Webmasters and Spam

Spam can be a serious issue for webmasters. Webmasters must pay for storage on servers that host their internet site, and they must pay for bandwidth. Spam can use both storage and bandwidth, but the main cost can be due to bandwidth use. When spammers send unsolited email to webmasters and average internet users, they steal some of their bandwidth. This can cost webmasters more to run their sites.

What webmasters should not do

Webmasters should never post their email address on the internet in any form. It should not even be posted in a form using javascript to hide it from spam internet crawlers. Spammers will crawl the internet to find any email addresses that are posted on web sites. Many webmasters post email addresses on the internet using javascript to hide it from the webcrawlers of spammers figuring they will not be able to read it. However, consider the fact that when a website visitor user clicks on the email link on the website, their email client program reads the email address just fine even when the email address is hidden using javascript. If a client email program can read this information, don’t you think that spammers can write programs to read the information also? Some webmasters put their email address in a picture that cannot be read by crawlers which is a better solution, but anyone could read the information, write it down, and sell it to a spam list so this solution is not completely effective. Webmasters should use a contact page to allow website visitors to contact them.

You should note that several viruses have been created which use search engines to search for pages with the @ character which is included in email addresses. These viruses are trying to find webpages with email addresses to harvest them for the spammers. These viruses have caused some slowdown of services on some internet search engines. It is best if webmasters can remove spammers reason to perform these types of searches.

Using a contact page

Hide My IP

The use of a contact page is a more effective spam solution since the user of the page cannot read the website email address. The only possible abuse of a contact page is for a robot to fill out the form automatically and if this begins happening, the webmaster can modify the page to include a graphical set of numbers and letters and require the user of the contact page to fill out a field telling what the numbers and letters are. This will prove the user to be human. In addition, the webmaster may put links to the contact page from all over the site. When the webmaster wnats to change their email or the contact page, they only need to modify the contact page. A free PHP contact page complete with code and instructions is available at http://www.comptechdoc.org/independent/web/php/contact/.

How webmasters may Can some Spam

If you are a webmaster, spammers may send spam to your domain by sending it to accounts they suspect may be on your domain such as administration@yourdomain.com. Or they will send it to any account on your domain figuring you have a default account that mail goes into when an account does not match the recipient address. One way to prevent this domain spamming is to configure your account with your hosting provider so that you do not respond to undeliverable emails and automatically delete them. This is called a “::blackhole” setting. The only problem with this is that spammers will still use your bandwidth that you pay for to send you their junk, even though your server deletes them. As spam gets more excessive, it may increase bandwidth costs for webmasters thus discouraging some sites from operating.

Of course these solutions are temporary measures to deal with the problem of spam until a complete solution is implemented on the internet as an overall internet solution since spam is an internet community problem.