Author Topic: Eliminate Spam: Mask Your Email Address  (Read 9076 times)

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Eliminate Spam: Mask Your Email Address
« on: May 31, 2007, 08:51:24 PM »
Tue Mar 20, 2007 4:51AM EDT

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This is the kind of advice I'd be giving you in my web design posts, but I can't help but notice how many of you actually list your full email addresses online. I've seen people posting them away on social networks, blogs, forums, and web sites hoping to be contacted by the right people. Problem is, they're forgetting about all the evil spammers out there running programs that harvest those same email addresses and using them to send loads of junk email.

I guess as a web designer you learn from your mistakes, and look for ways to help people reach you while keeping that email address private. Here are some simple ways to help you hide your email address:

    * Mask your email address by spelling it out. Example: "Send your questions to youremail at yahoo dot com." This is a common, but effective technique mainly used in public spaces like forums or comment sections. An FTC survey found that "unmasked e-mail addresses had received more than 6,400 pieces of spam, while the masked e-mail addresses had received only one piece of spam" all in the course of five weeks. Not bad.
    * Use forms on your web site. This is the most popular and effective method for your visitors to contact you. One of my favorite web-based forms is called Response O Matic, which offers a free account.
    * Create an image with your email address, and post it anywhere you want.
    * Use a disposable email address, instead of your work or personal email address if you do decide to list one online.
    * Advanced webmasters use Javascript, CSS, and other methods to cloak their email address. Check out these other suggestions by Digital Colony.

That's not to say these methods are 100-percent foolproof, but at least you're making it a little harder for spammers to get your email address. Studies have shown that masking your email address actually works, and, well, that's better than not doing anything to prevent spam.

 Anyone have any other suggestions?

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