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  1. #51
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    I'm fairly certain that within the UK, its a legal requirement to present an email address for e-commerce websites (no idea where I read that now).

    I have an email address on my site which has been obfuscated (as below) and so far I haven't received a single spam email through it. *fingers crossed* The advantages of this method is that its rendered as readable text via the browser and is fully accessible, as it doesn't rely on JavaScript or image replacement.

    Code:
    <a href="mailto:me@ex
    ample.com">me@e
    xample.com</a>
    Last edited by rye; Feb 19, 2008 at 13:19. Reason: Obfuscated address no showing correctly
    Web Services Developer - Cornflower Design

  2. #52
    SitePoint Zealot cdndesignz's Avatar
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    OK rye... I'm curious! How do you generate the text for this? I can see you would use some sort of "insert symbol" but I don't see all the regular letters in my selection of those...

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by php_daemon View Post
    ... With a contact form, you have all the control. SPAM began to flood your inbox? Add some SPAM protection to your form. It doesn't have to be captcha. There are much simpler methods that your genuine visitors don't even see. Personally I use captcha only as the last resort, and in fact, I'm yet to use it.
    Could you provide more info about non captcha methods of protecting forms? I have not added captcha to my forms because of usability issues, but would love to find a way to reduce spam from my contact forms.

    Another related question is about allowing people to get a copy of the form they fill out on your website. I know how to do this, but I haven't because I had read somewhere that this feature could be used to send spam to any email addresses that would come from your site. Does anyone have any solutions for this? Thanks!

  4. #54
    SitePoint Evangelist AlexC's Avatar
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    Rye got there first, but;

    If you're based in the UK, law states that you must provide a bare minimum of a contactable email address on an ecommerce website - a contact form alone is not enough.

    source
    Nearly 7 years old!

  5. #55
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    xactly.......I have my own website www.indiafin.com and we uses a different email Id for that purpose.......so u can make a new email ID and use for this purpose..

    George

  6. #56
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    true Dameon.........


    I agree...........but still I don think we can't use email ID on site.....just make ur email ID for only that purpose.

    Rest I totaly agree what dameon said......

    Geroge

  7. #57
    SitePoint Addict BlazeMiskulin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdndesignz View Post
    OK rye... I'm curious! How do you generate the text for this? I can see you would use some sort of "insert symbol" but I don't see all the regular letters in my selection of those...
    http://www.asciitable.com/

    I do this with e-mail addresses I post for clients. Just type that ascii directly into the code.
    M Blaze Miskulin
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    Geek Niche Web Hosting

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdndesignz View Post
    OK rye... I'm curious! How do you generate the text for this? I can see you would use some sort of "insert symbol" but I don't see all the regular letters in my selection of those...
    Well, you can write your own PHP or ASP function to entity encode the email address for you or you can use an online form, such as the one found at http://www.hcidata.info/obfuscate-email-address.htm
    Web Services Developer - Cornflower Design

  9. #59
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Regarding non-captcha methods of protecting web forms - I've seen an increasing number of sites prompting visitors to provide the answer to a simple question. Usually along the lines of...

    To prove that you're human, what is 5 + 8 ?

    The numbers and the operators vary, but it’s a good attempt at reducing the amount of spam you receive, whilst ensuring that you aren’t discriminating against visually impaired visitors (or those, like me, who find CAPTCHA images a real pain to read).
    Web Services Developer - Cornflower Design

  10. #60
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    Cool best email address encoder I have come across

    I found a really decent one at: http://hivelogic.com/enkoder/form
    I am using it a lot, and I don't recieve a single bit of SPAM.

  11. #61
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by otternox View Post
    I found a really decent one at: http://hivelogic.com/enkoder/form
    I am using it a lot, and I don't recieve a single bit of SPAM.
    I'm sure JavaScript methods such as that do a good job at hiding the addresses from the email harvesters but, from a usability and accessibility point of view, I never like the idea of 'hiding' content. In an ideal world, a web page should provide a visitor with all the content and information they need, even when style sheets, images and JavaScript are disabled or unavailable.
    Web Services Developer - Cornflower Design

  12. #62
    SitePoint Addict palgrave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skbecker View Post
    Could you provide more info about non captcha methods of protecting forms?
    As mentioned, a lot of sites are using logic questions. There's a wordpress contact form plugin that uses this method.

    I suppose you could combine it with a graphic and ask the user to type in only the red letters, or every second letter, or something like that.

    I also read an article about using a hidden field that humans don't fill in, but the spam bots do.

  13. #63
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    contact forms are the only way to go
    http://linkageplus.com - PR5 web link directory
    http://webdirectoryforums.com/ - for web directories ONLY

  14. #64
    SitePoint Enthusiast catch's Avatar
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    anyone have any links to a good simple/secure contact form example or tutorial?

  15. #65
    Keep Moving Forward gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Didn't we have this discussion just the other day ??

    Can someone merge the threads, because I made some pretty valid points (though felgall might dispute that) and I'm not in the mood to have the same arguement all over again.




    Trying to fill the unforgiving minute
    with sixty seconds' worth of distance run.

    Update on Sitepoint's Migration to Discourse

  16. #66
    Keep Moving Forward gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Trying to fill the unforgiving minute
    with sixty seconds' worth of distance run.

    Update on Sitepoint's Migration to Discourse

  17. #67
    SitePoint Addict learnerseo's Avatar
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    In my opinion, the ideas of Contact form and email encoding together might add upto lesser number of spams.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by JazKillingJoke View Post
    Hi

    I am working on a little site and on my contact page I have the following:

    Is that safe? Can a spider harvest it and spam me?
    If it's not correct what shall I do?

    Thanks a lot

    Patrick
    Directly displaying your email address on your site or any other place on the web always may cause of spam....its better to have a contact form with human verification instead of of you contact e-mail......

  19. #69
    SitePoint Addict BlazeMiskulin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rye View Post
    Regarding non-captcha methods of protecting web forms - I've seen an increasing number of sites prompting visitors to provide the answer to a simple question. Usually along the lines of...

    To prove that you're human, what is 5 + 8 ?

    The numbers and the operators vary, but itís a good attempt at reducing the amount of spam you receive, whilst ensuring that you arenít discriminating against visually impaired visitors (or those, like me, who find CAPTCHA images a real pain to read).
    KittenAuth
    (With example)

    It does, however, suffer from the problem of those people who don't have access to the images.
    M Blaze Miskulin
    President
    Geek Niche Web Hosting

  20. #70
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazeMiskulin View Post
    KittenAuth
    (With example)

    It does, however, suffer from the problem of those people who don't have access to the images.
    Pardon? When used, the 'simple questions' are always text based and do not feature images. Very user friendly.
    Web Services Developer - Cornflower Design

  21. #71
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Any processing that you use to try to distinguish between real people and spiders suffers from the fact that some real people will also fail the test.
    If you use an image CAPTCHA to try to distinguish then those who are visually deficient in some way may not be able to distinguish the content in the image that they need to type, just being colourblind to specific colours may be enough. Asking a "simple" question such as what is 5+8 discriminates against people with some cognitive deficiencies. Such questions are therefore NOT user friendly to all of your visitors. Perhaps providing an image, an audio file equivalent, and a question will allow real people to select one thhat they can use while computers will fail all three.
    Stephen J Chapman

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    <input name="html5" type="text" required pattern="^$">

  22. #72
    chown linux:users\ /world Hartmann's Avatar
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    Hidden DIVs are a good answer. Put a field in a hidden div and if it gets filled out, it's a bot. ;-)

  23. #73
    SitePoint Wizard Hammer65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmann View Post
    Hidden DIVs are a good answer. Put a field in a hidden div and if it gets filled out, it's a bot. ;-)
    Unless the bot author tailors the bot to your form (which they will do occasionally if they get no results any other way), in which case it will look for that field and not be fooled.
    Visit my blog
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    for technology articles and musings.

  24. #74
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    Hi

    I wrote an article about reducing spam a few years ago (see bottom)
    as getting spam really was wasting my time. I was even getting form
    spam too - so forms are not the answer necessarily.

    I now use a couple of solutions provided by Will Bongrager of Willmaster.com
    1) Anti-spam feedback form (no emails contained on your page)
    2) Master spambot buster (clickable email address accessed via a (free)
    Perl/CGI script) - No longer available it seems. Hmm, shame!
    3) This javascript-generated contact form that resides on one of Will's websites
    that prevents spoofing. (You set the fields you need to be included in the form.)

    Er, I think that's it.

    You can see a couple of examples of the above on this contact page -
    the javascript-generated form and the spambot buster email address.

    Er, yes, I get very little spam - but I still get some spam. (I
    think some spam is generated via email 'in transit' as it were.)

    Anyway, check out Will's article on spam-proofing your site
    (and my anti-spam article too ) - both are helpful and discuss
    the issues at hand. Will's article is better I am shamed to admit lol (though both are a
    year or so out of date :O )

    Hope that helps a bit,
    Steve
    -----
    How to promote your website. Content. Links. Erm, that's it!
    - http://www.squidoo.com/howtopromoteyoursite/

  25. #75
    SitePoint Addict BlazeMiskulin's Avatar
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    Just an observation: Why is the focus of these discussions always "How do I make it hard for bots to contact me" rather than "how do I make it easy for my readers to contact me" ?

    The prevailing choice here seems to be forms. However, how many people have looked at forms from the viewpoint of the average user? I set up a series of contact forms for a company to make it easier for people to contact them. People don't use them as often as they do regular e-mail. We set up a "request for service" form that is an almost exact duplicate of the paper form the clients have been receiving for years. The number of people who called (or e-mailed) and said they "couldn't figure out the form" or "didn't want to use that thing" or "it was too complicated" was quite significant. There was no captcha, no "simple question to prove you're human", just simple entry of information and a "submit" button.


    Personally? I hate contact forms. When I go to a company website and all I find is a contact form, I cringe. I want an address that I can send to. I want a copy in my outbox so I can check back later to see when and how often I've contacted the company.

    And I really hate having to prove I'm human. To me, all these bot-avoidance techniques come across as the site owners saying "If you want my attention, you're going to have to jump some hoops, and if my hoops decide that you're not human enough, too bad."

    But then... I'm an old curmudgeon, so take all this for what it's worth.
    M Blaze Miskulin
    President
    Geek Niche Web Hosting


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