Spam, Spam, Spam and more Spam...
We all hate spam. Spammers are the modern day scum of the earth.
The evil tools evil-doers use are spambots which are spiders that
crawl around the web harvesting email addresses
embedded in web pages and newsgroup postings. However, there are techniques you
can use to help protect your web page embedded email addresses.
One method is to obfuscate:
ob·fus·cate /ab fuh sket/ to make something seem or be difficult to understand; to obscure or darken.
Any text entered in the upper field will get
converted to character code (unicode encoding) in the lower field.
A simple, highlight, right-click, copy/paste will put text anywhere you wish. The conversion
The character code makes it difficult for spambots to recognize email addresses
Let's say for example your email address is:
Here is how the HTML source code will look after obfuscation:
Please take note that the text mailto:email@example.com and
the displayed text firstname.lastname@example.org both get obfuscated.
Here's the completed example:
This method is not 100% fool-proof, but it does work with very high success... I have tested it using virgin email
addresses planted in a guestbook for months. The obfuscated Email addresses remained spam-free, while
the clear ones get more and more spam.
Munging and Disposables
Munging an email address means to alterate it in such a way that humans can understand it;
but yet it's very difficult for spambots to see it, or decode it. Munged email addresses
are useful when posting to news groups, forums, or bulletin boards.
Here are some of the proper ways to munge an email address using our example:
(remove XXX to reply)
(replace 'invalid' with 'com' to reply)
The comments in parenthesis cue humans on how to demunge your email address; these comments could be included in your
signature line. Spambots are usually not smart enough to deal with it. Never munge
only to the left of the "@" symbol in an email address; you need munge the domain
name (to the right) to prevent spam from ever reaching your mail server.
Disposable email addresses are created for a special purpose and then abandoned after some point.
Some time you may need an email address to
post to a forum or to gain access to a website;
disposables are good for this purpose in order to
protect your permanent email address from spammers.
There are numerous free email services available
like Yahoo Mail
Back Issues of ZROT
ISSUE NO. 1, January 2004
Compost, 3D Modelling, VW bugs, Door County, Digital Orthophotography