Ascii codes for emails


#1

[qutoe]I recently read about using ascii code in mailto’s to thwart (some) attempts to harvest addresses. Does anybody know how well it works?[/quote]

Probably works well at the moment, but problem is all the spammers have to do is get their scrapers to parse HTML correctly! Not hard to do, so I wouldn’t count on this method at all.

I’ve switched to not providing e-mail address on a public web page in any form because after a while the “username at domain dot net” form will get used so frequently spammers will probably start parsing that, too. I use custom “form mail” scripts to allow strangers to send me e-mail. This works great for me - now I just have to worry about those worms sending attachments just because someone got an e-mail message from me.


#2

[quote]I’ve switched to not providing e-mail address on a public web
page in any form because after a while the “username at domain
dot net” form will get used so frequently spammers will probably
start parsing that, too.

[/quote]

A fairly simple solution to this: Change the email address to a non-clickable image. The only major disadvantage is that visitors will need to manually type it into a message, but it at least provides a non-form option for people who prefer their email clients.

Of course, some day, they may start writing pattern recognition routines. Seems like a lot of CPU cycles to spend on the problem, though, and most spammers would probably simply go to the next URL on their list.

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

#3

There’s also this:

http://www.hiveware.com/enkoder.php


#4

When I have to post an address, I take full advantage of the unlimited aliases (aliai?) that DH affords me.

It’s pretty easy to shut off the spigot on spammers. The real people that need to get ahold of me know how to.


#5

Aliases is the corrrect plural.

The one area where I’d be careful is setting up a catchall (wildcard) alias (like *@example.com). If you have a catchall alias and a spammer forges an address (or addresses) at your domain, you’ll be stuck with a lot of the bounces. If you find a catchall alias useful for handing out tagged addresses or something, you might want to at least put it at a subdomain (like junk.example.com).


#6

Good point.

I have all addresses at my domain forward to a particular email box. I use a unique alias (I don’t bother setting it up in the DH panel since it will forward) for EVERY place that I have to sign up: "DesperateDatersDotCom@domain.com" or "RoseGardenArticleFromLocalPaper@domain.com."

It’s only when a particular email address starts to present a problem would I need to go into the DH panel and forward that address to the rubbish heap.


#7

Well using the catchall on a subdomain is a good middleground, I think… That way, you’re not as likely to get bounces from spam runs to your main address (I think a spammer is much less likely to forge "user@junk.example.com than user@example.com, and if they do forge an address at junk.example.com, worst case scenario, you’d delete that subdomain for a few days, and still get non-tagged mail at example.com itself).

I do need to update some kbase articles related to mail, and I need to write one on “Help - a spammer is sending out spam ‘from’ my domain”. I’ve been rather short on time for this sort of project recently, unfortunately.