An amusing bit of spam

Apr 13, 2009

Looking through my email this morning, I encountered a fairly normal spam email:

Hi my dear, my name is joy and i am a beautiful young girl with full of love and carely, well i saw your email address in your profile today at (www.econsultancy.com)and i love it, i think we can click together and be good friends contact me with my email address(**********@yahoo.com) i will like to show you my photo and at the same time you will know more about me. thanks for your understanding joy. this is my email address (**********@yahoo.com)

This raises an interesting question. I want people to be able to contact me via professional networking sites like Econsultancy, including people that I don’t already know. But at the same time, I don’t want to receive spam.

The real problem is that I now have to decide if I want to remove my email address from my profile, potentially missing out on useful contacts, or leave it there and suffer the accumulation of spam as my address works its way through the databases of spam operations that will crawl the site. I like the idea of people being able to access my email address when they have some legitimate desire to contact me.

On my own site, this is not a problem. I have a contact form which people can use to contact me. This allows me to do some filtering of the inputs, and also means that I can add a captcha or similar security measure if I want to. What I can’t do is place my own contact form on Econsultancy’s directory, with control over what passes through it. It’s all or nothing - share my email address, or share nothing.