Paralegal Resource: Practice Tips from the State Bar of Michigan

Paralegal Resource: Practice Tips from the State Bar of Michigan

Each week the State Bar of Michigan’s Practice Management Resource Center (PMRC) publishes a practice management tip. The information is available at no cost and often helpful to paralegals.

This week’s tip is particularly interesting and useful: Have you ever wondered how spammers collect e-mail addresses? Not only does the PMRC tell you why, but also offers some solutions for you.

According to the PMA, there are several methods by which email addresses are collected but the most common use spam robots and e-mail harvesters, applications that are on the Internet constantly browsing and recovering information formatted in the classic e-mail format, i.e. example@emailserver.com. Here’s additional information:

“These roving harvesters are busily working the Internet and social media sites. They can pick up your e-mail address from your web page or blog, a Tweet, and almost anywhere else you post an e-mail address. How can you share your e-mail address and reduce your risk of having it harvested? Use scr.im at http://scr.im/.

“Scr.im is a free service which will allow you to protect your e-mail address behind a URL (uniform resource locator) that is protected by a “captcha.” A captcha is challenge response test that is commonly used to verify that the computer is responding to a human. Review the scr.im Privacy Statement and Terms of Use at http://scr.im/privacy/ before you sign up. The example from the scr.im site is http://scr.im/1337 – give it a try and then determine if a scr.im URL for your e-mail might be a valuable tool to add to your anti-spam arsenal.

“PS–FYI: This tip full of acronyms and techspeak may have added a new term to your lexicon. Just in case you are interested in the etymology for “captcha,” Dictionary.com provided the following: Captcha is the acronym for Completely Automatic Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.”

The PMRC Tip of the Week is a service of the Practice Management Resource Center. It is not intended as legal advice, nor is it an ethics opinion. (pmrcHelpline@mail.michbar.org)