[Mimedefang] Obscuring email addresses on the web

Ben Kamen bkamen at benjammin.net
Thu Aug 6 20:32:44 EDT 2009

Kelson wrote:
> 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.

Oops! I saw the quote and it make me think of the spam-poison.

I would have to agree with Kelson. You're damned if you -- and damned if you don't.

I get tons of spam FORWARDED by my employer to me.. (it's like they filter spam destined for work addresses, but do nothing about forwarded addresses). Coupled with the fact that their directory listing is so easy to crawl.. I'm screwed.


Ben Kamen - O.D.T., S.P.
Email: bkamen AT benjammin DOT net              Web: http://www.benjammin.net

As seen somewhere on the net: My other computer is your Windows Server.

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