Unsolicited advertising continues to clutter cyberspace. It irritates all who receive it. And in worst-case scenarios, spam can even disable a website or email address if the volume is too heavy.
San Diego, CA (PRWEB) April 24, 2013
The volume of mobile spam messages touting free gift cards sharply fell after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took legal action against eight companies, reported Jeremy Kirk in PC World. Bop Design, a San Diego marketing agency, believes that the FTC’s action indicates that spam remains a serious problem for Internet – and now mobile device – users.
“Two decades have passed since the Internet first gained widespread acceptance among the general public, and we still have to deal with spam,” said Jeremy Durant, Business Principal at Bop Design. “Unsolicited advertising continues to clutter cyberspace. It irritates all who receive it. And in worst-case scenarios, spam can even disable a website or email address if the volume is too heavy.”
To make the problem worse, today’s spammers have grown infinitely more sophisticated than their predecessors. Which means that even though most web browsers and email programs come with spam detectors, spammers with the skills, technology and determination can still find ways to deposit their pornography links, phishing schemes, and ridiculous get-rich-quick advertisements into the inboxes of unwilling recipients.
Fortunately, not all is lost. Here are four simple steps to dramatically reduce the amount of spam that companies receive.
Install CAPTCHA on all website forms to foil the bots. CAPTCHA, which stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart,” requires people to enter a randomized code in order to submit an online form. The randomized code is often in the form of distorted, wiggly, or otherwise hard (but not impossible) to read lettering. Spam bots – the automatic email generators favored by today’s sophisticated spammers – can’t read the randomized code so they can’t submit the form.
Don’t list the company’s email address on the website. By itself, this will eliminate a lot of spam. But the decision has to be weighed against other concerns, such as making it easy for site visitors to contact the business. Companies that publish their email address on the website should consider installing PrivateDaddy. This free, open-source software hides the email address from spam bots while still making it visible to humans. Some web platforms, such as WordPress, even come with a plugin that is easily installed.
Turn off comments on the company’s blog. Again, not an easy decision. But like leaving the email address off the website, it can help to reduce spam in the right situations. If the blog has a very active community of readers who post a lot of legitimate responses, the value of that community will outweigh the inconvenience of any spam that comes through. On the other hand, if it tends to get a small amount of random comments, chances are that many of them will be spam. Turning off comments will eliminate spammers’ ability to get through using the blog.
Unsubscribe from what people don’t read. When people subscribe to a newsletter, blog, or other form of online communications, it gives that business or organization permission to contact them via email. They may not want to receive what the organization sends them, but technically it isn’t spam. So they can – and will – send stuff until people tell them to stop.
Legally, all email newsletters must have an unsubscribe link somewhere in the email. Usually, they make it hard to find by putting it at the very bottom of the page, in small print. But it’s well worth the effort to hunt down that link and unsubscribe.
“Be smart, be vigilant, and minimize the ways spammers can gain entrance to your email inbox,” added Durant. “The small amount of time you invest will pay big dividends in reducing the amount of unwanted email you receive.”
About Bop Design
Bop Design is a San Diego marketing agency with offices also in the New York metro area. Bop expresses a business' values through branding, advertising, design and web design. Bop Design also helps attract a firm's ideal customer through search engine optimization and search engine marketing. The marketing firms' focus is on small businesses that want an external team of marketing specialists to help give their brand and edge in the marketplace.