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Protect one a day… keep the doctor away, Methods to hide an email address from a spambot

Written By: MaineWebworks, Common Web Matters

Protect one a day… keep the doctor away.
Methods to hide an email address from a spambot
By MaineWebworks, Common Web Matters

Do you have a website? Is your email address listed on your website? Have you ever received a spam message?

Then immediatley check your source code for the following html code, mailto:your-email-address@your-domain-name.com”

Here is how to check. Browse to your website and go to a web page that shows your email address. Perhaps your “Home” page or your “Contact” page. Using the menu of your Internet browser, choose View, then Source.

A new window will open showing your web page source code, or the HTML that makes your web page. If using a Windows based computer, Notepad opened to show you this or your default text editor. Use the Find or Search option to look for “mailto” in your document.

Why are you checking for this? The “mailto” link is the most vulnerable part of your website allowing you to become a victim to email harvesting programs. The easiest method for spammers to get your email address without your knowledge or permission.

If your search for “mailto” yielded zero results, you may already be protected. But read on to be sure. At least eight out of ten websites are not protecting their email addresses. Meanwhile, spam is out of control.

Email harvesters are called spambots. They act the same way search engine indexing programs work. They search the internet for the information they are asked to retrieve for their owners. In this case, the spambot focus is email addresses and they look for the “mailto:something@somethingelse.com” pattern.

When they find an address they catalog it, and move on to the next website. Some spambots will immediately trigger a spam message to the email address they find. Others store it for future use.

There are a few ways to stop this. The first thing to remember: do not put your email address on websites. The best practice is to use contact forms that don’t post your email address directly in the web code. Doing so will prevent spambots from finding your email address. The next best is to “scramble” your email address within your html document so the spambot can not read your email address.

This article will ask its readers to visit a web page that shows nine different methods to hide your email address from spambots. It also includes several resources. There are no advertisments and all of the resources and the methods on the page are not services that require payment or subscription.

Protection against spam should be made available to all website owners and too few web designers protect their client’s against spam email.

( http://maine-webworks.com/tutorials/protect-email/emailprotection.html )Methods to hide an email address form a spambot =>

About the author:
John D. Beatrice operates MaineWebworks and focuses on common sense web develpoment. For more information contact MaineWebworks at http://mainewebworks.com/contact.php.

Credits:
Written by John D. Beatrice of MaineWebworks 2005 http://mainewebworks.com
Originally based on a post at Killersites.com forums.    View the Post.
Contact Information: http://mainewebworks.com/contact.php

About the Author

John D. Beatrice operates MaineWebworks and focuses on common sense web develpoment. For more information contact MaineWebworks at http://mainewebworks.com/contact.php.

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