Re: SPAM filter
From: Rebecca Reid (
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 08:30:49 -0700 (PDT)

  2. Re: SPAM filter on Community's EMail Address? (Marganne)

I found an effective tool for "masking" email addresses on web sites,
which prevents so-called spam spiders from finding and harvesting
addresses. This was for a local nonprofit whose staff email inboxes were
overwhelmed with spam (100+ a day). First, I assumed that their addresses
were already on a lot of spammers' lists, so I gave everyone a new
address. Then I used a bit of Javascript to replace all the mailto:
commands in the HTML on the site. Javascript executes when someone opens
the web page; in this case, it "constructs" the mailto: command and email
address when the user clicks on the link. The script looks like this:
<a href="#"
USERNAME is the part of the address before the "@" sign,
DOMAIN is the part just after the "@" sign,
'.com' can of course be replaced by '.org' or '.net' etc., and
TEXT is something like "To email, click here" or something more creative.

When the user clicks on the TEXT hyperlink, it opens an email just like
the mailto: command, but spam spiders can't see the address. The only time
this might not work is if someone is using a very old version of a browser
that doesn't support Javascript, or if their Internet security doesn't
allow Javascript to execute. Then I direct them to a non-hyperlinked
version of the address, such as username [at] domain [dot] com, and ask
them to type in the address into their email program.

Michael Dover, Pioneer Valley

Message: 2
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 00:07:21 -0700
From: Marganne <marganne [at]>
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ SPAM filter on Community's EMail Address?
To: Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at]>
Message-ID: <a0623093bc2aa5e5b3758@[]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"

At 3:18 PM -0700 6/28/07, Fred H Olson wrote:
BTW the archives of cohousing-L which makes web pages out of posts
"obscure" addresses from the body of messages -- the sender's address
is obscured using an image of an at sign.

** If someone requests assistance with their subscription in a way that
requires me to "validate" my reply to get around their spam control,
I typically take that as indication that they dont want my help very
much and I drop the matter...  Whitelists are very effective and
controlling spam (that is effectively why cohousing-L rarely
distributes SPAM), but they are a hassle for new correspondents.

SPAM programs at the mail server level and your individual computer
level are improving all the time.

However, after many years of managing lists and web sites, my
preferred way of getting comments is to give out a URL where people
can fill out a form. Most fields can be optional, but it lets you
find out more about the inquiry if it's filled in and there are no
email addresses in the form page for harvesting by Spammers.

As long as there are mailing lists that don't go through a web form
such as a forum, unscrupulous people will join a list like this just
long enough to collect as many email addresses as they can.

Another suggestion -- use a 'free' email account when subscribing to
an email list or registering at a web site you suspect might not
honor a privacy policy. Then, if you start getting SPAM from that
email address, you know where it originated and can stop it.



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