Gray Watson Personal Thoughts 2003.01.20
Protecting Your Email Address

I am on a personal jihad against spam mail. I hate it -- hate getting even one message a day. I abhor spammers and if I ever found out about a spammer in my neighborhood I would probably pay the local kids to TP their house or let the air out of their tires daily.

The problem with spammers is that the barriers to entry in this business are incredibly small. All you need is a program to surf the web looking for email addresses or $100 to buy a CD of them and a couple of computers to deliver your message. Even conversion rates of 0.01% would pay for themselves. I heard recently that the now-famous Nigerian scams have a 10% success rate which shouldn't have surprised me.

I recently wrote the following piece on my MailNull site. I think it is an important thing to read so I decided to link it into my rant here. The page outlines how to protect your email address. It details a number of trips and tricks that I've picked up over the years.

How to Protect Your Email Address

I've collected a fascinating article from Wired.com about Spam's Allure. I've also republished this fabulous research from MSNBC on the trail of spam.

I found recently this spam tool which people can buy to help spammers harvest email addresses from the web. It is an example about what we are up against and why you should heed the protection recommendations.

Join the jihad and start your own personal war against these bastards.

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