6 Precautions You Should Take Against Email Harvesters & Spammers

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6 Precautions You Should Take Against Email Harvesters & Spammers

Spam’s origins may be traced back to email harvesting. Email harvesting is an umbrella term for the strategies used by spammers (or bulk email marketers) to gain large numbers of email addresses. It might be as simple as buying email address lists or as complex as using dedicated email harvester bots that search or spider through websites, discussion forums, and chat groups.

The law of email harvesting varies by nation. The CAN-SPAM Act, for example, forbids email harvesting in the United States. However, the legislation as a whole has remained entrenched in ineffectiveness. In general, using automated software to get email addresses is deemed prohibited. Spammers, on the other hand, remain victorious, as your email inbox can attest.

Anti-spam software, email service providers, and organizations such as Project Honeypot are all contributing. What can we do to keep email harvesters out of our inboxes? Perhaps you could start with these measures.

Mung Your Email Address

Email address munging is the simplest way to hide your email IDs from spam bots, but it’s not the most elegant. It’s as simple as changing your email address from johndoe@mail.com to johndoe at mail dot com. Spam bots search for patterns in their programming logic. Using random text to disguise email addresses is an effort to circumvent that reasoning. To mislead the spam software, we removed the @ and “.com” in the above sample.

This approach is easy to employ, but there is a chance that actual people may get confused and “de-mung” the address wrongly. Spam bots are also improving, so it is realistic to expect some to recognize variants of an email address. However, along with the GIF signature, this is the simplest to use in places like community boards.

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Go For ASCII

Each character has an ASCII code that corresponds to it. Browsers convert ASCII codes into legible character forms, however this disadvantages spam bots since they fail to identify the codes. You may put something like johndoe@mail.com into your webpage’s HTML. Both “@” and “.” have been replaced with their ASCII characters in this case. You can mask your complete email address using ASCII characters, but it will take some time.

I discovered this basic website and its form that assists with address munging.

Use a Graphic Email Signature

The email address above is a transparent GIF picture generated with a photo editor, not text. Because it is an image file, spam bots cannot read it, and employing OCR is still a long way off. However, there are a handful of drawbacks to employing GIF email signatures. The receiver may miss the email ID if graphics are turned off in his browser. In addition, a GIF email sign should not be hyperlinked… As a result, receivers will have to enter the ID individually, which is cumbersome.

Use Disposable Email Addresses

Disposable email accounts are another useful option. When providing email addresses to websites, these one-time phony email accounts may be utilized. You are free to leave them at any time. We’ve explored a number of online providers that create disposable email addresses. In our Directory, you may find a few to try.

I recently discovered Scrim, a service that secures your email address by hiding it behind a personalized URL. You are welcome to test it out.

Encode With JavaScript

<script type='text/javascript'>var a = new Array('ail.com','johndoe@em');document.write("<a href='mailto:"+a[1]+a[0]+"'>"+a[1]+a[0]+"</a>");</script>

That’s ‘johndoe@email.com’ disguised using JavaScript and put into a webpage’s HTML. Spam bots can’t locate the ID in the source code since they can’t understand JavaScript, but our regular browsers do. Of course, you must have it turned on in order for the email signature to appear appropriately. Many JavaScript generators are freely accessible on the internet and can produce the code for you. Copy the code and paste it where you want the link to appear in your HTML.

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Secure email forms are the most secure and professional approach to collect information while protecting email addresses. One will be present on all properly built websites. It is simple to use since all the reader needs to do is enter information and click the submit button. Email addresses are not shown to readers or spam bots. A CAPTCHA also stops auto-populating bots from assaulting the system. Yes, the reader cannot use his preferred email program to send messages, but this is a minor annoyance.

These five steps cover the very bare least that people and site designers may do to safeguard email addresses from the plague of email harvesters. There are a few more complex tactics that circulate, such as Spider Traps. Even as spamming develops, anti-spam measures advance the struggle. It’s a fight. How do you deal with it at your level? Are you aware of email harvesters and their tricks? Remember, never react to spam emails. It just serves to authenticate your identity.

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