Opening one’s inbox, a person is greeted with a flood of messages. From those trying to make sales to those pushing consultations, to all kinds of news and a host of other unwanted information. Even without asking for these messages, they yet find a way to cloud your inbox. The question is “how do spammers get a person’s email address and starts sending all kinds of mails and how does one protect himself from such activities now and even in the future.
WAYS SPAMMERS GET YOUR ADDRESS – SPAMMERS EMAIL ADDRESSES
There are basically four ways spammers get people’s email addresses. They are:
- Dictionary Programs: Dictionary Programs create or generate alphanumeric combinations of email addresses in sequence. It is commonly known as “Brute-force attacks”. Though many of the generated results may be wrong, a reasonable amount may be correct and become targets for spam.
- Using Harvesting Programs: Hackers and spammers use complex automated tools to scan the web and gather email addresses. They especially look out for texts on the web with the @symbol or character. Spammers harvest email addresses from websites, chatrooms, mailing lists, domain contact points, and other sources. In fact, spammers will most likely find any mail listed online.
- Dishonest Newsletters Sources: Dishonest Newsletters Services sell people’s email addresses for a commission. Sometimes, several persons are sent a false message ” you have a newsletter”. When the users of such accounts click on the Unsubscribe link, the spammers actually confirm that a real person exists with the email address.
PROTECTING AN EMAIL ADDRESS FROM SPAMMERS
The following are ways of protecting your email address from spammers. They include:
- Delete without Unsubscribing: On receiving an unsubscribe request from a newsletter you never subscribed to in the first place, simply delete the email without following the Unsubscribe link. Following the Unsubscribe link or clicking on it validates an email for spammers.
- Disguise your email address: This entails using obfuscation tactics to hide email addresses. This is done by either posting the email address as an image or inserting characters, strings, and spaces into the email address when posting it online.
- Use a disposable email address: Using a disposable email address actually means using an alias of your real email address. This is very necessary when you need an email address to sign up for certain sites online or when you need to post on and to an email address. When a disposable email address is spammed, you simply move to a new one.