Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How to Protect Email Addresses in Textarea Fields From

How to Protect Email Addresses in Textarea Fields From
Harvesters and Spammers

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by Ralph Tegtmeier
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Obfuscating web site email addresses by using Unicode
is a nice and - at least currently - pretty efficient
trick. Unfortunately, it won't work very well if you're
presenting some preformatted text in a textarea field:
your human visitors would not be able to recognize the
address for what it is. However, here's a neat work
around.

Provided your web server set up allows for Server Side
Includes (SSI), encapsulate your textarea file like
this:







You can either include an external file (as in our
example above), or simply put your body text between
the initial and the "endif" tag, in which case you can
omit the "include file" reference.

This will prevent the harvest bots listed above by
UserAgent from scanning your file and any email
content it may feature.

Should you detect further UserAgents related to email
harvesters, simply add them to the list above,
delimiting them with the pipe symbol (|).


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Ralph Tegtmeier is the co-founder and principal of
fantomaster.com Ltd. (UK) and fantomaster.com GmbH
(Belgium), a company specializing in webmasters
software development, industrial-strength cloaking and
search engine positioning services. He has been a web
marketer since 1994 and is editor-in-chief of
fantomNews, a free newsletter focusing on search
engine optimization, available at:
< http://fantomaster.com/fantomnews-sub.html > You can
contact him at mailto:fneditor@fantomaster.com (c)
copyright 2000 by fantomaster.com

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