The problem is that one of the main methods that spammers use to obtain email addresses is to send a robot out to the internet whose primary purpose is to find email addresses. The spambot does this by looking at the HTML coding that the browser uses to show the webpage. It then saves the email address it finds after “mailto:”.

The two most common methods of “hiding” the email address:

  • Munging. In this method, the email address is not put in a link. Rather it is supposedly hidden from the bots by substituting words for various parts of the address. Example: johndoe AT hotmail DOT com
  • Encoding. The simplest way to do this is to use the standard ASCII coding to replace each letter or symbol in the address with its ASCII code. For example, the simple email address a @ would look like: & #97; & #64; & #98; & #46; & #99; & #111; & #109; ( spaces added to prevent your browser from printing the actual letters )

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