Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Spam-proofing your blog site

Nothing is more annoying than having your email accounts flooded with spam. Studies have shown that a large portion of spam comes from spam-bots that surf the Web looking for usable email addresses.

So, if you have joe@gmail.com on your site, you can bet that within days your Gmail account will start being flooded with spam. There are ways to avoid this. One is to use a utility that scrambles your email address so that spam-bots won't recognize it as an address. We have more information on this on Blogger Forum's Articles and Tips section. But there is any easier way posted in an interesting article on Thomas Brunt's OutFront. This can be as simple and rudimentary as replacing the "@" symbol with the unicode equivalent which is "&" plus "#64;". According to the article, even this simple ruse is enough to fool the spam-bots: "We tested several demo-version email harvesting programs and found that changing the '@' and '.' to their Unicode equivalents was sufficient to fool the spambots."

The article also suggests using "disposable" email accounts so that you can just dump the address when you get too much spam coming in. More Gmail accounts, anyone?