(PLUGIN) Spam Protection by SpamShiv
Since the dawn of the Internet, bots have lived amongst us. While you sleep, they are busy crawling their way from page to page, analyzing content in search of valuable information. One type of information they look for is an email address.
What Are Bots Up To?
Bots collect these email addresses for a number of reasons. Often times email addresses are used as usernames to log in to protected websites. With that information, combined with a common password list, bots are halfway to cracking into accounts under your name. Additionally, bots collect email addresses to send you spam or phishing emails. These emails might just serve you ads so that their owners make money, or they might even be posing as a service you use, like PayPal, to trick you into revealing your password.
Hiding Your Email Isn’t the Way
You’re probably starting to rethink the decision to put your email address on your website at this point. Before you pull the trigger on that, remember the reasons why you put it there in the first place. For starters, listing your email address on your website allows your actual visitors to contact you when they need help. Having contact information on your website can also instill credibility to your brand and set your customers minds at ease.
At this point, you’re probably pretty conflicted. You like the benefits of listing your email address, but you hate waking up every day to dozens of spam messages, and you don’t like the idea of someone hacking your facebook account. So what do you do? You might think that if you don’t make your email address into a link that bots won’t find your email address. Sadly, that’s not the case. Bots can find email addresses in plain text as well as in text links.
SpamShiv Makes it Easy
Before you remove your email address from your site, I’d like to introduce you to a plugin we wrote that addresses this specific problem. SpamShiv is a plugin that combs through your pages and replaces email addresses in plain text as well as mailto links with encrypted text when it’s served to your visitor. Human visitors won’t know that anything has been changed, but bots will have a more difficult time detecting the existence of an email address. This is truly the best of both worlds. There’s no settings to fiddle with, so you simply activate SpamShiv and you’ll be good to go. We wrote this plugin to solve a specific need we encountered many years ago, but it still handles the job.