I find it amusing when some people use fictitious email addresses during the registration process on this secure site but have absolutely no qualms in signing their names (and email addresses) to some online petition or forwarding to a string of people one of those endless office junk mails.
But why the fear? Why are people reluctant to leave their email addresses on public forums? The reason for this is very understandable, the fear of SPAMMERS. Email spamming refers to sending unsolicited emails to a list of email addresses. It may occur innocently when a reply is sent to a mailing list, by clicking REPLY ALL, instead of just replying to the sender of the mail or, more importantly, when unsolicited emails most often containing advertisements for services or products are sent to a list usually created by scanning forum postings or searching the Web for addresses through a process called Email Extraction.
Email extraction is a form of Web data extraction. It is the process of retrieving data in a structured format from varied, unstructured sources with the use of softwares called Email Extractors which are designed for extracting email addresses from online sources like the internet or offline from files located on local hard drives.
Trust me, the process of email extraction is surprisingly very easy. In just a few hours, you can retrieve tens of thousand of email addresses dropped carelessly on the web.
– Do not post your personal details carelessly in forum postings or web pages. Email extractors scour web pages, forum postings, etc for such data. Personal data used in the registration process or when posting comments on reputable sites like diaryofageek.com are, however, held very securely. Such valid email addresses are necessary for you to be alerted when postings are made on the site or when there is a response to comments made by you on the site and would not be used for any other purpose.
– Slow down on those chain emails. It is the best source for validated email addresses.
– Although most reputable sites have good privacy policies and won’t share your information, you might receive spam if you fill out online forms or correspond with certain unscrupulous companies via email.
LIKELY CONSEQUENCES TO SPAMMERS
– Increased sales (lol)
– Blacklisting by ISP.
– Payment of fines
So the next time you receive one of those mails offering to sell you cheap Viagra or from a “Dr Kingsley Paul” notifying you of a “PAYMENT OF ATM CARD NOTIFICATION” (sic), dont wonder too loud on how they got your email address.