Email harvesting is a technique used by spammers to find email addresses published on web sites. Spiders crawl the net looking for text that looks like email addresses (ex: [email protected]).
For years I have published my email address on my web sites to make it easier for people to contact me. And as expected, over the years the amount of spam mail I receive has grown. I received around 600 to 700 spam mails a day. Luckily I have several layers of spam filtering enabled so less than 5% of spam makes it to my Inbox. But today I decided I would attempt to reduce the amount of spam I receive by masking my email address.
As I mentioned spammers harvest email addresses by searching the Internet for text that matches an email pattern. By masking an email address the spammer will have a tougher time determining if the content is in fact an email address. So how do you mask an email address?
Of course doing this each time can be a pain. A better approach is to use server-side scripting that will mask the email address for you. That’s exactly what I did for my web site using the following C# code:
When I display an email address I mask it by calling the MaskedEmail method. And I use MaskedMailToLink for those times when I want to include a mailto link. You can see this in action on the contact us page for White Peak Software.
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