How many junk (spam) emails you receive and how to avoid them?

Many people, myself included, feel that the junk email problem has increased significantly in the past year. I usually receive 20 to 40 junk emails each day. New KDnuggets Poll asks:

How many junk (spam) emails you receive on an average day?

Please vote on www.kdnuggets.com.

I think one reason for the jump in spam are email "spiders" that collect email addresses from web pages. Unscrupulous marketers then sell lists with hundreds of thousands of such addresses for very few dollars to even more unscrupulous or naive people, who can blast 300,000 junk emails in order to get a dozen customers.

So, keeping email addresses on web pages makes one vulnerable to spam. One way to fight them is to write your email address using @ instead of @, e.g. abc@xyz.com. This is correctly translated by the browser to abc@xyz.com , but many email spiders will not be able to recognize it as an email address.

A more certain, but more complicated method is to use a short javascript program to generate the email address. This is the method that I use for specifying editor1 at kdnuggets dot com email, but it comes at the cost of losing those readers who do not have javascript activated.

Other approaches include using companies such as Spamarrest, which requires all people sending you email to answer a simple test, such as recognize a visual image, to make sure that this is a person sending email and not a robot. This test is only done once, but it is still an inconvenience for your correspondents.

If you have good suggestions on how to fight spam, please email them to editor1 at kdnuggets dot com email, and I will summarize in the next issue.

KDnuggets : News : 2002 : n21 : item2    (previous | next)

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