Is Email Harvesting no longer an issue?


#1

I’m using the Basically Basic theme, although I think this is true of other themes: My email address is right there in a “mailto” element, for all the world (or at least web scrapers) to see. Yet I haven’t received any spam to that account (knock on wood).

So my question is the title of this post: Is email harvesting no longer an issue?

Thanks.


#2

I don’t worry about it and our business emails that have been like that for years don’t get much spam, I think mostly cause gmail filters it all out before we get it.

I prefer to make it easy for my customers to contact me even if that makes the email scrape-able.


#3

If it’s of concern to you there are JavaScript solutions you can use to hide your email address, but still make it so mailto link works.

Or if you use a free service like Cloudflare to cache and optimize your site, they have a feature that automatically enables this.


#4

Thanks for the link. And it’s not really a concern - I was just surprised that it hasn’t been an issue, and I wanted to see if this is normal or not.


#5

Probably has to do with who you host your email with and how much traffic you get.
I have a site with fairly decent organic traffic and made the mistake of publishing my email address. I got absolutely slammed with spam until I obfuscated it.

Your mileage may vary, especially if your email is going through something like Gmail that has pretty good spam filtering. I was using whatever crappy spam filtering backend Media Temple provided.


#6

Thanks, you’re probably right. I just switched to Rackspace, and so far, so good.

As for traffic, so you’re saying (and I should have thought of this), if I put my email address in a Facebook post (for example), then I’ve significantly increased the chances of getting spammed. That makes sense. (That is what you’re saying, right?)


#7

Yes that’s what I’m saying. In my experience a new site that doesn’t rank for anything wont likely be a target since these spam harvesting bots need a way of “discovering” your site to scrape.

It’s probably similar to comment spam. The higher the incoming traffic, the bigger the target for spam.


#8

Thanks. It sounds obvious now, but sometimes I miss the obvious.


#9

js:

$('a[data-mail]').on('click', function() {
        window.location = 'mailto:' + $(this).data('mail')+'@'+ $(this).data('domain')+'?subject=Contact from website';
});

html

<a data-mail="paul" data-domain="paulwillard.nz" href="#">Send me an Email</a>

That’s what I do, seems to work well