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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    30

    My Solution For SPAM

    After years of fighting spam by hand reporting and using spamcop.net, I finally found a very effective solution that has cut down spam to just a few each day. I have many web sites and use the same main email address that I first got in 1999 so if this works for me, it should for most people. However, as an Internet consultant this is going to be a little (or a lot) technical. But it's not really hard and doesn't cost a lot, so you may want see what I have to say. I am NOT selling anything, looking for clients, or have affiliate links.

    FIRST, one of the main requirements is that you don't need to get email from places outside the USA, or if you do the number of places is limited. Most of the spam I was getting either originated or was forwarded by offshore servers. What my system does is block them from sending to you.

    You are going to have to have a web site for this method to work. Sorry, but the cost to get a hosting account, even if you don't need a web site is small. You don't need an big fancy hosting account. A cheap shared hosting account that has cPanel will be fine. You will also need a domain name, but BUY ONE and don't mess with the free domains some hosts offer. Just get one and then use the name servers of your host. On big plus for getting a domain is that you can have any email address you want and have many of them using email forwards. And as long as you pay the $10-$15 a year for the domain you will never lose your email address if change ISPs for your Internet access. The hosting account is going to cost you $60-$120 a year on average. You can easily spend more or less.

    If you get spam via your web site contact forms, you can block them using the HTACCESS file. If you are on a Windows server you will have to find out what options you have that duplicate the function of that file. Adding lines like "deny from 90." will block all traffic that uses an IP address that starts with "90." (90.nnn.nnn.nnn). Anyone with an IP in that range will not be able to see anything on your site once that is in place. If you don't need non-US visitors, this is a 5 minute fix if you have a list of IPs to block. If there is interest I would be willing to post my current list for others to use. It also contains many IP ranges of hosting providers where spammers operate. This method does NOT block normal email although you could do the same thing at the server level. This method will also keep spammers from harvesting email address on your site which may help.

    So for the email account spam blocking, what i did is start using the "Account-Level Filtering" option in cPanel (The web hosting control panel).

    If you look at the "headers" of the spam you get, it will seem like nonsense, but in that nonsense is information you can use to block spam. I noticed that many of the spam emails had much the same information. For example, part of the header would have information about the server that looked like this
    Received: from mail-qk0-f175.spam.eu ([90.85.220.175]:3654)
    If you create an account-level filter that discards anything found with "([90." in any header, no mail from an IP address that starts with 90. will be seen by you. The server will just delete it. For some messages that use USA servers, it can be tricky. For example, you don't want to delete all email that comes from Gmail or Hotmail, no matter how much you would like to. :-)

    For other spam, you can create a filter for things you see over and over. Examples: "Dear Beneficiary", "@126.com", "yandex.ru", "My late client", "Guaranteed 1st Page", "informacia", etc. You have to be careful, I have blocked some wanted emails in the past because the sender used something I was not expecting from a non-spammer. For things where there is this risk, you can have the server send a failure message rather than the normal discard.

    When I get spam now, I either check the headers and body and update my filters, or I don't bother and just user spamcop.net to report them. I spend much less time dealing with spam and reporting it since I set this up. It took a few months to really get it working, but man has it been worth it!!!

    I do use account filtering to block some US hosting IP ranges, but not many. There is more risk of blocking valid US-based email. So my htaccess block list is much, much larger than the email filtering. Most of the time I don't care to have visitors that are using proxy servers. They may be legit, but most are going to be up to no good.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    30

    Re: My Solution For SPAM

    Oh, I almost forgot. I also protect myself from spam by making use of email forwards when I have to register at a new site. For example I might create an email forward like "facebook.com@mydomain.com" that will forward to my main email address. This provides 2 main benefits: 1) If I get any spam sent to that address, I know who the spam came from or what site sold my email address, and 2) I can instantly stop additional spam by deleting the email forward. I don't even have to close my account at the site responsible.

    I have one primary email account and many email forwards that point to it. I never give out that main email address and it's not something that would be easy to guess, it's more like a password.
    Last edited by nielsencl; 05-20-2015 at 01:45 AM. Reason: edit email address

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    2,626

    Re: My Solution For SPAM

    Thanks for posting up the information on your experience.

    Making your experience known on every scam-warner-anti-fraud-busting site you can find is a great way to "get the word out".

    Thanks for posting up that information, interesting and useful.
    .
    Found a scam or scammer's email address? Post it at scamwarners.com
    Found a romance scam? Post it at romancescam.com

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