Email Anti-SPAM News, Help & Advice.

Fed up of receiving SPAM, viruses, scams and phishing schemes via email?? We were - so here are some useful news articles, hints and tips to keep informed and reduce the problem!

June 20, 2004

Problems with MAILTO links


Mailto links are clickable hyperlinks on web pages. When you click on them they open the viewers email program and automatically create a new email message to the email address specified.

Historically they were a very easy (and popular) way to let people get in contact with the web site owner. The problem is spammers have setup systems (often known as 'spambots') to 'harvest' web sites looking for these email addresses.

They love doing this it is easy to do and mailto links are very likely to be valid email addresses!

If you run a web site you are better using either (or both) of:

1. a contact form (ensuring the email address is encoded in the script itself and not the HTML code) - not only does this hide your email address but also has the benefit that you can prompt (or require) certain information.

2. a non-hyperlinked graphic representing the email address - a 'human' will still be able to view it but it is much harder for an automated system to get the email address! It has the disadvantage that the human has to manually type it - but will save you loads of spam.

3. obfuscate your email address - for instance: you (at) your-domain-name (dot) com - not as good looking as using a 'graphic' of the email address - but easier / quicker (if a little lazy!).

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