OT: Amy's Helpful tips to eliminate spam, pop-ups, and worse

[color=red]Read on, if you’re bothered by spam, pop-ups, viruses or a mysteriously slow computer. …[/color]


Ways to foil spammers:

~Don’t put your email address on a web page. If you do, then “Obfuscate” it so SPAM-bots can’t harvest it. (More info on that in next post)

~Keep a disposable “junk” email address, to use for sites you think might send you spam. When it gets overloaded, ditch it.

~If you have a website, and email addresses associated with it, you can host your web site on a server that filters SPAM and viruses before they even reach your computer. My husband’s company, www.jagfly.com, does this, and virus protection is updated daily. Nice to have!! Also, read the next post on protecting your email address links on your web site.

~My email is filtered via the server, so I have no need for computer-based SPAM filtering. I’m not that familiar with such programs, but that’s one way to go if you’re swamped with SPAM.

~…and if you don’t know about protecting your computer from SPYWARE, then read on! (two posts below)

If you want do display your email address on a website, you should obfuscate it, to hide it from SPAMMERS!

When obfuscated, your email address works and appears normal, but is hidden from the spam-bots that comb the web looking for addresses. You can google “Email Obfuscator” and find a bunch of obfuscators. Here are a couple I’ve used…

~If you want the text of your address to display on the site, and be clicked on or not, you can use this simple obfuscator. You just enter in your email address, and submit it, then highlight the code they give you and insert it into the code of your web page.

~For an email link that looks like text other than your email address (they would click on text like “email me”), you can use this obfuscator. This one has a couple of fancy features: It allows you to enter in text that you want to automatically appear in the subject of the message they send. It also has an optional security feature of requiring a person to pass a real-person test in order to email you; they have to enter in text from an image that will pop up. Note: If the image they give you isn’t readable, you can re-submit your info and get another image. This same image will always appear to all people who email you, it doesn’t change, but it’s good enough to absolutely foil spam bots. Personally, I haven’t found this added feature necessary. I’ve used both other methods, and found them to work very well.

Protect your computer from Spyware!
2/3 of computers out there are estimated to be infected with Spyware from Internet Explorer’s poor ability to block it. Spyware will hog your computer’s resources and slow even the newest computer to a CRAWL! (Is your new computer acting slow? That’s probably why!) It will also initiate pop-ups on it’s own, you’ll be at a website that doesn’t have advertising, and you’ll be getting pop-ups. Spyware can be very difficult to get rid of. It’s not officially a virus, but it might as well be, it’s on par with many viruses (Article about spyware here.)

Prevention: use Firefox (free here) instead of Internet Explorer! !

I use Firefox & love it. It’s just like IE, but I don’t get pop-up ads AT ALL, and it has some great features that IE doesn’t. My favorite extra feature is their “Tab” feature. Ctrl. T opens up a new “tab,” instead of a new browser window, so you can have lots of websites open in the same window & view them one at a time, by clicking on their folder tabs. Keeps your computer neat, saves reasources so your computer is faster, and is also super handy for bookmarking all the tabbed sites into the same folder for easy reference next time you turn on your computer. Great program!

Okay, that’s the end of my helpful-computer info rant. :wink:

If you’re not protected on a server-level from SPAM and viruses, then you need to have software on your computer to filter these out. Because I have server protection, I know little about Computer-based software. I’ll leave it to you all to discuss this further. Anyone have favorite virus and spam protection software?


I’m an IT professional, or at least I used to be in my pre-kids life. I still dabble. And I highly recommend Ad-Aware by Lavasoft. It’s free, and it works. Since installing it several years ago I’ve not had any spyware at all.

Norton Anti-Virus is my AV software of choice – it constantly amazes me how many viruses it catches and deletes, mostly e-mail attachments. It does have a yearly subscription fee though…if you are looking for something free, AVG has a free edition that gets great reviews.

The key with any AV or anti-spyware programs is to keep them updated. If you have broadband Internet access, you can set them to update automatically. If you are on dial-up, you need to make a point to manually update them at least once a week!

I heard Spybot - Search & Destroy is really good too. It has supposedly even caught stuff that Ad Aware didn’t pick up. I know a lot of people who use both of these programs.

For antivirus, I am using Avast and it scans everything.