Email Spiders :: Protecting Your Email

road-sign-464655_960_720I am still surprised that people today still post their email addresses publicly – for example, posting an email address as a contact method on their website. Bad idea, unless you are okay with your mail box being filled with spam. Why? Because there are unscrupulous spiders out there that have nothing else better to do but search the web for email addresses. Why? So the person(s) responsible can harvest email addresses that they personally spam, or sell to third parties to spam. Either way, you will be spammed.


What’s the solution you ask? One: do not post your email address in a way that it can be captured or harvested by individuals or email spiders. The best method is to use one of the many thousands of contact form scripts that are out there. Quick and easy solution.


Some webmasters, however, prefer the personal touch of posting their email address. Now what? Still doable, and here are some solutions:


1. Use an image of your email address. Email address is not clickable, so this requires the person to view your email address, and manually enter the email address in the To: field in their email app. We provide an online tool you can use to generate this image: Email Hider.


2. Obfuscate your email address using HTML or JavaScript (JS). This method allows your email address to be clickable: person clicks on email address: which opens their email app, and populates the To: field with the obfuscated email address. The Email Hider tool will also provide alternate forms to use: HTML and JS obfuscated formats. Google also provides this service. You can see an example at our Password Sentry :: Contact Us page (the “email us directly” link). The service is provided for free by Google via reCAPTCHA.


So, don’t reveal your email address in a way that can be harvested by email spiders. None of us like spam, so don’t make yourself and your email address a target.

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