How are Email Addresses Protected?
by Van Boughner
On the web today, custom software programs called robots continuously scan popular web sites. Often, a robot serves a useful function, such as checking link integrity or collecting data for search engines. However, some are spambots (http://www.turnstep.com/Spambot/avoidance.html) looking for email addresses. If your email address is on a public web page, it is vulnerable to collection by spammers which harvest it from mailto tags.
In case you would like to see how this works yourself, hit the "Source" option in the "View" menu of your web browser when you are looking at this page. Look for the email address on this link to . That is what spambots see and the email address is not actually in the page's source text. It looks like this:
<noscript>Van Boughner (baoc<img src="/images/email_sign.gif" align="absmiddle" width="10" height="16" />baoc.org)</noscript>
And this is what it looks like in a browser: Van Boughner (baocbaoc.org)
Incidentally, if you are still uncomfortable about this, we can create an email address for you on baoc.org (such as firstname.lastname@example.org) that will appear on the web site instead, and secretly forward all your email from that to your real email address. That would keep your real email address from appearing at all, even to the human visitors.
If you are editing this web site, here are examples of how to use the email tag within wiki text to conveniently get the protection discussed above.