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Spambots: The Program that Stalks the Internet for Email Addresses

Unsolicited emails can be very annoying, as annoying as text messages from service providers. Most times you wonder how they came by your email address, even when you didn’t register or subscribe for these emails, they keep on bugging your inbox repeatedly. You take time and unsubscribe but after a few weeks, they are back again. And you’re wondering how they get your emails.
spam mail

The answer to that question is “Spambots”. They are responsible for almost all the spam (junk) mail that you’ve been receiving. Spambots are special programs designed to stalk the internet in search of email addresses posted on websites, newsgroups, social networking sites, forums, comments, etc. Because email addresses have a distinctive format, the Spambot program is easy to write and very effective.

I know you’re wondering whether to stop typing your email address on the internet totally, well you may not have to. There is a way to outwit Spambots (though it’s not foolproof), it’s called munging. It’s a technique of deliberately modifying your email address so that it’s easily understandable by a human reader but would get Spambots confused.

An example is writing your email like this ‘john at doe dot com’. Any human reading this should be able to decipher your email but a Spambot will not. Another way is by including more words in your email and indicate the ones that should be deleted, like johnDELETETHIS@doe.com though this can be a bit confusing. A third option is this: john[@]doe[dot]com.

To stop receiving spam emails, or subsequent ones if you have already fallen a victim, try out these techniques.

 

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Muna is a software programmer and developer with a passion for technology.

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