What many surfers do not realise is that by giving their e-mail address on a web site, they are exposing themselves to the dangers of spam. Indeed, powerful computerised ‘spambots’ are used to extract e-mail addresses from web sites and store them in a database.
Once these e-mail addresses are plucked, you can expect all sorts of ‘useful’ e-mails ... And so, we will talk about spambots in this article. Or, rather: how to protect your e-mail addresses on your web site against spam .
A basic example:
This will produce the following result: email@example.com
A better example using a clickable link:
var username = "nospam";
var hostname = "ipower.be";
var linktext = "here to send us an e-mai";
document.write("<a href=" + "mail" + "to:" +
"@" + hostname + ">" + linktext + "</a>");
This will produce the following result: Click here to send us an e-mail.
mailto:'+'myemail'+'@'+'mydomain'+'.be'"> Link Text Here</A>
Gives the following result:
Link Text Here
i='\" alt="Contact us!" border="0">'
if (f) d=f
else if (h) d=g+h+i
Another possibility is to use escape codes. This will make your e-mail address illegible, but your browser will still give the correct translation of the e-mail address.
<a href="mailto:%6eos%70%61%6d%40%69pow%65%72.b%65">Mail us</a>
This translates to: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are various sites where you can can have your e-mail address concealed. An example: http://www.healyourchurchwebsite.com/obfuscator/
In addition, you can also consult Google. Use the search term ‘e-mail obfuscator’.
One of the better methods is to use contact forms. This technique always works, whichever browser you use. You safeguard your e-mail address like this: it does not appear on the form. Moreover, spambots have no access to your server side code.
Here is an example: we always use ASP.NET (met C#) to draw up the web site forms. The programming code is contained in a dll (Dynamic Link Library) file. Spambots do not have access to this devised and illegible code.
If you look at the source code, you only see the following:
An e-mail address is nowhere to be seen!
There are hardly any disadvantages in using contact forms. Users will be less inclined to fill in information via a contact form because they think they will never receive an answer to their questions. An e-mail address that appears in their Outlook immediately is more direct. Moreover, they are unable to keep a copy of the message which they have sent. It is possible to implement a programme so that an automatic message is sent to the customer.
Sending forms is presently beyond the capabilities of spambots. You can therefore make use of a ‘View my e-mail address’ switch. Those who press this switch will be able to see your e-mail address. This reduces the detrimental effect of contact forms and gives users the choice of how they will send contact information. You will see an example of such a form on http://simon.incutio.com/contact/