Our new Email Obfuscator helps stop email harvesting

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9/26/2019

"97% of spam is the direct result of posting email addresses to Web pages"

The other day several customers told me their people had received deceptive spam emails.

All these customers had online directories showing people's email addresses.

We lickety-split made an Email Obfuscator "helper" and updated all your "database-driven directories"

Now spam bots won't be able to harvest your directories.

How our helper works

It spits out a human-readable AND clickable email BUT one that is a mishmash of javascript mumbo jumbo for a spam bot.

Instead of spitting out paul@brickriver.com to the page, it spits out 

<script type="text/javascript">document.write(String.fromCharCode(60, 97, 32, 104, 114, 101, 102, 61, 34, 35, 34, 32, 115, 116, 121, 108, 101, 61, 34, 117, 110, 105, 99, 111, 100, 101, 45, 98, 105, 100, 105, 58, 98, 105, 100, 105, 45, 111, 118, 101, 114, 114, 105, 100, 101, 59, 100, 105, 114, 101, 99, 116, 105, 111, 110, 58, 114, 116, 108, 59, 34, 32, 111, 110, 99, 108, 105, 99, 107, 61, 34, 116, 104, 105, 115, 46, 104, 114, 101, 102, 61, 83, 116, 114, 105, 110, 103, 46, 102, 114, 111, 109, 67, 104, 97, 114, 67, 111, 100, 101, 40, 49, 48, 57, 44, 57, 55, 44, 49, 48, 53, 44, 49, 48, 56, 44, 49, 49, 54, 44, 49, 49, 49, 44, 53, 56, 44, 49, 48, 57, 44, 57, 55, 44, 49, 49, 52, 44, 49, 50, 49, 44, 57, 57, 44, 57, 55, 44, 49, 49, 54, 44, 49, 48, 52, 44, 49, 48, 49, 44, 49, 49, 52, 44, 49, 48, 53, 44, 49, 49, 48, 44, 49, 48, 49, 44, 54, 52, 44, 57, 55, 44, 49, 49, 57, 44, 49, 48, 50, 44, 49, 49, 55, 44, 49, 48, 57, 44, 57, 57, 44, 52, 54, 44, 49, 49, 49, 44, 49, 49, 52, 44, 49, 48, 51, 41, 59, 34, 62, 38, 35, 49, 48, 51, 59, 38, 35, 49, 49, 52, 59, 38, 35, 49, 49, 49, 59, 38, 35, 52, 54, 59, 38, 35, 57, 57, 59, 38, 35, 49, 48, 57, 59, 38, 35, 49, 49, 55, 59, 38, 35, 49, 48, 50, 59, 38, 35, 49, 49, 57, 59, 38, 35, 57, 55, 59, 38, 35, 54, 52, 59, 38, 35, 49, 48, 49, 59, 38, 35, 49, 49, 48, 59, 38, 35, 49, 48, 53, 59, 38, 35, 49, 49, 52, 59, 38, 35, 49, 48, 49, 59, 38, 35, 49, 48, 52, 59, 38, 35, 49, 49, 54, 59, 38, 35, 57, 55, 59, 38, 35, 57, 57, 59, 38, 35, 49, 50, 49, 59, 38, 35, 49, 49, 52, 59, 38, 35, 57, 55, 59, 38, 35, 49, 48, 57, 59, 60, 47, 97, 62));</script>

This is good news for you but you should also know...

So you're online directories are good but if you've put a mailto link in a random web page, those can still be grabbed. BUT, you've only done this here and there... just a handful of pages.

If you want to go the extra mile, you'll notice that in the sitemap, you can now click a toggle to "search the page body". You COULD, if you really wanted, search on "mailto:" and find all pages with email links. You could also leave them if you want since there are only a handful.

This is tricky techie stuff but if you want...

To change those is a bit tricky since you'll have to go into the source but if you want to do this you...

  1. Click into the Source tab
  2. Find the email
  3. Click on the Code Snippets button and search on the word "obfuscate"
  4. Drop in the email obfuscator helper and put your email in it.

What this means and the road ahead

If your emails have already been harvested, they've already been harvested and you'll just have to rely on spam filters to block the deceptive emails. But now no new spam bot email harvesters will be able to grab emails from your directories.

Also, as spam email harvesters get more sophisticated, we will be able to update our Email Obfuscator helper in one place with newer and newer techniques -- to stay one step ahead of the machines.

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