First, the bottom line: Submitting your email address to the Old Barney Amateur Radio Club website will not result in an increase of spam sent to your email address.
Spam has become the bane of the Internet. As the ratio of email’s intelligence to noise rapidly approaches zero trust and confidence are being destroyed. Spam has dramatically changed the nature of interactive participation; people now shy away FROM entering their email address anywhere fearing an invasion of both their privacy and in-box. In a recent New York Time magazine section article titled Tangled Up in Spam James Gleick, author of the award-winning book Chaos, stated that spam messages account for the majority of all Internet email and cost bandwidth purveyors, such as your Internet Service Providers, billions of dollars every year.
Spam, called “unsolicited bulk-email” in polite circles, is simply undesired email. It is the Internet equivalent of conventional junk mail. There is however a major difference: the distribution cost of Spam is almost zero; so don’t look for an end to the practice anytime soon. Although spam represents the actions of a small number of people, their actions are becoming an increasingly bigger problem for most Internet users. Many reliable sources estimate the amount of spam exceeded the amount of legitimate email sometime in 2002. Spam now represents over 650% of all email. At the corporate level the dollar expenditures to fight spam in 2004 will approximately equal the amount spent for security protection.
Spam typically is sending many copies of the same message, frequently in the millions, attempting to force the message on people who would prefer not to receive the message. Most spam is commercial advertising, often for dubious products, get-rich-quick schemes, or quasi-legal services. More obnoxious spams offer graphical entry to pornographic websites and magical compounds for anatomical enlargements
Searching the Web, stealing Internet mailing lists or scanning postings for email addresses are frequent methods employed by these unscrupulous operators when creating email spam lists. If your email address appears on a web page you are going to receive Spam it’s that simple. Sign a guest book, here is some Spam as a thank you.
The spammers use the same techniques employed by search engines for indexing the web. They simply scan hundreds of millions of web pages looking for the email addresses.
Spam is typically approached reactively employing various techniques that try to prevent spam from reaching your inbox. Got to any search engine and enter "spam filter" for many ideas and products. Our thrust is proactive rather than reactive; don’t expose our email addresses on web pages. No address, no spam!
E-Government.com, our website designers and the managers of our content, have developed a proprietary technique allowing email communication without ever displaying anyone’s email address on a web page. You are allowed to communicate with officials and people posting to various pages without knowing their email address. Not only is the email address of participants not displayed, their privacy is also protected.
The No Spam zone from E-Government works very well according to people who use it. A person’s email address is placed into a secure database and never displayed on a web page. How secure is the saved email address? The security level is the same as used to protect credit card information. Let’s use a “Guest Book” page as an example. Jane Doe’s guest book entry includes her email address, email@example.com, in addition to her name and comment. After being approved by an administrator Jane’s guest book entry includes a link “Email Jane” in addition to her comment. What’s changed you might ask. Without getting overly technical lets look at two examples.
The next line is a conventional email link:
Pass your mouse over the above link and look at the status bar toward the bottom of your browser window. What you see there is exactly what a spam robot sees, Jane’s email address.
<A HREF=mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>Email Jane</a>
Now let’s take a look at the new way. First, there is a link that looks the same as the conventional emil link shown above.
Pass your mouse over this link and you see
<A HREF="nospam.php?ID=123">Email Jane></a>
nospam.php is a program for processing email. The ID=123 portion is a code for the program to access Jane’s information. It has no meaning to anyone except the processing program. Even if someone understands what it means, as you do now, there is no way for you to access Jane’s email address. But hold on it gets better.
If you click on a real link, not the example above, you will be taken to a page to send Jane, or some other recipient, an email. There is a form to enter your email address, the subject of your email, and whatever you want to say. You are informed you are emailing Jane Doe but Jane’s email address is still nowhere to be found. If you want to see what an actual form looks like, click on the administrator’s link at the bottom of this page.
Someone sends Jane a message, without ever exposing her email address, and it is now her decision to respond to the email message, revealing her email address, or to ignore the sender. Since your email address is never displayed on a web page, or exposed when someone wants to send you email, your privacy is completely protected.
Paraphrasing an old saying, an example is worth a thousand words. If you would like a first hand example or the system in action, go to our [guest-book] and make an entry. You can subsequently delete your own entry if you like. An administrator must approve an entry before it appears in the guest book.
After your entry appears send yourself an email message and you well see just how far we are willing to go to protect your privacy. You now have the opportunity to be a part of our interactive community without your email address being harvested by spammer. You can also take comfort knowing only people you choose will ever see your email address.