Is Email Harvesting no longer an issue?

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?


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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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?)

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.

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


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


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

That’s what I do, seems to work well