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The Spam Chain

Article: The Spam Chain

Where spam comes from and how to stop it proactively

Where does spam come from?

Spam (unsolicited email) is sent by some people (called spammers) who see it as a cost effective marketing campaign. To do this, spammers attempt to collect as many email addresses as possible to maximise the number of people that receive their email.

What are the steps in the spam chain

The "spam chain" refers to how your email address becomes the target of spam email. As a basic overview, the spam chain can be separated into three main steps

Step 1 Obtaining email addresses: Spammers use automated software called "spam-bots" (also called spam robots, email grabbers, email extractors and email harvesters) to obtain email addresses. These automated scripts search the Internet for listed email addresses. They scan the Web page-by-page, site after site, collecting e-mail addresses. This is done by searching for the characters "@" and the word "mailto:", which is placed before an email address in website code.

You can help prevent your email address from being discovered by spam bots on your website by using Hixus Email Address Protector.

Spam-bots can scan all places where email addresses are publicly accessible. In addition to webpages, they also scan newsgroups, guest books, chat rooms and more.

Step 2 Automated sending of spam: Using automated bulk-mail software together with the email addresses they collected, spammers send a large amount of email their victims.

Step 3 Validation of email addresses: Spammers sometimes validate email addresses they send spam to by assessing the recipient's reaction using various techniques to determine whether spam they sent is being read.

How can I reduce the amount of spam I receive?

Reduce the amount of spam you receive by:

  1. Protecting your email address using Hixus Email Address Protector to reduce the change of it being harvested by spam-bots.
  2. Use an alternative email address when posting to news groups.
  3. Only supply your email address to reputable organisations.

Click here to buy Hixus Email Address Protector and protect your email address today!

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