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43

I pass all contact forms through a throwaway Gmail account, that forwards mail to the real email address. It's free, it's easy, and Gmail's spam detection is top notch. It requires no extra effort when making the website, and if anything gets through you just login to the Gmail account and flag it as spam. You can then set the Gmail inbox to either ...


33

Top reasons that I'm aware of: To "force" customer to provide specific details which otherwise most likely be omitted by customer (like, order/invoice number, contact telephone number). To perform some basic validations on such data ensuring that the existing customer provides correct information (checking if such order does exist, validating input). ...


19

My non-answer is to not do this. Modern email systems, such as GMail and the Barracuda anti-spam appliance, do an excellent job of filtering spam. Any barrier that you put between you and your visitors means a lower level of engagement and, depending on the type of site, potential loss of sales. If you are worried about users who don't have native mail ...


18

Use natural language to spell out the eMail address... Ex: thatguy at gmail dot com You'd be surprised how much harder it is to write a bot that can differentiate natural language vs writing a bot that just searches for the @ sign and regexes a normal address. It isn't 100% foolproof but it isn't any worse than obfuscation and it won't alienate your ...


15

@LazyOne gives all good reasons. There are 3 additional ones that make sense. If a drop down exists in the contact form that gives a reason for the user contacting the company then the company can route the contact information to the correct group or person. The data can be entered into the companies CRM solution automatically. For instance, a company I ...


13

Some answers that nobody has suggested: A contact form submitted over SSL is more secure than email. Customers have a terrible habit of sending you sensitive data (credit card numbers etc) even if you didn't request it. A webpage can capture more information about a user than an email. If the submitter is logged into your site, you can link the message ...


12

Personally, I don't display email addresses on sites, but instead have an easy to use, accessible contact us form, along with an indication of who the email is from; allowing users to send the site owners and operators emails, without exposing email addresses or having to jump through various JavaScript hoops, etc. This is often the best way to go if your ...


9

They search for and fill in every form they can find. They're looking for any vulnerability that they can exploit for their gain. It might be to see if they can gain access to your site or web server. It can be to compromise your form to send out spam. It's worth their time to do because it's all automated. They just set their bots free and let them go ...


8

The best solution: use a spam filter. I actually use Gmail to handle my POP3 email account for my business, because it's much easier to check email on different computers. Gmail's spam filters are the best in the world. So you can just display webmaster@example.com as your email address and forget about spam.


8

What I do is write out the email address as words, wrapped in a span tag: <span class="email">joe dot blow at gmail dot com</span>. Then a page-level script runs, grabbing any such spans and replacing each with a constructed email link. It may not be too obscure, but I've had no complaints. Plus if JavaScript is disabled, the user can still read ...


8

use css to hide some noise from the real text (just all in one line, i formatted it to better illustrate the technique): u<span class="spam">noise</span>ser @<span class="spam">noise</span> example<span class="spam">noise</span> .com and then use this little css-snippet: .spam { display: none; } if you need valid ...


7

All the other answers are very good. A few more, without repeating other answers: A contact form practically guarantees the recipient will not lose your message to standard email spam filtering techniques. Those incoming messages can be automatically trusted, whereas email to the same address from random senders will generally have to follow standard spam ...


7

using html encoding like &#649&#7854&#7575, the browser will render it like "abc"


7

We do provide a contact form on our website for the reason that we assume that a user visiting our website might not have an e-mail client configured on his system and we want to ensure that he still can get in contact with us.


6

I'm the author of the free open source Ostermiller Contact Form which is designed to thwart spammers. I have found that the biggest reason that spammers fill in your contact form is link spam. To many spam bots, you contact form looks little different than a guest book form or a form to comment on a blog. My contact form software has rules that ...


5

A quite good, while not perfect way is to create the e-mail address via javascript. Most spiders looking for e-mails do not execute javascript, and hence do not find a readable e-mail address. Here is just one example how it could be done.


5

Unless you have some pressing need to insulate employees from contact with the world except through email, a contact page should have proper contact information on it. Every piece of information should be transparent (and accurate). People visiting contact pages are largely performing research or attempting to find information about products/services that is ...


5

Whatever the recipient needs to know to assist the user should be included on the form. Never ask for less then what you need. All you really need is a name and a contact method (email address, phone number) but in some situations asking for more information, like a product serial number if it is a warranty issue, etc, should be required as it greatly ...


5

I use a simple Python script to convert the e-mail address into an mailto link where the e-mail address is HTML entity encoded. This is completely transparent to the user, but seems to obscure the contents enough to defeat most simpleminded harvesting bots. #! /usr/bin/env python3.0 def entity_encode(text): out = "" ba = text.encode() for i in ...


5

Use a graphic library (such as GD which is supported by PHP, or similar) to dynamically create .png images containing the email addresses. Compared to my other answer this solution is less annoying for the users (but not transparent; they can't copy & paste it but must re-type it from scratch) but is also less secure: a computer can potentially read the ...


4

Ask the user to resolve a CAPTCHA before showing them the email address (or if you have a contact form, before letting the user submit it). It's the most annoying for the users but definitely the most effective.


4

This is a good idea as making a form easier to use can only increase user activity. Making the form cross-browser really should always be done, not just for forms or JavaScript. Basically any public facing web page should work in every browser with or without JavaScript enabled. For security, removing the CAPTCHA is definitely a good idea as they only ...


3

I will give you my opinion why: Sometimes companies require certain information e.g. contact number, so that they can give you a call, take an insurance company for example they have a contact form that you submit e.g. request a quote, you give them relevant information and they phone you and have already your info so that they do not need to ask you the ...


3

I guess it is caused by security issues. They don't want to expose their email to spammers(by this form, they can check if IP doesn't send to much messages and block it eventually). But there is a solution to this: http://www.google.com/recaptcha/mailhide/


3

Not sure this would work for you, but I was able to reclaim a YouTube account utilizing the Copyright and Trademark section of their website. If you can prove that the trademark belongs to you and that the account utilizes the trademark, they may be able to transfer the account.


3

I'm a fan of obfuscation, where the email address is essentially rendered with Javascript. For example, my@email.com could be rendered as <a href="javascript:location='mailto:\u006d\u0079\u0040\u0065\u006d\u0061\u0069\u006c\u002e\u0063\u006f\u006d';void 0"> <script ...


3

I've never seen anything suggesting this can be done directly, ie. tap a link and get prompted to create a contact, but here's a somewhat hacky workaround someone came up with a couple years ago. It's more work than it should be, but within reason if it's still not possible and this is important to you. The condensed version is that you create a link to a ...


3

Google just recently released a video on this exact subject: How does duplicate copy that's legally required (ie Terms & Conditions across multiple offers) affect performance in search? So the answer from the horses mouth is I wouldn't stress about that.


2

One way: <script language="javascript"> <!-- var name = "user" var host1 = "gm" var host2 = "ail.com" var addr = document.write("<a href=mai" + "lto:" + name + "&#64;" + host1 + host2 + ">" + name + "&#64;" + host1 + host2 + "</a>") //--> </script> You can write "Unscramble my email: user ...



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