It's the time of the year when many of us are about to go on a well-deserved
vacation. For two weeks, you won't touch a keyboard, look at a screen,
or put a phone to your ear. And when you come basck - it's payback time!
It's your first morning back in the office and you can't put it off any
longer. You've got to check your e-mail.
Your first glance at the e-mail status bar confirms your fears. There
are 1,780 messages waiting to be picked up. You groan. You know that means
about 1,700 spams. Well, it's nice to know someone cares. Hold my
calls for the next hour. I'm deleting spam.
Unfortunately, most of us can relate to the scene described above very
closely. The question is: What can you do about it?
Perhaps, you've been forced to accept spam as an inevitable annoyance.
Maybe you've grown used to hovering over the delete key while reading
e-mail. Maybe you've given up.
There is hope. Spam may seem like a big problem, and it is, but you can
do something about it. In fact, you've got to. You don't have a choice.
If you're one of those people who receive 50 or 100 or more spams every
day, you've simply got to fight it. Running away from spam by frequently
changing ISP accounts or e-mail addresses may seem like a solution, but
it's not. How long can you run and annoy your friends, family and co-workers
by handing them a new e-mail address every couple of months. Spam will
get you wherever you go sooner or later if you don't take steps to fight
it. Stop running. Stay where you are. New York Connect has the tools and
the expertise to help you fight spam. In fact, we've declared
a war on spam a while ago, so you won't be fighting alone.
Unlike other ISP's, who simply roll their eyes whenever they hear their
users complain about spam, we care!
Many of you are already familiar with eXspaminator,
our homegrown anti-spam system. It has a very user-friendly web based
interface to manage your custom spam filters. You may logon to eXspaminator
by using your regular NYCT.NET username and password by pointing your
browser to http://spam.nyct.net/.
user interface is very self-explanatory, but don't hesitate to call our
technical support team at 212-293-2620 should you need any assistance
For your convenience, all mail classified as spam, based on the filters
you define in eXspaminator,
is forwarded to your personal SpamBox. You may logon
to your SpamBox by using your regular NYCT.NET username
and password by pointing your browser to http://spambox.nyct.net/.
It's a convenient way to making sure that no valid e-mail messages were
caught by your filters. Every e-mail message caught by eXspaminator
is kept in your SpamBox for a week. In case a valid (non-spam)
message gets placed in your SpamBox, there is a simple
two-click function to move it to your regular Inbox.
Protect Yourself Note:
The tips in this section may be technically too advanced for
They are mainly intended for our web hosting customers, users maintaining
their personal web pages, as well as other users with at least basic knowledge
If you do not fall into any of the above categories, you may skip to the
is a great way to block the spam you already receive, but is there anything
you can do to prevent new spam?
Let's have a peek at the ways of the "dark side".
In order to send spam, spammers need e-mail addresses. To date, the most common
way for spammers to obtain valid e-mail addresses has been Web page harvesting--the
use of specialized automation software called "spambots" to scan thousands
of Web pages and save all the e-mail addresses that can be found. Spammers continue
to develop nasty new ways to get your address, but publishing your e-mail address
on a Web page is still the easiest way to get attention from spammers.
Anytime you publish an e-mail address on a Web page, you should take steps to
protect it from being harvested by spammers. There are several ways you can
protect your e-mail address, ranging from the totally useless to the reasonably
Try to obfuscate the characters of your e-mail address.
Some people paraphrase their e-mail address--spelling out "at" and "dot
com"--or insert extraneous characters intended to trip up spambots.
Not only do such techniques look unprofessional, they provide very little
protection. Any decent spambot can decode them and get your actual e-mail
Create a robots.txt file to keep spambots away.
file is a file you can place the root directory of your web site
to specify how automated software should be allowed to access your pages.
But adherence to robots.txt guidelines is wholly voluntary. Legitimate
Web crawlers will honor a robots.txt file, but spambots don't care.
Simply posting a "No mosquitoes allowed" sign on your patio
will not guarantee a pleasant barbecue. Many spammers use commercial
web crawling/mirroring programs, which adhere to this "rule"
and obey the robot.txt files. Therefore creating a robot.txt file on
your web site may be worth the effort.
Encode your e-mail address with HTML entity codes. Every
keyboard character has an ASCII number equivalent that can be specified
on a Web page in lieu of the actual character. Browsers automatically
convert the code to the required character, but spambots, it was assumed,
do not. In fact, spambots figured out this trick a long time ago, so
changing only the @ character into @ doesn't offer any protection.
The encoder tool at fantoMail.com
allows you to uni-encode the entire e-mail address as well as your mailto:
link. Simply enter your e-mail address in the form. Click the [Uni-encode
address!] button. Copy the uni-encoded address text and use it to replace
in the HTML code shown below:
Render the text of your e-mail address in an image file.
Don't type your e-mail address into your Web page or link to a graphic
file that is an image of your e-mail address. Spambots are unlikely
ever to implement graphics-to-text converters, so this method is a pretty
sure-fire way to prevent harvesting while still making your address
readable by most users. But the graphical approach has disadvantages.
Your e-mail address won't be readable by visually impaired users or
users with certain browsers, including some wireless devices. It is
not possible to create a clickable e-mail address link with this tactic
since the HTML code for the e-mail link would be vulnerable to harvesting.
And a graphically rendered e-mail address may be more difficult to maintain,
especially when many e-mail addresses are involved. You might be able
to alleviate some of the maintenance problems by creating a single graphic
of an @ symbol and using that, in combination with text, to produce
a readable e-mail address.
convert into an e-mail address but which looks like gibberish to most
like the following:
that script looks like this:
<noscript> tags, which allow you to display special content
a good choice for the <noscript> tag. It allows you to