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Spambots - Hiding Email Addresses with Unicode

Thousands of small business webmasters briefly lose their domain names at expiration, due to a simple lack of understanding about the roles of three key players in the drama: domain name registrars, web hosts and internet service providers. Fortunately for most, they learn quickly how to save their web site from oblivion by using the 30 day redemption period for expired domain names enforced by ICANN. One simple solution is to extend domain registration for the maximum ten years. The other solution is to treat domain registrar data as the critical business element it is.

Search the WHOIS database to see who your Registrar is on your business domain! Transfer your domain name to take advantage of our lower prices.

I Can't Remember Where I Purchased My Domain Name!

It wasn't until my third client had called asking how to regain control of her domain name that I realized that it was a common problem for small business webmasters to forget where they had registered their domains. WHOIS my registrar? Why didn't I get an email about renewal? Why did my site stop working today?

People rarely realize how important it is to keep their domain registrar notified of changes to their email address and and other contact information. The registrar will send renewal notifications to the email address last on file. For most domain owners, the only time they think about contacting a registrar is the day they reserve their domain name. If they move to a new city and get a new internet service provider, it doesn't occur to them that the old email address will change and that meeans that the registrar can no longer contact them through the previous address, or phone or fax as each of them change and we rarely notify the controller of our domain of those changes.

Sometimes the first indication a business owner will have that there is a problem is the day their web site stops working. If they failed to notify their domain registrar of changed email address, they may never have received their domain renewal notice. Since many registrars honor a 30 day "redemption period" allowing expired domains to be redeemed, it may be possible to save the registration within 30 days following expiration by contacting registrars during 30 day domain redemption periods.

The following URL leads to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (AKA ICANN) discussing the grace period and redemption period rules it enforces.


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Author: Richard Lowe, Jr.
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In many instances you will want to put your email address on your website, even if you provide a form as a contact method. This is useful because it increases the number of ways that someone can contact you. Why is that important? Because presumably if you have a website you are attempting to communicate with the world - and communication goes both ways. If you have a commercial site then the answer should be obvious - someone may want to purchase something.

Another reason to put an email address directly on your web page is for people to request information via autoresponder. These allow your visitors to click a simple mailto link and get your promotional materials or articles in their email inbox.

The problem with directly including your email addresses on your page is spam harvesters. These a programs created by scum and run by ignorant or unethical fools. What they do is search through the internet, looking at web sites and pages for email addresses to add to those million email address collections that you see advertised (mostly in spam) all over the place.

There is really no ironclad way to prevent these bottom-feeders from scanning your web site for email addresses. There are a number of techniques, however, to make it a little more difficult for them.

One of these is to code your email addresses in something called Unicode. This is a "language" for encoding special characters on web pages. All modern browsers support Unicode as it's primary intention is to allow languages all over the planet to be represented.

For example, the following email address:


will be shown in Unicode as:


As you can see from the table below, using Unicode characters is simple. Just substitute the Unicode sequence in the table for the corresponding character. Then use all of those sequences wherever you want to put that email address.

@ @ E E M M U U c  c k k s s
. . F F N N V V d d l l t t
- - G G O O W W e e m m u u
_ _ H H P P X X f f n n v v
A A I I Q Q Y Y g g o o w w
B B J J R R Z Z h h p p x x
C C K K S S a a i i q q y y
D D L L T T b b j j r r z z
I suppose it is inevitable that the scum spammers will eventually make their spam robots smart enough to understand these codes. Until then, however, it is a reasonably effective technique for reducing spam in your inbox.

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Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at http://www.internet-tips.net - Visit our website any time to readover 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.

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