Guest Author - June Kaminski
Every web site owner faces an unfortunate byproduct if they post their email freely on their site. This byproduct is commonly referred to as Spam. Here's some an easy tip to control this annoying problem. One main reason web site owners receive email spam is the simple fact that their email is exposed blatantly on their web site. But, even if you hide your emails by setting up a form, if that form is coded to send the email responses to an email, (usually using a cgi-bin setup) - email harvesters can still access the embedded email.
One simple solution to this situation is to use html code to hide your email addresses. Simple html for each letter and each number can be added to your site's code to camouflage your email addresses. This COULD be an onorous task, but with the aid of a free online tool, called the Email Address Encoder, your email addresses will be much harder to detect. Most automatic harvesters will not be able to make sense of the code, thus will bypass them.
The Email Address Encoder is available courtesy of West Bay Web Internet Publishing at: http://www.wbwip.com/wbw/emailencoder.html
The authors describe this service in detail and provide instructions on how to use the form based tool: "This form will allow you to encode your e-mail address through the use of Character Entities, transforming your ascii email address into its equivalent decimal entity. Simply enter your regular e-mail address in the first text box, click the encode button, and then highlight and copy the resulting code produced in the second text box. This encoded e-mail address can be read and translated back into its original ascii text by almost any web browser without any further action on your part. Just replace all instances of your e-mail address on your pages with the code, and you won't have to worry (too much) about spam lists." (main page).
I've tried it on a couple of my own sites, and HAVE noticed a significant drop in SPAM to those particular web site email addresses. I recommend taking the time to encode YOUR web based email addresses, to reduce the stress and annoyance of your Inbox filling up with email based SPAM.