We've had a few shipmates that have badmouthed us and said that we're selling email addresses and that they are getting 10 times more spam since joining the site. I can't reiterate this strong enough:
WE DO NOT SHARE OR SELL EMAIL ADDRESSES TO ANYONE!
Here are some words of advice for keeping your email address safe.
- If you have any fear that your email address has been shared in the spam world, the easiest thing to do is to search for it on Google! Do this by entering your email address in the search field with quotes around it... Google will return whether any sites have your email address on it.
If you find your email address in a search result - go to that site and request they immediately remove it.
- If your email address is simple, it's probably been found simply by the SPAMMERs testing email addresses. Spammers have incredibly strong platforms that test names and company or internet providers through millions of combinations. If you want to make sure your email address doesn't get guessed, make a tough email address to guess!
- If you use Gmail, you can actually track which sites are selling your emails. You can do this by adding a "+" and the site name within the email address. Example: firstname.lastname@example.org. The email will still come to your gmail address, but you'll be able to see that it was your email address that you used on navyvets!
- Spammers "harvest" email addresses by scanning pages for @ symbols. Virtually every US Navy site I've seen on the Internet has a "guest book" that you can register at and those sites leave your email address in plain site. Spammers are constantly scanning guest books and adding those email addresses to their database. If you HAVE to use an email address on a guestbook, use a fake one like email@example.com :)
- If you sign up for some services, your email address is very simple to find. In the first days of Google+, for instance, they used to give you a profile page that matched your gmail address. So, for firstname.lastname@example.org, your profile page was google.com/first.last - spammers caught onto it and developed databases of tens of millions of email addresses. Google has since changed their pages, but it was too late for millions of folks.
Please keep your email addresses safe. Nowadays, you need to register everywhere with your email address and there are so many sites out there that are willing to sell your email addresses for a buck or two.
My last 2 cents. I can't tell you how many thousands of hours I've spent working on NavyVets.com, how many thousands of hours my father, William Karr, spent, and how many thousands of dollars I've spent to build this site out. NavyVets is now incorporated and we've begun the paperwork to make it a full-fledged charity. I don't care about the money... I care about Veterans. I care about preserving our great history and building a great site where we can find each other, share stories and photos, and honor those guys we've lost. It's honestly an insult to think that I'd sell someone's email address for a buck or two.
Thanks for supporting NavyVets.com!