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e-Mail Strategies by Mike Barnett

RISMEDIA, Dec. 23, 2008-I know we have discussed e-mail aliases before, but I feel I need to write about them again as they are the best way to rid yourself of spam and most of you are still not using them.

It is quite simple, but whenever you are prompted to give an e-mail address at a website, “make one up” that will be easy for you to identify the source when it arrives in your inbox.

For instance, if you are on the Hertz website and you are prompted to give Hertz an e-mail address in order for them to send you information, why not create one like Hertz@YourDomain.com. This is called an “alias.” You will have to ask your “e-mail host” if you can do this (create aliases).

As a point of reference, at InternetCrusade, all of our e-mail hosting accounts include unlimited aliases. So you can add or delete them on the fly.

Also, as another point of reference, you need to remember that there are three types of hosting:

– Domain hosting
– E-mail Hosting
– Website Hosting

Each of these types of hosting is vital to you maintaining a successful Web presence and each requires a different level of expertise. You can learn about these three types of hosting in e-PRO (http://ePROnar.com). If you haven’t taken the e-PRO course, the only technology certification course offered by the National Association of Realtors, I encourage you to do so.

With unlimited aliases, you can easily create an e-mail address for everything you do on the Internet.

What does it take to accomplish creating unlimited aliases? First, you need your own domain and then you need an e-mail host that has this option.

How do you take advantage of the unlimited aliases? Well, first you will be able to identify the source of an e-mail. For instance, if you get an e-mail addressed to Hertz@YourDomain.com, it should be about Hertz rentals or offerings from Hertz. But, on the other hand, if you get an e-mail addressed to Hertz@YourDomain.com, and it is about Viagra, for example, or other spam, then you know that this e-mail address (Hertz@YourDomain.com) has been compromised.

What you might not know is that spammers sell addresses to other spammers, so that is why we get so much spam. Once an e-mail address is compromised, it is circulated (sold) to other spammers.

To eliminate spam, go to your e-mail host and create a “server side” rule that says, if an e-mail arrives addressed to Hertz@YourDomain.com, delete it immediately.

Some people like to create this rule on their computer(s), which is called “client side,” but that is a mistake, in my opinion, as many of us will have (if we don’t already have) multiple computers (laptop, desktop, handhelds, etc.) and we don’t want to have to make these rules on each of the “clients,” whereas making the rule once at the server level will eliminate the need for the individual rules.

We then create a new alias, maybe Hertz2008@YourDomain.com, and then go to Hertz and give them the new alias for sending to us.

Mike Barnett is CTO/VP of Technology for InternetCrusade’s RealTown.com.

For more information, please visit www.realtown.com or e-mail Mike@MikeBarnett.com.

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