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.

PREVENTION

– 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.

5 Comments

  1. EyeBeeKay

    hmmn..

    what i would advice (regarding avoiding spam mails) is to have an email address that is like a junk box. it will not be your main email address. you will merely use it for non critical correspondences.

    in connection with this, there are online services that provide time-limited email addresses that self-destruct after a given period. they are useful for registering on fora (forums?) – or other online services- that require your email address only once – for registration purpose (and you never have a need for further correspondence with the site)

    some examples of such online services are:

    10minutemail.com
    mailinator.com

    google/bing "temporary email address" for more of stag.

    also, many fora force you to register (and release a valid email address) before you can perform some -only activity.. you can circumvent registering on some of such sites – some – by using a site such as http://www.bugmenot.com. note that some sites will PERMANENTLY ban your IP address if they find you out.

    and finally, when you need to verify the validity of an email address, you can use a service like:
    http://www.email-unlimited.com/tools/verify-email

    -OR

    verify-email.org

    Reply
    1. @Eyebeekay

      How you take sabi all this things?

      The use of aliases could be a good option too. These you can turn on or off as need be, as in the case of Yahoo. I’m not sure GMail allows such.
      But really, for a trained eye, one can judge a site and decide what level of commitment one can have with it.
      I use my main address with some educational sites and some blogs. Yomi’s site, http://www.mobilitynigeria.com, is one of them . But on some popular Nigeria ones, i dare not. Eyebeekay, i have an experience i wont mind sharing with you.

      Reply
  2. EyeBeeKay

    @Wale, my receiver is tuned to your frequency. share on..

    by the way, it is not all spam mails that are useless to me. you can actually learn a lot about the modus operandi of these spammers, by reading some of their crap – in your spare time..

    it makes for illuminating and entertaining reading – sometimes…

    Reply
  3. apex

    @EyeBeeKay, I agree on having an email that is like a junk box…

    However, because I'm too lazy to be keeping tab on my multiple email addresses, I have done a redirect of all my email addresses to my primary gmail address.

    So, the funny thing is that my junk box emails still redirects to my primary email.

    Good news is that Gmail spam filters works fairly well, thats my saving grace…

    Reply

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