Protect Your Email Address From Spam: No one likes to receive spam. For today’s post we wanted to collect some ideas and techniques that will help you protect your email address from spam on WordPress.
Protect Your Email Address From Spam
How many times have you wanted to protect your email address from spam? Surely many many times. If you receive dozens (if not hundreds!) Of spam messages at the email address you published on your WordPress site, here is the solution for you.
Unfortunately, when you publish your email address on the web, it can happen to be victims of the so-called email harvesting; I will explain to you better what it is in the following paragraphs.
Why protect your email address from spam
Spam is a malicious technique that consists of sending unsolicited emails with the aim of deceiving the recipient. Sometimes they are harmless, it is simple advertising, but at other times they are real scams.
Protecting your email address from spam means taking steps to prevent it from being subject to email harvesting. This English term describes the techniques used by spammers (both manual and automatic) to collect large volumes of email addresses and create lists with them that are then used to send spam. In some cases, however, these lists are resold.
In some states, for example in the United States and Australia, doing email harvesting with automated tools to send commercial communications is illegal.
There are several ways to do email harvesting. The most common is the use of programs, or bots, which scan all the pages of a website in search of email addresses. That is, they look for pieces of text in which the snail appears and determine if it is an e-mail address.
To protect your email address from spam on WordPress, you will not need to completely delete your address from the site, but you will have to make sure that it is no longer traceable or recognizable by bots.
Methods to protect your email address from spam
Make your email address unrecognizable
The easiest and fastest way to protect your email address from spam is to make it unrecognizable to bots. What you will need to do is simply replace the at sign with a word or other symbols. In fact, the snail is the symbol that is immediately identified to determine if an email address is present.
So instead of writing firstname.lastname@example.org you should write something like this: info (at sign) example.com.
You can freely choose the combination that you think is most intuitive, the important thing is that it doesn’t contain the snail!
Obviously, by implementing this preventive measure, you can see that your users are able to understand that they need to replace the word ‘snail’, or any other symbol/word you decide to use, with the correct snail symbol. However, this technique is increasingly common and usually recognized by most users without problems.
Use an ad-hoc plugin
Using WordPress, you are lucky enough to be able to protect your email address from spam with specially developed plugins for this.
To date, the best plugin I found to protect email addresses on WordPress is Email Address Encoder. This tool finds all the email addresses published on your website and replaces them with a code that “obscures” them from bots but makes them readable on the page.
It is a fairly light, fast and effective plugin. However, it is always an additional plugin that you should install on your site; if you already have a dozen other tools installed I suggest you use one of the alternative solutions.
Replace the text with an image
Another very common technique you can use to protect your email address from spam is to replace the text with an image. That is, instead of typing email@example.com within the WordPress text editor, you should insert an image that represents your email address.
This method has the disadvantage that the image may not appear on the screen of users who have disabled the display of images; however, this is a rather rare eventuality. Furthermore, you will need to find a way to insert the image that is harmonious with the rest of the page.
Encrypt your email address
You can also add features to the generated link, such as a different anchor text (in the Link Text field), or enter the subject of the email that will be sent. You can even customize the link with some CSS.
Once the code is generated, what you need to do is copy it and paste it into the text editor (not the visual one!), In the position where you want your email address to appear.
If you go back to the visual editor you won’t see anything, but when you click Preview (or if you publish the page) your email address will be displayed on the web page.
Use a contact form
The best way to protect your email address from spam is obviously to fix it at the root, removing your email address from the site!
Instead of displaying your email address, you could put a contact form on your “Contacts” page, which might even be more convenient for your users.
Many WordPress themes have native features to insert contact forms; if your theme does not have this feature or if it is too limited, you can use a plugin like Contact Form 7.
If you choose to use a contact form, make sure you activate Akismet and, if necessary, also a captcha, to prevent spam sent through the contact form.