Simon Willison’s Weblog

Spam proof email

Today saw a useful thread on Webdesign-L about hiding email addresses from spambots. Some of the points raised:

  • Javascript encryption makes addresses inacessible to anyoen with javascript disabled, not just spambots.
  • Form based solutions help avoid ever exposing your address to the open web.
  • An english description (mail cs1spw at bath dot ac dot uk) is a good solution, but may eventually be parsed by spambots as well.
  • If you go down the javascript encryption route, adding an english description in <noscript> tags can make your address more accessible.
  • An image showing your email address is spambot proof, but does not solve the problem of how to hide addresses that can be clicked on.
  • A lot of users with webmail do not benefit from mailto: addresses anyway, and would prefer a form.

I have restructured my contact page to take these in to account.

This is Spam proof email by Simon Willison, posted on 4th July 2002.

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Previously hosted at http://simon.incutio.com/archive/2002/07/04/spamProofEmail