Today, one of our forums members sent me an email he'd received from a consultant; it said, in part:
I read your post on SoftwareCEO.com and thought you might be interested in considering my consulting services.
The member asked me what our policy was about this kind of activity. My answer is that we're 100% against it, but, unfortunately, there's nothing we can do to police activity outside the forums.
But there are three things you can do to stop it:
First, don't display your email address or other identifying info in your post or your signature unless you want to be contacted. It is virtually guaranteed that if you do, you will be -- if not by one-off consultants as in this case, then by the thousands of spammers who use automated bots to harvest email addresses from our site (and every other site on the web).
Second, change your control panel settings, accessed via the User CP link in the top navbar of the forums. Click on Edit Options, and in the Messaging and Notification section, uncheck the box for Receive Email.
Btw, when if someone does use the forums' "email this user" function, they are never shown your address; our system simply relays their mail to you.
Finally: If you do get solicitations you don't want, don't respond to them. Once you do that, the sender will have your email address, and you don't know what they'll do with it.