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Contact Forms versus eMail Links

Unsolicited email is commonly called spam and it can be a major nuisance. Here are some suggestions to avoid being affected adversely by spammers.

eMail Spammers and Address Harvesting
A common practice for email spammers is to use e-mail address harvesting software to "crawl" the web searching for web sites and grab e-mail address links from web sites. The email addresses are added to mailing lists and may be sold or even distributed for free to other spammers. If you have an email address listed on your web site, it is only a matter of time until you are bombarded with advertisements for everything from vitamins to Viagra. Filtering through hundreds of e-mail messages every day just to find a few messages that are from customers can waste a lot of your time AND your chances of receiving computer viruses are increased dramatically when your email address is posted on your web site.

Eliminate Email Addresses From Web Pages - Use Contact Forms
Eliminate all email addresses and email links from web pages to avoid having your email address harvested by spammers. Use a contact form instead. Customers can make initial contact through the form page. Then you can reply via e-mail and they can reply to your message and save your e-mail address in their address book.

FormMail.php is a free form script, which includes a simple captcha field to prevent automated form spamming. Some shopping cart programs, for example AShop Deluxe and AShop V , include contact forms. FormTools is a more sophisticated form management system, which can be used to manage multiple clients and many types of forms.

Bounce Messages Not Addressed To An E-mail Identity
Many times spammers don't even grab legitimate email addresses. They might simply add your domain to a mailing list with common email identities such as info @yourdomain or sales @yourdomain. One way to avoid receiving spam this way is to use non-standard email identity names. In addition, set the mail server for your domain to bounce messages that are not addressed to a legitimate mailbox.

Note: AShop Web Hosting plans include an option to reject mail that is not addressed to a specific mailbox. A canned reply can optionally be sent to the sender advising them that the address is undeliverable. Most spammers use forged return addresses so they will not receive the undeliverable message, but legitimate senders will then have an opportunity to correct the address.

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