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45

I pass all contact forms through a throwaway Gmail account, that forwards mail to the real email address. It's free, it's easy, and Gmail's spam detection is top notch. It requires no extra effort when making the website, and if anything gets through you just login to the Gmail account and flag it as spam. You can then set the Gmail inbox to either ...


39

How do they find the 'new user registration' page? (I'm especially surprised because some forums don't have a dedicated URL for this eg, www.forum.com/register.html , but instead use query strings or even other methods invisible to the URL bar) They find new sites by: Crawling and looking for signatures of known software. Usually this is ...


27

The following list is organized by relative ease of implementation, maintenance cost, and effectiveness at spam prevention: Disable all user-generated content This is a scorched-earth solution which detracts from the the growth of a user community around your site, however, it is also guaranteed to save you the time and effort of dealing with spam or spam ...


24

Don't use a fake address, that's reeks of spam Set up DomainKeys for your domain Set up SPF for your domain Put an unsubscribe link in your email


23

Hotmail/Live is ... quirky. Much, much quirkier than other email services when it comes to "protecting" users from bulk email. You can find many complaints about Hotmail/Live all over the web about this stuff -- and it's true in my experience. First, make sure you sign up using their SenderID forms. The Sender ID SPF Record Submission Form will put your ...


20

IMHO sending emails to people who subscribed to a different startup is not okay. You could perhaps send a single "please opt in to our new venture" email to all those addresses, but not more than that. You almost certainly want to look at mailing list handling services. Some examples (in random off the top of my head order): MailChimp Campaign Monitor ...


19

I've been in the email delivery software industry for years, and I can tell you that there is is no magic bullet for email deliverability. First, you have to send email that people want to receive. This means email that people click, open, and use the email and that you get a low number of spam complaints. Confirmed opt-in is a great policy, and will gain ...


19

My non-answer is to not do this. Modern email systems, such as GMail and the Barracuda anti-spam appliance, do an excellent job of filtering spam. Any barrier that you put between you and your visitors means a lower level of engagement and, depending on the type of site, potential loss of sales. If you are worried about users who don't have native mail ...


18

Use natural language to spell out the eMail address... Ex: thatguy at gmail dot com You'd be surprised how much harder it is to write a bot that can differentiate natural language vs writing a bot that just searches for the @ sign and regexes a normal address. It isn't 100% foolproof but it isn't any worse than obfuscation and it won't alienate your ...


13

From, "How do I know if I’m on a SPAM Blacklist?" MXToolbox is free. Enter the email service IP addresses and mxtoolbox checks about 100 blacklists. DNSStuff is an inexpensive (almost free) service where you can check 97 blacklists. Includes other DNS and network tools too. (Domain Name System Blacklist). Free service. Checks about 80 blacklists. Update ...


12

Personally, I don't display email addresses on sites, but instead have an easy to use, accessible contact us form, along with an indication of who the email is from; allowing users to send the site owners and operators emails, without exposing email addresses or having to jump through various JavaScript hoops, etc. This is often the best way to go if your ...


12

Funny this should come up, I was dealing with a similar problem at work today! @HeatherWalters has covered most of the good stuff, but there are a couple of things to add. You can block referers by domain using the following htaccess code:- RewriteEngine on # Options +FollowSymlinks RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} spammer-one\.com [NC,OR] RewriteCond ...


10

How do forum spambots work? Talented (if evil) programmers write them - there are probably as many different types of spambots as there are people writing them but, unfortunately, it only takes a few spambot authors sharing and selling their work to ruin life for administrators... One popular forum spamming application is called "xrumer" - here's a ...


10

It's probably just a bot testing out your website to see if it can be spammed. The text is probably unique so it can Google for it and if it finds it then the spammer knows your site can abused and will proceed to spam it with "real" spam. The whole process is probably automated.


10

It sounds like the copyrighted content (the content that costs you money when someone visits that page) should be behind some kind of (free?) authentication/login? That would certainly help limit the number of visits to real visitors. You could perhaps have a non-copyrighted snippet or summary that can be indexed by all that linked to the full article in ...


9

I'm not a lawyer. This answer should not be considered a substitute for legal advice. Google has updated their algorithms so that spam links hurt their site instead of helping it. Now their site has probably lost a lot of it's former ranking, so their trying to remove those links to get their ranking back up. I don't think you should worry about getting a ...


8

Generally you'll want to avoid being detected as SPAM through using the right content and DNS records. Sending 10 or more similar emails to a domain in a 30 minute window has also caused us some issues in the past (do not know the cause and it only affects a few domains). So we tend to make batches (in a scripting language such as PHP) then send through a ...


8

The best solution: use a spam filter. I actually use Gmail to handle my POP3 email account for my business, because it's much easier to check email on different computers. Gmail's spam filters are the best in the world. So you can just display webmaster@example.com as your email address and forget about spam.


8

What I do is write out the email address as words, wrapped in a span tag: <span class="email">joe dot blow at gmail dot com</span>. Then a page-level script runs, grabbing any such spans and replacing each with a constructed email link. It may not be too obscure, but I've had no complaints. Plus if JavaScript is disabled, the user can still read ...


8

use css to hide some noise from the real text (just all in one line, i formatted it to better illustrate the technique): u<span class="spam">noise</span>ser @<span class="spam">noise</span> example<span class="spam">noise</span> .com and then use this little css-snippet: .spam { display: none; } if you need valid ...


8

My friend and colleague has an excellent article on sending mail here: http://mikehillyer.com/email/how-to-send-one-billion-email-marketing-messages-per-month/ While you're not working at that scale of things, the meat and potatoes are the same.


8

Some companies will employ real life people to fill in captchas and forms etc to do this spamming. The short answer that you need to use heuristics in your back-end to capture the spam after it's been submitted. High number of URL's, words like medical, viagra, get a bigger c***, long sentences, etc etc. Further proof of this: Virtual sweatshops defeat ...


7

using html encoding like &#649&#7854&#7575, the browser will render it like "abc"


7

I would imagine you could do this legitimately by connecting to each addresses SMTP server and starting an SMTP session, going as far as giving the address the message was for but resetting and quitting the session before sending an data. assuming the responses until that point had been 250 OK you could assume the address was valid. the wikipedia SMTP page ...


7

One alternative to CAPTCHA and less intrusive with better UX is the honeypot method. It's rather simple: you create an input field in the HTML that you hide with javascript. You then check on the server side whether it was filled in or not, if left empty the visitor is human, if filled in a bot. The reason it works is because javascript is still too ...


7

Looking at bots vs. browsers, they display every user agent that's ever visited their page. Some clever spammer realised that this would be a clever way to drive traffic to their sites, because webmasters/anyone looking at the site is probably going to wonder why there's a url in the user agent, think it's a new specification or something, and visit the url ...


6

Akismet is free for personal use. It's from the makers of WordPress and will work with many platforms. There are libraries available for Python, PHP, ColdFusion, .Net, etc.


6

CAPTCHAs are not bot-proof. There are bot algorithms out there that are perfectly capable of breaking CAPTCHAs, and they're getting better and more widespread with each passing day (while CAPTCHAs have basically reached their maximum opacity). Though in my experience CAPTCHAs can still keep 98% of bots out, so it's unfortunate that your site has been ...



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