Question about Email address harvesting websites

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by HandsOff, Jan 29, 2005.

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  1. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    at http://www.u.arizona.edu/~trw/spam/index.htm

    I found the following excerpts:


    How do spammers get my email address?

    Harvesting Webpages
    that is the purpose of the javascripts on my page is to hide your address from these

    simple little 'bots or spiders that look for anything in the form of foo@example.com or

    in a mailto: URL
    .
    .
    .
    How to hide from email harvesters

    I wrote several little Javascripts which should hide your email address from e-mail

    harvesting programs. I don't know of any that can interpret Javascript. I seriously doubt

    any ever will as interpreting Javascript would be a real drain on resources. However, if

    they ever do I will just have to upgrade this.

    High Threat Environment

    This method for the truly paranoid, converts your email address into a seemingly random

    string of characters using a simple substitution cipher. The link will then be decoded by

    the script into your correct address.
    I found another encryption program written by Jim Tucek. This one uses prime numbers and

    factoring to cipher your address. Much better encryption....

    .
    .
    .
    At this point all I really want to know are two things:

    1) Does every website I go to have access to my Email address? I have a firewall router,

    and I would think that that would obscure it address.

    2) If they do have access, is it really this easy to obscure it?



    Authoritative responses, educated guesses, and lunatic ravings are equally welcome.


    -HandsOff
     
  2. nadirah

    nadirah Registered Member

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    Well if the user gives his/her e-mail address out to the wrong sources he/she is askin' for more spam.
     
  3. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    I thought the author was implying that your address is being harvested without your having submitted anything. Maybe I misunderstood. Did he mean that they harvest the addresses thay you supply via forms and emails? Yes, I would agree you are asking for spam if you hand that information out.

    I actually don't even care about spam, I just believe in privacy on the internet. Someone being able to see all the websites you visit seems dangerously close to being able to regulate what websites you can see. That's one reason I am enraged by the various recording industries lawsuits against potential MP3 downloaders. Their proof was that they went to the users ISP and perused the individuals (private, i thought) internet activity.

    What next? you creditor will go to them and look for proof that you have money?

    Not quite related, but funny, i think, is "I have read and understand..." Certainly you can know if you read it, but what if you only thought you understood? Does that negate the agreement? If it does not, then what difference does it make if you read it or not? Food for thought.


    - HandsOff
     
  4. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    okay, okay, we all understand what is meant. I was just kidding. Don't give me the silent treatment!

    The man constrained by 100,000 EULA's and counting,

    -HandsOff
     
  5. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    Handsoff

    Your email address can be harvested from web pages.
    I use a "throw down" address for pages that aren't encrypted.
    Some web sites won't take a yahoo or gmail address and insist on your "private" address. I don't use those sites.
    My local power utility company recently changed the logon page to an "in the open" format with no encryption. I emailed the site master and complained. I got nowhere.

    I no longer use that page.

    I would suggest using a web based email service for in the open email addresses.
     
  6. Jimbob1989

    Jimbob1989 Registered Member

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    I actually downloaded a program the other day which could extract email addresses from websites and forums to run on my own forum and see what it found and try and patch it up.

    After looking around, I found that this program could be illegally cracked by anyone who is smart enough, not that I did. Also with the use of throw away accounts, anyone can be a spammer.

    Jimbob
     
  7. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Like I was saying, I don't even really care about spam. I suppose I could be tricked into opening something someday, but so far my delete without opening works fine for me. It's not unlike the postal junk mail counterpart. In the end these people have just thrown their money away, because I don't even look at the stuff.

    Ronjor, I think I understand your decision with regard to the power company. I am always dissappointed when some business controls some commodity sufficiently that it feels it can dictate terms and can pretty much ignore their clients. prime examples are phone companies, and cable, and utilities...

    I am just thinking at the moment of a case where I am looking something up, let's say on google, and I click on a couple of links. what do those websites know about me? I would hope the answer would be nothing, but I suspect that is not the case.

    Which brings me to another question. Someone having your IP address, you know xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, would be just as bad as having your email except for theoretically it changes. I know from experience that often they really don't change at all, because frequent use will keep renewing the address. I tried to ask comcast one time what action would cause the IP to change, and his reply was that my IP could change because they don't guarantee it not to. That is what I agreed to when I signed up so that's all I need to know. I kind of felt bad for the guy being in the position of constantly having to answer questions without answering. I was hoping it would be something simple like shutting off the cable modems power for a couple minutes.


    - HandsOff
     
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