July 31, 2007

Protect your email address from spam bots!

Bloggers often wish to offer their email address to provide a way for readers to communicate with them directly. however, in posting your email address on your blog, you will run the risk of your address being harvested by spam-bots, which scan the web in a similar fashion to search-engines, though specifically targeting email addresses to add to their databases.

Here are some of the best methods you can use to protect your email address from spam:

My favorite method, and the one I use currently, is to scramble your email address using javascript, which ensures your address is "broken" when read in the source code, thus protecting it from spam-bot discovery. I used the "email scrambler" tool from BlogFlux.com which automatically generates the required javascript using your email address, and also provides a <noscript> section for browsers which cannot read javascript. To use this tool, simply visit the BlogFlux email scramble page, and enter your email address in the box provided. Type in the text you would like to see for your email link (eg: "Send me an email"), and click on the "Scramble email link" button. You will be presented with a section of code which you can copy and paste into your template where you would like the link to be displayed.

Once you've saved your template, hover your mouse over the email link code: if you have enabled javascript on your browser, you will notice that the link points to "mailto:youremailaddress". If you don't have javascript enables, the link will look something like this: "youremail[AT]domain[DOT]com". Here the email tags are broken, so that a reader can easily deduce your email address, whereas spam-bots cannot.

Another foolproof method to protect your email address is to include your email on an image, such as this: This method ensures that your email address is only readable by humans, but adds the extra step that readers must type your email address, rather than simply click a link to their email client.

One final method is to break the html code of your email address by using spaces or alternative symbols, such as in the following examples:

youremail @ yourdomain . com
These methods will all help to protect your email from malicious spammers when posting your email address on your blog. Do be aware that your email can also be harvested from comments, message boards and forums if you post your email address as normal, so be sure to disguise your email wherever you decide to post it!

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