It has been estimated that over 95% of all email traffic is spam, and the proliferation of it has led to millions of dollars in lost productivity and additional infrastructure costs for businesses. Those that choose to maintain in-house email servers are fighting a losing battle because spammer tactics are constantly evolving. As a marketer, you need to stay one step ahead of the spammers in order to protect your brand and customers.
Here are a few tricks we have learned to help minimize the risks to your business.
Sometimes it seems like if there wasn’t junk email, there wouldn’t be much email at all! How can your business minimize the risk of receiving email spam and sending it on to your customers?
CAN-SPAM – sometimes referred to as “You Can Spam” because of its limitations, it’s the only legislation attempting to curb the flow of unsolicited spam messages. The Act identifies compliance standards for unsubscribes, content and sending behavior. Reporting violators is the first step in getting them to stop.
Virus and Worm protection – a lot of spam is sent by zombie networks that take control of office computers, so making sure you have high-quality, up-to-date Internet Security software is a must.
Spam in Conversion Forms and Blogs
Because many organizations have form submissions feeding into their CRM systems, spammy responses are common. But being engaged with your prospects shouldn't mean you have to put up with bad information.
Include a form field without a value –. In fact, you can even say on your form “leave blank”. Bots will automatically fill in any available field, so if your form response has a value in this field, you know it’s not real.
reCAPTCHA – These little puzzles are meant to verify that a real human is filling out the form or commenting on the blog, but unfortunately, they’re not exactly human-friendly either, as they are often unreadable. The customizable reCAPTCHA is pretty slick though - it asks very obvious questions like “What color is an orange”. Responses with the correct answer are likely to be real people.
Social Media Spam
No matter how hard the social media networks try their security systems can’t seem to block hackers and spammers from accessing member’s accounts. Tweets, posts and status updates seemingly from friends and connections can be misleading and annoying to deal with.
Don’t click! If you see a posting from a “friend” that doesn’t sound like them and has a link embedded, don’t click on it. The links are spam, or worse, can contain viruses or worms that are damaging to your system.
Interact through a secure third-party platform – Platforms such as Hoot Suite act as a buffer, giving you a warning that your account may have been hijacked. Any suspicious activity should trigger the software and give you time to react.