The readers of this blog know that I have my crafting internet life, with this blog and the website CricutSearch.com, but not all of you know that I have “another” internet life.
My other internet life is that my husband and I operate the website ScamVictimsUnited.com, where we educate people about internet scams, provide them with resources and educate them on how to protect themselves.
Now, this is where my two internet lives will collide . . .
With many of the crafting blogs that do contests and give aways they will ask people to post a comment on the blog to “enter” and to leave their email address so that they have a way to get a hold of these people to let them know that they have won. I totally understand that the blog owners/operators need a way to contact these people, but I am hoping that I can help to share a SAFER way than posting email addresses.
First, posting email addresses on the internet in response to a blog post or on an open message board is one of the things that we warn people NOT to do at ScamVictimsUnited.com. Why is that? The people that create the spam and scam “mailing lists” have programs that basically surf the net looking for email addresses. When you post your email address in a comment, on a blog or a message board you are opening the door for your name to be added to these mailing lists. This will increase the amount of spam that you get, and some of the people who operate scams and send out the spam will attach a virus to the email, so you are opening yourself up for the potential of a virus on your computer.
I know that the people running these contests need the email address to contact people, but can I suggest a SAFER way for people to do so? If in your post when you ask for email addresses, you warn people about posting email addresses and encourage them to write it like I will write mine below
admin at cricutsearch dot com
admin at scamvictimsunited dot com
Since these are all separate words they will NOT get picked up by the computer programs that troll sites for addresses. This allows the person to have the information that you need but also keeps them safe. And on message boards, if you are registered to the message board you should NEVER have to post your email address. All of the good message boards have a Private Message button or an Email button at the bottom of your profile which shows up on every message you post. If someone needs to get a hold of you, they can click on this button and do so, and your email address is safe from scams and spam.
If you operate a website or blog, I encourage you to review your site and make sure that you are not posting your email address in a way that can be picked up by these programs. Another way to post your email address on your own blog is to simply say “Email Me” and then make those words “clickable”, just like you would if you were inserting a link, but instead of a link you are inserting an email address. I know that blogger makes it easy for you . . . when you go to insert a link there is a second check box for inserting an email address.
Also, as a blog or website operator, you can post this information to help to educate your followers and keep them safe. Ironically, October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, so it is the perfect time to share this message with all of your readers.