Spam: Hiding Your Email Address
- Copyright (C) Richard Lowe Jr. and Claudia Arevalo-Lowe, 1999-2001.
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Article Title: Spam: Hiding Your Email Address
Author: Richard Lowe, Jr.
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In many instances you will want to put your email address on your
website, even if you provide a form as a contact method. This is
useful because it increases the number of ways that someone can
contact you. Why is that important? Because presumably if you have a
website you are attempting to communicate with the world - and
communication goes both ways. If you have a commercial site then the
answer should be obvious - someone may want to purchase something.
Another reason to put an email address directly on your web page is
for people to request information via autoresponder. These allow your
visitors to click a simple mailto link and get your promotional
materials or articles in their email inbox.
The problem with directly including your email addresses on your page
is spam harvesters. These a programs created by scum and run by
ignorant or unethical fools. What they do is search through the
internet, looking at web sites and pages for email addresses to add
to those million email address collections that you see advertised
(mostly in spam) all over the place.
There is really no ironclad way to prevent these bottom-feeders from
scanning your web site for email addresses. There are a number of
techniques, however, to make it a little more difficult for them.
One of these is to code your email addresses in something called
Unicode. This is a "language" for encoding special characters on web
pages. All modern browsers support Unicode as it's primary intention
is to allow languages all over the planet to be represented.
For example, the following email address:
will be shown in Unicode as:
As you can see from the table below, using Unicode characters is
simple. Just substitute the Unicode sequence in the table for the
corresponding character. Then use all of those sequences wherever you
want to put that email address.
@ @ E E M M U U c c k k s s
. . F F N N V V d d l l t t
- - G G O O W W e e m m u u
_ _ H H P P X X f f n n v v
A A I I Q Q Y Y g g o o w w
B B J J R R Z Z h h p p x x
C C K K S S a a i i q q y y
D D L L T T b b j j r r z z
I suppose it is inevitable that the scum spammers will eventually
make their spam robots smart enough to understand these codes. Until
then, however, it is a reasonably effective technique for reducing
spam in your inbox.
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