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How To Protect Email Addresses

When including email addresses in Posts or Comments here on our blog it is *important* to cloak them so email harvesters can’t grab them.

Unfortunately, there are people who harvest email addresses on the Internet. Generally to use for malicious purposes, such as, selling them to spammers, or hackers, or people who spread viruses and malware on the Internet.

No, these harvesters don’t cruise around surfing websites looking for email addresses and copying them to a list. Instead they use automated software programs (robots commonly called bots) to crawl the Internet searching for and collecting email addresses (harvesting) then compiling them into list.

So, how do you protect against the bots harvesting email addresses when you want to include an email address in a Post or Comment here on the Blog.

Well, you cloak the email address so the bots can’t identify it as an email address and won’t grab it.

How do you cloak an email address, I bet you are thinking, aren’t you?! 🙂

Here are some examples of very easy and common ways to cloak an email address.

Let’s use this fake email address as an example.

birdbrain@rockingrobin.com

When an email address is written as above it creates an embedded *mail to:* link code. This is what the bots are searching for to harvest. You can bet your last dollar everyone of the 1000s of harvester bots crawling the Internet right now are grabbing this email address as you are reading this – have fun with this one bots!! – lol. 🙂

Instead of feeding the harvester bots by writing the email address, as above, you can trick the bots by writing it like this:

birdbrain[@]rockingrobin.com

or

birdbrain[at]rockingrobin.com

or

birdbrain at rockingrobin.com

or

birdbrain at rockingrobin dot com

You get the idea. None of these create an embedded *mail to:* link code the harvest bots can identify. Hence, they can’t read them so they can’t harvest them.

If you want to get more advanced, the best way to cloak an email address is to make it into a digital image (picture) in jpeg or gif format. Bots can’t read and decode pictures – lol. Then wherever you want to insert an email address on a public website just insert the digital image of the email address, instead of typing it.

Oh, yes, I can hear you now saying, “OMG all those email addresses I put in my Comments on the Blog, are being harvested by bot!”

Don’t panic. Take 3 deep breaths. Mellow out! 🙂

Have no fear, I’ve got you covered – they are not being harvested.

For you see whenever you leave a Comment on the blog an email is sent to me letting me know a Comment has been left on the blog and the *content* of the Comment. If in reading the Comment I see it contains a *non cloaked* email address I edit the Comment cloaking the email address for you. So, it will have only been available to the harvest bots for a short period of time.

However, me cloaking your email addresses for you does leave the email address exposed to the bots from the time you clicked *Summit Comment* until the next time I check my email. Hence, the purpose of this Post – LOL – 🙂

If you cloak email addresses when you insert them into Comments – they will never be exposed to the harvest bots and they will be fully protected from the bots. Much better then waiting until I see them – wouldn’t you agree! 🙂

I hope you found this informative and useful.

In the next Post of this series I’ll show you some other ways to protect email addresses.

Rock Onnn … Saigon Kids cloaking those email addys – 🙂

Bob

PS: If you’d like to *get even* with the harvest bots you could Cyber Attack them by creating a one page website with the only Content being a galzillion trillion phony email addresses, which would have a high probability of causing them to crash and burn from the overload – LOL – <<< EVIL GRIN >>>. Sounds like something The Clods would do, doesn’t it?! – LOL. Just make sure none of the email addresses on the website are being used by anyone, or you could face serious ramifications – LOL.

2 comments to How To Protect Email Addresses

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