Posting your email address on a website is not the best idea and a sure-fire way to get an Inbox full of unsolicited email advertisements. It doesn’t take a lot for robots to get hold of email addresses because they are very intelligent these days and can pull the standard mail format off of most pages with ease.
There are times though, that having an email address on a website is essential for your business or personal promotion, or for people to contact you directly. Quite often on pages you might see people put an email address as something like “mymail at mailservice dot com” to try and fool the robots, but it doesn’t exactly look pleasing on the eye, easy to read or professional. So what’s needed, is a way to get the information on to a website or page that looks the same or even better than typing robot friendly text, but can protect your e-mail address at the same time.
Here are 2 suggested methods to help protect your mail address by hiding it from email harvesting robots.
E-Mail Icon Generator
Thankfully robots can’t read images, yet! They can only read text. Perhaps if one day someone developed a robot that is able to do Optical Character Recognition (OCR), then this image method is quite useless. But until then, this is a nice looking way to insert your email address into a small icon image and beat the robots.
Simply enter your username into the box, select your mail service from the drop down list, and choose from the domain drop down if they are any available (Hotmail, Live, Yahoo). A number of popular services are listed including AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, Live, MSN, Verizon and Yahoo. Then hit Generate to create the image.
The image will then be created complete with a theme to match your mail service. This image can then be linked directly using the first link or the second link can download the icon as a PNG file to use in your own code. If one of the providers in the list is not one of yours, a more basic image can be created by clicking “Provider not available….” which will work with any email or text snippet
The Enkoder Form
But no matter what, the only way to be completely safe in the knowledge your email address will never be picked up by an email harvesting robot, is to not publish your mail address online at all. Or simply try to use a contact form wherever possible.