Spam or junk email is the bane of all internet users. There may be no way to eliminate email spam completely, but there are ways to prevent it.
I have met some people who outright avoid using email because spam is too much for them to deal with. However, if you’re running a business (or even a hobby/community project online) an email address is essential! Email also enables communication outside of your working hours, or when you otherwise can’t answer the phone.
There are a few ways to protect your email address to prevent spam. You could use a contact form, which doesn’t display your email address on the page. Or you could use coding to hide your address and have the “human” perform an action that a robot cannot do.
What is Scr.im and how does it work?
Scr.im is a very clever web-based application that hides your email address from spam harvesters. For a human to see your email address, they would have to perform an action a robot cannot do; The website visitor clicks a link, then clicks the correct scrambled letters to reveal the protected email address.
Does it really prevent email spam?
Since using Scr.im I have noticed a reduction in junk email. The times where I’ve seen the biggest influx of spam email is when I’ve joined email newsletters. (To get around that, I’ve set aside a separate email account for signing up to newsletters – Just because there’s occasionally something I want from those emails.)
Why aren’t more people using Scr.im?
Unfortunately, Scr.im’s biggest drawback is in its mechanism to reveal the hidden email address: Its method isn’t friendly towards internet users with impaired vision. If you do want to go ahead and use this, please ensure you have other methods to allow people to contact you.
If you’re interested in learning how to make contact forms accessible (with HTML), here’s an article that may help: Accessible Forms – HTML Dog.