[Mimedefang] Obscuring email addresses on the web

Kelson kelson at speed.net
Thu Aug 6 18:52:11 EDT 2009

WBrown at e1b.org wrote:
> A colleague quoted in an email "email spam from web crawlers is a problem
> for you and your IT department, obfuscating email addresses on your website
> turns your problem into a problem for your users".
> I was told he found this twaddle "on the web."  Anyone know where this
> quote might have come from?

No idea where it's from, but it's a valid point.  Fundamentally, 
obfuscating email addresses is about making potential contacts jump 
through hoops, and assuming that valid contacts will be more motivated 
(or at least have better software) than spammers.

Sure, you can mitigate it by using JavaScript to generate a link in the 
browser.  But you'll still run into the occasional person who surfs with 
JavaScript disabled, or who is trying to find your contact info from a 
mobile phone with minimal or no scripting support -- and they'll have to 
manually type in your address, then go over it to check for typos.

Not to say you shouldn't do it, of course -- some sort of obfuscation is 
practically a necessity these days -- but it *is* a trade-off that can 
impact usability.

Kelson Vibber
SpeedGate Communications <www.speed.net>

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