Here's an essential tip for anyone
creating even the simplest web page...
Never put an email address on any web page without reading
and understanding this first
If you use an email address anywhere in your web pages (even
hidden in the html) - these will be automatically
harvested and sold to advertisers, resulting in a constant and ever
increasing stream of annoying unsolicited email (spam). You must
protect your email addresses as early as possible - once you've
published them and have received some spam - it's probably too late
and will require a change of address to stop it.
It is possible put email addresses on your pages that cannot be
read automatically but can be read and used by real people.
Programs that harvest email addresses simply scan every page on
the web and automatically log anything that looks like an email
address. You can disguise your email address so a program cannot
see it - but it looks ok and works normally for any real person.
so it's unrecognisable to an automatic program - but the script
joins the address back together whenever the page is viewed.
Don't panic - it's easy! have a look at this 'mailto:' link...
The link works ok on IE and Firefox - but if you look in the source
of this page the email address isn't actually there - it's created
will miss your address. The link will still work fine for any 'real'
people that click on it.
Here's the code that created the link above, these few lines are
simply inserted into the html of your web page wherever you want
the mailto: link to appear. Of course you'll need to change the
user & domain to your own address...
document.write('<a href=\"mailto:' + 'info@' + 'fax.co.uk' + '\"> info@' + 'fax.co.uk</a>');
// End -->
(If you try to copy from this page your html editor may corrupt
it by replacing the arrows with "<" etc. For an
exact copy it's best to 'view source' of this page and copy it from
there into your html-code editing window)
Use this technique for all these places you might put email addresses:
- 'mailto' links
- hidden fields in forms used to specify the recipient
- email addresses in plain text on web pages
If you modify this technique it's best to break-up at least the
domain part of the email address making it completely invalid. Breaking
up only the user-id side of the address could cause a partial email
address to be recognised and may cause traffic to be sent to your
mailserver wasting it's processing time even if it doesn't make
it to your email address.
In short - never put email addresses anywhere on an html
page without protecting them - You should also make sure your addresses
are not listed in any trade-directories that don't do something
similar to protect them.