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Should you display your Email Address on your Website?

the @ sign

Should you display your Email Address on your Website?
The short answer is NO:
Why Not?
There are UN-friendly BOTS (Machines) out there whose sole Purpose in Life is to crawl the Internet looking for the the @ signsign.

(Other bots like Google, Yahoo and other Search Engines are legitimate and will crawl your Website to index it so it can be included into their Directories.)

Once they found it they will assume it is an email address and save it to a database somewhere.
Those Lists of email addresses will either get sold to somebody looking for Email Lists to send Mailshots too or used for other un-savoury methods.

So what can you do to prevent this?

There are multiple different choices for hiding emails on websites, commonly using either the HTML entity version of the email address, but from an actual web design point of view, just putting the email address like that on a website isn’t the most user friendly thing to do.

  • The easiest and most common way it to use a contact form (such as our own here on this website)on your Website for potential customers to contact you. Contact Forms are save to use especially if you combine them with a Captcha System.(NOT 100% fool proof but ok for the average Website.)
  • You could display your email address with thethe @ sign sign as an image which the bots cannot read.
  • You could hide your email address with javascript.You can also provide a fallback for users with javascript disabled which points them in the direction of your contact form if you need to.

Some additional solutions taken from the WWW
Solution 1:

You can use many publicly available email address encoders like (first result on google):

http://www.wbwip.com/wbw/emailencoder.html

This encodes the emails into their character entity value, this will require more logic form scrapers to decode it.

So an email like: test@gmail.com becomes test@gmail.com which can be used in a mailto as well.

Solution 2:

Use an online email to image converter (again first result on google):

https://www.generateit.net/email-to-image/index.php

If you do know of any other Solutions please comment below and I will be glad to update this Article.

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