E-Mail Munging


NOTE:  The content on this page was originally developed by Doug Schubert, maintainer of the Idaho Boise Mission Alumni Page.

Overview

Munging is changing your email address so that email harvesting programs get a bunch of junk or nothing instead of your actual address. Two different ways of munging will be discussed here.

Most addresses for junk mailings are taken from news groups, but any place with a large number of email address on a single page is a good target, including our alumni addresses. Programs don't actually read the page like we do through a browser, but load the page as text and look for the "mailto:" tag or the "@" that is found in all email address.  Now you could make a different page for each of your alumni, or use something like the database script which does that, but that still doesn't protect every address on your pages.



Type I: Adding Stuff

This is simple to do but requires everyone using it to do some work.

Instead of: username@isp.com

You use: username@-REMOVETHIS-isp.com

This forces the legitimate user to delete the "-REMOVETHIS-" portion of the e-mail address before they actually send their message (and not everyone may realize they need to do this).  A excellent FAQ about this type of munging can be found at: Address Munging FAQ: Spam-Blocking Your Email Address


Type II: Exploiting HTML

This type of munging using HTML tags to replace letter in your email address to protect them.

Instead of: username@isp.com

You use: username@isp.com

Looks the same doesn't it?

Note the difference in the address source below:
Example 1: username@isp.com
Example 2: username@isp.com

They are different in that with the first one, the harvester has your email address. In the second example the harvester gets: username@isp.com  Are you asking what s is? It's an "s" in HTML character code that works fine when you click on it to send email.  But when used by a harvester they get a bounced email message.  Now if they get one of these from every address they take on your page, they most likely will not visit your site again.  It is possible to do this for every letter in your email address but that is too time consuming to do by hand.

Summary

Use the table (right) to see the codes that you can use to "munge" your e-mail address. Only codes that work are displayed including both upper and lower case letters, foreign character, numbers, and various symbols.

You can also open a perl munger converter by clicking on the button below:

HTML Character Codes
!!""##
$$%%&&
''(())
**++,,
--..//
001122
334455
667788
99::&#59;;
&#60;<&#61;=&#62;>
&#63;?&#64;@&#65;A
&#66;B&#67;C&#68;D
&#69;E&#70;F&#71;G
&#72;H&#73;I&#74;J
&#75;K&#76;L&#77;M
&#78;N&#79;O&#80;P
&#81;Q&#82;R&#83;S
&#84;T&#85;U&#86;V
&#87;W&#88;X&#89;Y
&#90;Z&#91;[&#92;\
&#93;]&#94;^&#95;_
&#96;`&#97;a&#98;b
&#99;c&#100;d&#101;e
&#102;f&#103;g&#104;h
&#105;i&#106;j&#107;k
&#108;l&#109;m&#110;n
&#111;o&#112;p&#113;q
&#114;r&#115;s&#116;t
&#117;u&#118;v&#119;w
&#120;x&#121;y&#122;z
&#123;{&#124;|&#125;}
&#126;~&#130;&#131;ƒ
&#132;&#133;&#134;
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&#138;Š&#139;&#140;Œ
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Page Author: Eric Huber - Send Feedback
Last Updated: Thu Sep 5 11:41:23 2002
Visited at least 1 times since Wed Aug 2 10:44:31 2000.