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Why is there a %40 where the @ should be?
September 12, 2001 12:17 PM   Subscribe

FidelDonson's Profile
Name: Fidel Donson
Email: donson%40mail.dk

I am wondering why the @ shows up as a %40 in the user profiles
posted by FidelDonson to Bugs at 12:17 PM (5 comments total)

It's to prevent bots from picking up your email address and sending you spam.
posted by jpoulos at 12:20 PM on September 12, 2001


I run some spam bot diverting mechanisms, so if anyone uses a bot to scrape emails, they should be turned away. But if they don't get turned away, there's no email addresses with an @ symbol in them. Try the link, it should still work for you.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:35 PM on September 12, 2001


Matt, dontcha think that parlor tricks like these are well known by the spammers? It's their "business" to know these things. You know?
posted by fooljay at 1:42 PM on September 15, 2001


Small suggestion:

Ideally you would want to add a random word to the address. Something like this:

Address is spam protected, please remove RANDOM_WORD

Email: user@RANDOM_WORD.mail.com

or

Email: userRANDOM_WORD@mail.com

etc.
posted by skallas at 11:28 PM on September 17, 2001


user@RANDOM_WORD.mail.com is definitely not a good idea. Most of the spam robots are smart enough to realise that host.domain.com doesn't exist. In fact, from what I've been told, most of the software will actually try domain.com in this case.

While I don't really care (my procmail scripts take care of 90% of the spam I get), my favourite email cloaking technique is just to replace the @ with something else. Perhaps a small png/gif that looks like an @, so that no real users are confused, but spam robots won't see it as an email address.

While that means you can't have a mailto: link, and you can't fully cut'n'paste the email address, it seems to be the most fool(robot) proof technique.
posted by Lionfire at 1:15 AM on October 10, 2001


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