Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Stop it! Go away!

No, wait, I don't mean you.

I love getting comments on my blog. Sometimes people e-mail me instead of commenting, and I really enjoy that, too. What I don't like is blog-related SPAM.

Within days of starting the new book-review blog, I started getting multiple unsolicited e-mails every day, always from a different name and always with a book reference in the subject line. They all contain book reviews, and they're all typed in the same font and format, so I knew they were coming from the same place. By right-clicking on the e-mails and selecting "properties," I learned that all of them are coming from one e-mail address, despite the different names in the "from" column.

I know a couple of my regular and/or occasional readers write book reviews sometimes, and I'm wondering if you've ever had this problem. If so, what did you do about it?

I've read that it isn't a good idea to respond to a SPAM e-mail, because doing so confirms that the unwanted messages are finding a target. Becsause of that, I haven't asked the sender to cease and desist. Any ideas out there?

The source of this particular SPAM is Bostick Communications. When I Googled that name, one of the search results included the words "making a press release through Bostick Communications who are a Christian company..." That might explain it. Maybe they see it as their religious duty to annoy the hell out of people.

9 comments:

  1. Do these comments come to you even though you have word verification? I thought that stopped it. And that? That's my entire SPAM avoiding knowledge, right there.

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  2. Wait, you wrote "emails" and not comments. I have no idea how to help. But your word verification here is hjnlbuon which looks like some sort of Booyah to me so I say hjnlbuon them.

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  3. Yeah, Alison, it's e-mails.

    I did get Blogger comment spam when I first started this blog. It didn't take long to figure out that all-purpose, non-specific comments like "nice blog, hope you'll visit mine" might be spam. The first time I clicked on a commenter's name and it led me to a gay porn site ("not that there's anything wrong with that"), I understood the point of the word verification feature.

    Maybe I should take your advice and hjnlbuon them!

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  4. If you're giving your email address on the blogs, that's pretty much inviting spammers. That's why some of use who welcome emails use spaces and stuff in the email address, like "auntiejan at yahoo dot com". If you're still getting emails, might be time to get a throwaway one on Yahoo or something and use that one just for blog stuff. That'll free up your regular email address, and if spam gets to be too much, you can always cancel it and get another address. Just remember to tell your friends if you change it!

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  5. Janet, I've taken your suggestion and replaced the e-mail link in the sidebar with a spelled-out address. The velvetsacks e-mail address is one that I set up just for blogging, so my main address is still relatively spam-free (knocking on wood here). My biggest gripe about the spam is that the volume of it makes it more difficult to find the reader e-mails I really do want to read.

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  6. I think that Janet has just explained to me why many websites I visit write out their emails like that. I didn't realize the reason.

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  7. You can set up the email address you saw in the properties to be blocked which will send it directly to your delete file. Won't stop them from sending but at least you won't have to sort through. Carmon

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  8. D.I., good tip, wasn't it?

    Carmon, I knew there was some way to do that, but didn't know how. Thanks to your suggestion, I dug deeply enough into the "tools" menu that I think I may have found what I needed. We'll see in a day or two.

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