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Protect Your Mail Box

     Don't hope that the new anti-spam law, CAN-SPAM Act, will stop all the spam messages you receive. You still have to protect your mail boxes by yourself if you want to spend your time running your business instead of wasting time deleting spam messages.

Make It Difficult

     A quick fix is converting mailto links to numeric ampersand entities, the same method used in hiding affiliate links. Many spambot (software that collects e-mail addresses posted on Web sites) cannot read them, so your e-mail addresses won't be in spammers' hands. Converting links used to be a time-consuming procedure. Now, my online tool does that for you. Just follow the steps below.

At Cloak-A-Link  page:

  1. Select "numeric ampersand."
  2. Type the link you want to hide. You can convert an entire mailto link, such as "mailto:user@domain.com."
  3. Check "Convert a link only."
  4. Click "Convert."
  5. Copy and paste the converted link to your HTML source.

That's it.

Note You may choose "hexadecimal code," but convert only your e-mail address. So, the mailto link on your HTML source should look like "mailto:%34%55%46..." If you convert the "mailto:" part to hexadecimal code, it won't work.

Make It Impossible

     Sooner or later, spambot will become capable of reading those converted links. (Maybe there are already some.) So, the best way is to not put your e-mail addresses anywhere on your site. This CGI script, Master Spambot Buster , makes special URL links. When visitors click those links, their e-mail client will be opened with your e-mail address in the "to" field. Because you use URL links instead of mailto links, no e-mail address can be harvested. One side-effect is that Web browsers will open a blank page. This confuses visitors a bit.

Additional Note

     Many form CGI scripts that you can get free from the Web require you to put e-mail addresses in the HTML source as an input value. Some spambot can collect e-mail addresses from those places. Find one where you don't need to use your e-mail addresses.

     Lastly, don't forget to use images instead of text to display your e-mail addresses on your pages.

© March, 2004