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Spam: Hiding Your Email Address

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  • Richard Lowe Internet Tips And Secrets
    Copyright (C) Richard Lowe Jr. and Claudia Arevalo-Lowe, 1999-2001. Permission is granted to reprint the following article as long as no changes are made and
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2001
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      Copyright (C) Richard Lowe Jr. and Claudia Arevalo-Lowe, 1999-2001.
      Permission is granted to reprint the following article as long as
      no changes are made and the byline, copyright information, and the
      resource box is included. Please let me know if you use this article
      by sending an email to mailto:articles@...

      Article Title: Spam: Hiding Your Email Address
      Author: Richard Lowe, Jr.
      Contact Author: mailto:articles@...
      Publishing Guidelines: May be freely published w/bylines
      Web Address: http://www.internet-tips.net
      Autoresponder Address: mailto:article-240@...?subject=send

      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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      Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at
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