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Issue 34: My Fight Against Spam

All the leaves are brown … and the sky is …
beautifully blue !


I canīt remember a warmer autumn like this year. I love it! Todayīs newsletter will be very short as I have a lot of non-internet work to do. Also, we are expecting the birth of our 3rd child in the coming two weeks, hopefully it will all go as well as with our first two kids.

Last week, I offered a custom WordPress theme design service and Iīve got more requests than I expected. Looking at all the blogs and websites, I noticed that almost half of the websites are lacking of any legal documents – no disclaimers, no terms of use, not even a privacy policy.

Listen, it doesnīt matter where in the world you are living nor where your website is hosted. If you are doing business with users in the U.S., you need to comply with the FTC rules. And “doing business” means more than selling your own products. It includes publishing e-mail newsletters, publishing information, ads, affiliate links, … you must have at least certain disclaimers and a privacy policy on your website.

You can search for free samples of legal documents, or you can have them written for you by an attorney (that would be quite expensive, though). Or you do it like me and use AutoWebLawPro.

AutoWebLawPro is a set of different legal documents, written by Bruce Safran, a lawyer who is specialized in internet laws.

Other topics in this issue:

1) Michael Campbellīs eBook Give-away

2) My Battle Against Spam.

3) AdSense Backgrounds Review.


Michael Campbellīs eBook Give-away

You might have heard it already from other publishers: Michael Campbell, the author of “ClickinItRich” and “Revenge of the Mininet” is giving away these two e-books.

Michael is doing business online for many years and he offers a lot of valuable tips in his newsletter and on his blog, so itīs definitely worth being a subscriber of his newsletter.

You can subscribe and get your gifts at

My Battle Against Spam

One of the worst mistakes Iīve made three years ago as newbie webmaster was publishing my e-mail address on my website in the raw HTML format ( ).

It didnīt take long for the spambots to pick it up and after a couple of months, the amount of daily junk messages started to grow slowly until it reached a point that I couldnīt stand it anymore.

Nowadays, Iīm using basically three techniques for every new website I build in order to keep my contact e-mails save from the spammers.

First, I donīt create e-mail aliases that are easy to guess, such as “admin”, “support”, “info”, “contact”, “sales”, “webmaster”, “support”, etc … Usually I would add additional strings of letters and numbers before and after the common alias.


Second, I use either a form which hides the e-mail address or I use a javascript (as tought in my HTML video tutorial) to hide the e-mail address from spambots. The problem with simple forms is that these can be spammed, too, so javascript is the better option I found.

Third, I never use any of my domainīs e-mail addresses to sign up for e-mail newsletters or membership sites. Instead, Iīm using a free e-mail account from Yahoo.

While this works very well for me, it still leaves me with the problem that my main e-mail address “” is getting spammed like crazy. If it wasnīt such an important address (Iīve used it for the subscription of some important newsletters, forums, article directories, membership sites, …), I would simply delete it and create a new one.

I noticed that an increasing number of my subscribers are using web-based services like SpamArrest which cost a monthly/yearly fee. I never tried such kind of service because I donīt want to burden my customers, business partners and subscribers the extra step of the “challenge response” before they can reach me.

Another option I thought of was using a rule-based filter, but then, these filters arenīt effective enough and need a lot of maintenance which would cost more time than deleting all the spams manually.

I now think the best option left to get rid of spam without changing my e-mail address is to use a spam filter which combines a bayesian filter with rule-based filters and whitelists / blacklists. For an explication about bayesian filtering, see ..

So, Iīve tried a new free e-mail client, “Pegasus”, last week. Pegasus has an integrated bayesian spam filter. I figured out how to set it up and train it and it started to work pretty well, but one problem I had was that I couldnīt yet figure out how to send replies to incoming messages and get them through to the recipient (some replies got through while others keep bouncing back as “undeliverable”).

Ahh, donīt you like it when you need to get used to (read: mess around with) new software ?

Right now, Iīm trying out a different one: SpamBayes, an open source bayesian spam filter that is available in different formats: as plugin for Outlook, as POP3proxy (a filter which sits between your POP3 server and your e-mail client), etc …

The advantage is that I can continue using my current e-mail client which I am used to and only filter the incoming e-mails while leaving outgoing e-mails untouched.

If I find this tool to be effective, Iīll create a tutorial about it to make it faster and easier for everybody who faces similar spam problems like me to get rid of the junk.

Iīd like to get to know about your experience with fighting spam, what services / software tools you are using and what else you are doing to prevent your e-mail addresses from getting spammed. Simply fill in the comment form at the bottom of this page to submit your feedback.

AdSense Backgrounds Review

Read AdSense Backgrounds Review

Final Note:

Prepare to receive a lot of affiliate ads for the next product release on october, 31st. Richard Queck will release his e-seminar called “The Internet Money Machine e-Seminar”. It covers a lot of different online marketing topics.

Iīve got the videos but havenīt had time to review them yet. If you like my opinion before you decide to try out this course, wait until the next weekend.

Talk to you again, soon. Have a terrific week.


Guido W. Stiehle

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