Hiding email addresses on the web

spober at manvax.cc.manhattan.edu spober at manvax.cc.manhattan.edu
Wed Dec 10 22:19:41 EST 1997

I know that some mass email companies (spammers) are using webcrawlers
to find their victims' - er, I mean recipients' -  addresses on web 
pages.  In fact, I think I'm getting more spam from having my  address 
on a web page than I am getting legitimate inquiries from the library 
web pages.  And that is very annoying.

I am going to be revising our pages soon, and I'm thinking about how to
reduce this problem.  I could take out the "mailto" link to me that 
exists on many of the pages.  However, that will also discourage 
legitimate inquiries.  I could replace the mailto link with a gif of
that shows my email address (readable on the page, but invisible to 
webcrawlers).  Of course, if I go that route, I'm shutting out people 
using text-based browsers such as Lynx and people who turn off images
when they surf, and I don't really want to do that. 

Any suggestions for making your address available to legitimate users
without getting spammed as a result?  

I know that spammers more commonly are thought to use Usenet posts 
as a source for their mailing lists, but I know that that I'm getting 
spam on an address that has not posted to Usenet, so that's not the source
of the problem.

 Stacy Pober			   Internet: spober at manvax.cc.manhattan.edu
 Information Alchemist		   http://www.manhattan.edu/library/mclmenu.html
 Manhattan College Libraries	   Phone: 718-862-7980                    
 Riverdale, NY 10471	     	   Fax: 718-862-7995                    

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