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Knock Out Spam With the One-Two Punch

Are you sick of spam ... spewing into ... So was I, until I learned how to knock it out, orat least slow it down, with my one-two punch. Do both ofthese things, neither of which wil

Are you sick of spam relentlessly spewing into your
emailbox? So was I, until I learned how to knock it out, or
at least slow it down, with my one-two punch. Do both of
these things, neither of which will cost you a penny, and
enjoy a distinct decrease in the amount of garbage in your

Here we go:

#1 Mail Washing

First, hit the spam with Mailwasher, available free at This easy to set up little program lets
you preview email before downloading it. You see all the
usual details - sender, subject, size - but with one big
difference: you can decide BEFORE downloading if you want

You get, I'm sure, many emails that you wouldn't have
downloaded if only you'd known what was in them. That's
just one thing Mailwasher can do for you. Its real power is
in its ability to 'bounce' unwanted messages (spam) right
back to the person who sent it, marked 'message

To the spammer it looks as if your e-mail address is no
longer active, and hopefully, the next time they 'clean'
their list, your email address will fall off. But even if
it doesn't, Mailwasher adds the spammer's address to a
blacklist. The next time they spam you, it's already marked
for deletion. (You can always unmark it.)

When you're finished 'washing' your mail of spam and
unwanted downloads, click 'process mail' and whatever
messages are left will be downloaded as usual when you log
on through your e- mail program, which you can do directly
from MailWasher.

I have over 20 email addresses, so you can imagine the
flood of spam that poured in my mailbox every day. Now I
run them all through Mailwasher first, and it has made a
huge difference.

To further reduce spam, Mailwasher has another trick that
your regular email program doesn't. It learns. There are
all kinds of settings, filters, sorts and alerts. The more
you use it, the more it learns what you do and don't want
to see. It does lots of stuff that I haven't even tried
yet. But for what I need - quick and dirty spam elimination
- it does great.

Best of all, it's free to try. If you like it, the author
asks that you pay him whatever you think is fair. How much
you pay him is up to you, but the funds go to future
development of the product. Considering how useful this
program is, I think that's a very worthy cause.

#2: Email Encoding

Once you've got Mailwasher going, you're on your way to
getting off the spam lists. To stay off, don't skip this
second step!

One of the ways that spammers get your email address is
through harvesting programs that crawl the net snatching
email addresses off of websites, message boards,
newsgroups. Anywhere they can find something that looks
like an email address, they grab it. And the way that they
know it's an email address is by looking for 'mailto' or
the '@' symbol.

There are programs available - also free - that will encode
your email address for you. This converts your ASCII email
address into its equivalent decimal entity. For example,
the letter "a" equates to: "a" (without the quotes), the
letter "b" equates to: "b", and so forth.

Here's an example of an email address:


which appears as:

To make the link clickable, you need to include the HREF
tag, i.e.


which appears as:

Try it. Copy either of those expressions (WITHOUT the
quotes), save it in an HTML file, and open it in your
browser. It looks and acts just like any other email link,
but the spam bots only see numbers and characters.

Here are a few free email encoders:


utility, doesn't include HREF tag)

(emails the results to

Encoded e-mail addresses can be read and translated back
into the original ASCII text by almost any web browser, so
you can use encoding wherever you can use HTML. I've
replaced regular email links with encoded links on all of
my websites.

Unfortunately not all forums will let you use HTML. In
those cases, you'll have to rely on putting the NOSPAM in
your email address, or using only "throwaway" email
addresses such as from Yahoo or hotmail when posting to
public places. Another trick: spell out your email address,
i.e. my email address is "sharon at" or
"sharon at geolocal dot com." Not as good as being encoded
and clickable but better than nothing.

Of course, spammers are a clever bunch. Whatever we come up
with, they'll find a way around. Pretty soon they'll
probably program their nasty spam bots to translate encoded
emails for them.

The only answer for that is to replace email links with an
IMAGE of your email address. Only human eyes can see that
an image is an email address, so it can't be harvested.
But, *don't* link the image to your email address unless
it's encoded - that would defeat the purpose, which is to
make your email address unreadable by the spam bots.

The downside is that human eyes will have to manually type
your address to send you an email. Unfortunately, that
includes people you WANT to hear from. There's no way
around that. Hopefully one day we won't need to go to such
lengths to avoid what has become the scourge of the

So, to summarize:

1) use Mailwasher to delete and bounce spam, which
hopefully will get you dropped from spam lists, and

2) encode your email address on web pages and other places
where it can be harvested. Try the one-two punch and see if
it works for you. If nothing elseFree Reprint Articles, it will give you the
satisfaction of knowing spammers are getting useless
messages in their mailboxes too.

Article Tags: One-two Punch, Email Address, Spam Bots

Source: Free Articles from


Sharon Fling is the author of "How To Promote Your Local
Business On the Internet", and publishes an electronic
newsletter that gives business owners tips, tools and
resources for targeting local customers. For more
information, visit or send a blank
email to:

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