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The death of the email link

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You can contact me at “kent -at- no spam marketruler dot no spam com”, and remove the term “no spam” from that address.

And I kid you not, you see this on a lot of sites, even ones which seem technical. I imagine a lot of people get blurry eyed at seeing that, and the “gimmick” allows humans to figure it out, but stupid scraping spammers to not figure it out.

And of course, there’s the dreaded form remailer you’ll see almost universally. A nice thing if you’re at a public computer at the local cafĂ©, perhaps.

Domain Tools images for Whois records, similar to FaceBook’s images for email. But … most web sites which have a lot of email addresses are targets for, uh, developers who use freely available OCR software to scrape emails and spam you.

So why are these folks still putting email in images? It’s no safer than plain text.

In short, you don’t see mailto: links that often these days. When you do, you are sure that the destination address receives a ton of spam.

For those who wish to put a mail link on their site which is not visible, try AddressLock a free tool which lets you encrypt your email addresses and hide them from spammers. I wrote it years ago, and cleaned up the design and made it easier to use.

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