Using the Internet As A Tool
It is the responsibility of the bookseller to have some type of anti-virus/Trojan prevention as well as anti-spam software in place on their PC or web host for their email system, and to keep it updated with the latest data files. There are add-on software filters available from third party vendors now for most email programs, including a new anti-spam filter for those that use Microsoft Outlook 2003. In addition, some ISPs provide some level of protection, but having your own software in place has proven to be more effective. Everyone by now has heard of MyDoom, the email virus which has gained notoriety recently. One in twelve email sent were said to have carried the virus as an attachment. We utilize forms instead of email links within our site to help prevent spammers from automatically harvesting our email address from web pages to spam with or spoof the email address to others (certain ISPs will block IP addresses suspected of sending spam, no questions asked). We also try not to list our main email address online within forums and postings. When necessary, we utilize an alternate email address, which is not our main email account. Spammers will never be stopped completely, but with preventative steps taken, a large percentage can be avoided.
The options are only limited by the imagination in using the Internet for what it is, a tool. It has been proven to be an effective tool especially for booksellers, who can utilize its resources and be nimble in reaching new markets.
Carl Burnham can be reached online at www.SouthpointBooks.com .