Testing the Security of Your Website – Part 2

Publishing Emails

You should not publish email addresses on your website, as spammers run programs that sweep the web looking for email addresses to build a database to send spam or sell said database to other spammers. This kind of program looks specifically for the HTML code “mailto:,” meaning clickable email addresses are more prone to be collected by spammers.

If you really need to publish an email address on your website, do not make it clickable. You should also replace the “at” and “dot” symbols for something else, such as “[at]” and “[dot].” So, an email address such as “name@yourwebsite.com” would be published as “name [at] yourwebsite [dot] com. ”

If you need users to contact you or your team, create a contact form, which hides email addresses and provides a protection against spam – if the form is built right, which is our next topic.

Also, you should not create obvious emails addresses, such as sales@yoursite.com, contact@yoursite.com.br, support@yoursite.com etcetera. Even if these emails are not publicly exposed, spamming software tries to send spam to this kind of email, and you will get spam on these accounts even if you never published them anywhere.

Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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