It is common knowledge that brokers (both binary options and forex) tend to spam webmasters. This can pose a big problem as affiliate’s inboxes gets flooded with unwanted emails.
The most common reason behind getting unsolicited spam includes the following:
- Whois data scrapers – Yes, brokers do this to try and find new affiliates! There are many tools that can automatically scrape emails from whois information based on certain keywords and they can quickly compile a large database, which is then used for sending mass emails.
- Selling of affiliate databases – Most affiliate managers tend to switch jobs fairly often. It’s hard to believe, but in most cases, the new company recruiting the affiliate manager also insists that they bring in a database of affiliates if they are hired. This information is as easy to obtain as doing a quick back-office search and saving the emails/names and other information into an excel file.
- Hiring micro-workers to do the dirty job – Most micro-worker websites like odesk and freelancer.com have tons of job listings which requires people to visit websites based on search/niche criteria and compile a list of email addresses.
- … the list is endless.
It gets even worse as more and more white label copycats crop up every day. Take the example of the spam below from lbinary.com
So the question is how can you as a webmaster protect yourself against these unsolicited emails?
cPanel To The Rescue
There is a handy feature available from cPanel (which most major web hosting companies use) that allows you to set filters which will discard messages that meet certain conditions automatically.
Follow the steps below in order to block domains from such brokers.
1. Login to your cPanel and head to the ‘Email’ section and click on ‘Account Filtering’
2. You should now see the filter page. In the image below, you’ll notice there is already a filter in place blocking Instaforex. Click on ‘Create a New Filter’
3. Now you have to set up the filters.
First, enter the Filter name. (Tip: Just type in the name of the domain you are blocking for easy future reference).
Then, in the ‘Rules’ section, select ‘From’ (which is the default setting) and change the next dropdown from ‘equals’ to ‘contains’.
By doing so you are, in effect, blocking all email addresses that contain the search criteria.
In the next box enter the domain name. Under ‘Actions’ you can choose ‘Discard Message’ (which discards the message without notifying the sender) or you can choose ‘Fail with Message’ which allows you to enter a message that is sent back with, a delivery failure message, to the sender.
In the picture below notice how the different domains for Instaforex are blocked:
In case you are using Gmail or other free email resource you can set up filters using the same procedure as above and direct the filters to automatically delete or mark the email as spam.
While newsletter service providers such as Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor and aWeber do take spam reports seriously, most brokers who spam use lesser known, dodgy email providers that do little to nothing when it comes to fighting spam.
The best and first defense against fighting spam would be to hide your whois email information, followed by ensuring that you can be contacted only via a contact form. Leaving your email address visible on your website makes it easy for scrapers to pick up the email address.