Saturday, May 26, 2007

Hide your email address to protect yourself from spam

Many times you want to give away your email address so that people can contact you using it but you can't give it away because of the fear of spamming. Spammers run spam bots which scan webpages and as soon as they find any email address it is added to the list of addresses to be spammed. As email addresses always contain the @ symbol finding such addresses is trivial. Listed below are a number ways to hide your email address from these spam bots which can be used effectively to counter such threats.

  1. Replacing Words:- The simplest technique to hide your email address is to replace words in your email address with meaningful replacements and adding alternate text so as to confuse the spam bots. This includes replacing @ with AT, . with DOT and arbitrary space addition. You can also add random meaningful words so that humans who understand their meaning can remove them. A few example using this techniques are
    1. sandeepthepro AT gmail DOT com
    1. sandeepthepro (AT) gmail (DOT) com
    2. sandeepthepro_AT_gmai_DOT_com
    3. sandeepthepro@.remove.gmail.com
    4. sandeepthepro (AT) gmail (DOT) com.iamnothere.
  2. HTML email obfuscator: You can use html email obfuscator which obfuscate your email address by converting them in an html encoded form unsuitable to spambots to read.
  3. Javascript email obfuscator: As the spambots generally don't have a javascript engine in them which is present in every browser, decoding content encoded in javascript is impossible for them. You can use an online javascript email obfuscator to encode your email address for this purpose.
  4. Using css to hide email: You can use css techinuques so that your email address is visible correctly to the human but not to the spam bot. For eg: <style type="text/css"> .backwards {unicode-bidi:bidi-override; direction: rtl;} </style>

    <span class="backwards">moc.liamg@orpehtpeednas</span>
    will appear as moc.liamg@orpehtpeednas to the spam bot while it will apear as sandeepthepro@gmail.com to the user
  5. Using images: There are various services available online which can take your email address and convert them to images. These images can be easily read be human beings and not by bots. You will get something like this Encoded Image
  6. Using an online contact form: Now why do you need to display your email address? So that others can contact you. You can register at an online contact form site and publish the link given so that the user can contact you without any hassles. You can contact me here

  7. Flash: You can also use flash to hide your email address but since i have a personal dislike for flash on a site i am not describing the technique and just mentioned it because i thought that the user should know.

1 Comment:

Ramesh said...

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