After being the victim of a Spammer hijacking my newsletter for their own purposes earlier today there are a few lessons that I’ve learned:
1. People Hate Spam
No really – they HATE it. The hatred and anger that has ended up in my inbox today from recipients of the email that the spammer sent out with my email as the reply address has been quite amazing.
While I ‘hate’ spam I realize that my own feelings toward it are mild in comparison to some.
I’ve been called some of the most despicable names and have been threatened in ways you can only imagine as a result of this attack.
I’ve never been tempted to be a spammer but this has given me a new insight into both the damage it can do, the anger that it causes and the things that it triggers in people.
2. Don’t do Nothing
As soon as I realized what was happening I posted a post to both of the blogs concerned (here at PB and at DPS) explaining the situation.
I also sent an email to each person who emailed me to complain about the spam – even to those who were most abusive (I’m up to 500 so far). The email quickly and politely explained the situation and empathized with them getting the email.
It turns out that it was lucky that I did as I’ve heard from a number of those who were spammed that they were reporting me to a variety of blacklist services until they saw my posts and emails.
A handful of those who emailed me continued to abuse me for it – but in the main the feedback from my explanations was positive.
3. Good Things Can Come from Bad Circumstances
– the irony is that because the spammer hijacked an email that actually contained good information about my site and because I acted quickly to explain the situation to those concerned that I’ve actually found a number of new readers for my blog at DPS. A number of those impacted have already contacted me to thank me for my response and tell me that they’ve subscribed to my newsletter (the one that was used by spammers).
I’m yet to see what damage was really done today – tomorrow will be yet another day of mopping up as the majority of those impacted will no doubt wake up to the email in their inbox – however it is sometimes through the times of trial that you learn most about yourself and what you do.