How can I protect my web pages from email address harvesting?
If you are responsible for a web space, be aware that email addresses published on your pages are vulnerable to being added to unsolicited email (spam) lists. Spammers collect email addresses by running automated harvesting scripts that parse static web pages one by one, looking for strings of characters that appear to be email addresses. Such programs can collect thousands of addresses in a very short time.
To test the security of your own address, visit a search engine such as Google and enter your email address. The number of results you see represents the minimum number that are visible to harvesting scripts.
For Indiana University web pages, if the contact information is for IU business, consider obtaining a departmental account and listing that address rather than your personal address; see Requesting IU computing accounts for groups or departments
If you use Webserve, you can also protect email addresses by creating a link to a web form which allows messages to be submitted using a server script; for instructions, see Forms Using Transform.
Many other methods exist for protecting email addresses; most of
these, however, change rapidly as spammers continuously develop new
strategies. For additional options, try using a search engine to look
for the term
email obfuscation. You might also wish to
consult Wikipedia's article explaining other Anti-harvesting
This is document alcm in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2014-12-18.
- Fill out this form to submit your issue to the UITS Support Center.
- Please note that you must be affiliated with Indiana University to receive support.
- All fields are required.