Frequently Asked Questions related to protecting your e-mail against spam!

What is it all about?

We made this service to protect e-mails against web harvesting, spam. If you don't know how put e-mail on web page, web forum and don't get spam, use our FREE service. You don't need even register.

What to fill in e-mail form?


"Your E-mail(s) or URL"
only one required field, which has to be properly filled. As delimiter you can use for example space or comma. Here you can write any e-mail, you can write more e-mails and also reformat e-mails (test [at] testing [dot] com and so on) plus you can write URL(s). We scan URL(s) and print all e-mails we found on it. URL write with starting "http://" or "www." URL scanning is good for if you want to know if e-mail published on that URL is in safe form. Some bots could find more, than we.

"Font"
select any font of listed fonts. The best is select the same font as you use on your webpage. Default is verdana.

"Font size"
select any size of font from 10 to 20. Default is 12.

"Frame"
select type of frame if you want use frame around the picture. It is also good against OCR programs. 'Random' will put random frame from type1 to type9. Default is no frame.

"Random"
if you afraid that some OCR program will scan your image picture, you can add some random effect. 'Random' will select random effect from type1 to type9. Default is no random effect.

"Preset"
select type of preset you like. We made some presets for you, so you save time with choosing right colors and frames. 'Random' preset will select random preset from type1 to type9. Default is no preset.

"Open in new window"
if you check this, in result HTML code will be added: target="_blank", that means if user click on image picture it gets new window with 2pu.net web page. This is not necessary because we always put referer link on web page. Default is not checked.

"Picture format"
select from 3 popular image formats. It is GIF, PNG and JPG. GIF supports only 256 colors with own palette, support transparent color in every browser. PNG is better than GIF, but its support in Internet Explorer v6.0 and older is limited (problems with transparent color). JPG is good format, but doesn't support transparent colors. Default is GIF.

"Code format"
select output code format. 'HTML' is used in (x)HTML pages, also it is supported in some web forums. 'bbCode' known as Bulletin Board Code is used in: phpBB, vBulettin, Invision Power Board, Fertility Friend Circles, WordPress, myPHPNuke and many other boards on web, just look if board support it. 'ezCode' is used in ezBoards. You can select multiple formats by holding CTRL and click others. Default is HTML.

"No graphics"
we support some e-mail providers with graphics logos, so if you for example type e-mail hosted on gmail.com you get fully graphics picture - you can try that, for example [email protected] But if you don't want use these nice logos, you can check 'No graphics'. When we add new graphics and you didn't check this, it is possible, that your logo will be changed with new graphics. Also when graphics logo is used all others parameters are ignored - so you can't select size, type or color of font and so on. Default is off.

"Select font color"
select font color you like. We made color table (it is JavaScript), so just click on desired color and you get it. If you didn't find color you like, you can write hex RGB (html code) in box, for example '000000' for black, 'FF0000' for red and so on. Default is '000000' (black).

"Select background color"
select background color you like. The table is same as for font color. If you want back transparent color, you can press box in upper-right corner (it is actually gray color). Transparent color is represented as 'transp'. Sometimes is better properly select background color and not have it transparent. Default is 'transp' (transparent).

What is compress URL?

Many users asked for this feature, so we've added it. It simple short HTML (bbCode/ezCode) code, it allows you write your own url (if it is free), so your resulting picture URL could be simple as: 2pu.net/john (write only john) and so on, note it is CASE SENSITIVE. On some web forums is signature limited to 255 characters with this feature you can make signature anyway :) We recommend use this feature only when you really need it.

Is my e-mail address stored at your server?

Yes, it is stored. We think about not storing any mail address in database, but for security and speed it is not possible. Some similar webs claims they are not storing any e-mail, but you can't now. They add email in parameter so it looks like: www.someweb.com/[email protected] (you can actualy do this with our system too, but there is low security: http://www.2pu.net/mail/[email protected]/Arial/20/frame1 + don't forget add verify link: http://www.2pu.net/mail/vrf/[email protected]/Arial/20/frame1 ), or they encode your email with some function (rot13 and so on), but this is unsecure too. Only secure way is store e-mail and have some kind of "password" for every mail. We are using SHA1 (Secure Hash Algorithm) for creating links, it is not possible create mail only from SHA1 hash (it is one way algorithm). SHA1 is free algorithm, so everyone can use it. We will not give your e-mail to anyone else and we also will not send any mails to you. We did this for spam protection.

Can I use your solution, if I have dynamic site?

Yes, you can use this service for blog, forum, guestbook, etc... Only one problem is we must have e-mails in database before showing them (if you don't want use http://www.2pu.net/mail/[email protected]/ 'feature', we also don't recommend that), so here is guide how to do that:

1. you must add e-mail(s) to our database

- we provide method, how you can simple add them - just request URL in this form: http://www.2pu.net/mail/add/[e-mail]/[e-mail]/... so it can look like: http://www.2pu.net/mail/add/[email protected]/[email protected] The output you get is simple XML, you can parse and use everything you need. Also it is possible, that you don't need any output, so just put 'noout' into URL and you get nothing or just change request type to "head"...

2. create HTML code:

if you don't want use XML output you can create links at your side. First, you have to create image link, it is really simple - here is PHP and Perl method, but you will understand this also for other languages: - SHA1 of mail: replace '/' with '_' and remove optional '='

Here is Perl snippet:

use strict;
use warnings;
use LWP::Simple;					# module for http request
use Digest::SHA1 qw(sha1_base64);                       # module for SHA1

my $mail  = '[email protected]';                         # e-mail address
my $host  = 'http://www.2pu.net/';                      # set domain name
head($host . 'mail/add/noout/' . $mail) or warn $!;     # add new mail to db
my $extra = '/georgia-bold/12/bgc-6699ff/fgc-000099';   # add extra parameters
my $sha1  = gen_sha1($mail);                            # generate sha1
my $pic   = $host . 'mail/sha1-' . $sha1 . $extra;      # make picture url
my $vrf   = $host . 'mail/vrf/sha1-' . $sha1 . $extra;  # make verify url

#print HTML code
print '<a href="' . $vrf . '" title="mail"><img src="' . $pic . '" title="mail" alt="mail" border="0" /></a>';

sub gen_sha1 {
   ( my $sha1 = sha1_base64( shift ) ) =~ tr|/|_|;      # get sha1_base64, replace '/' to '_'
   return $sha1;                                        # return sha1, no need to replace '=' to ''
}

Here is PHP snippet:

function gen_sha1($mail) {
    $trans = array('/' => '_', '=' => '');              // transform replace array
    return strtr(base64_encode(pack("H*", sha1($mail))), $trans);
}

function mail_protect($matches) {
	$mail = "$matches[1]@$matches[2]";
	$host = "http://www.2pu.net/";
	/*
	# You should make table, where you store ID, e-mail address, parameters of e-mail;
	# check if you already requested that mail with same parameters, if not make
	# request and _save_ that picture to hdd with ID name, e.g. /web/2pu/0/00/00001.gif. Next, 
	# you can always have that picture from your local, and page will be rendered faster.
	*/
	copy("http://www.2pu.net/mail/add/noout/$mail", "/dev/null");
	$extra = '/courier/14/fgc-000099/nogfx/';     		// add extra parameters
	$sha1 = gen_sha1($mail);                                // generate sha1
	$pic = $host.'mail/sha1-'.$sha1.$extra;                 // make picture url
	$vrf = $host.'mail/vrf/sha1-'.$sha1.$extra;             // make verify url
	return "\"mail\"";
}

$ret = 'we will protect [email protected] address';      	// text with e-mail addresses to protect
//call mail_protect() with matches from simple e-mail regexp
$ret = preg_replace_callback("/([a-z0-9&\-_.][email protected][\w\-]+\.([\w\-\.]+\.)*[\w]{2,6})/i", "mail_protect", $ret);
echo $ret;							// print e-mail protected text


// print HTML CODE
print "<a href=\"$vrf\" title=\"mail\"><img src=\"$pic\" title=\"mail\" alt=\"mail\" border=\"0\" /></a>";

What about having web e-mail form at my site?

We thought it would be nice, that you can add your own web e-mail form at your site. So you can design it by yourself and you can be sure, that any robot will not harvest nor send you e-mail. You can design it in any way, but we request to have link to our site (banner or generated HTML picture code at our site is ok) Here is example:

<html>
<form action="http://www.2pu.net/mail/vrf/sha1-zYCFzfXqaXSfE51BU2m7FJz4O3U/Verdana/"
method="post" name="mailto">
<table>
<tr>
<td>To:</td>
<td><a href="http://www.2pu.net/mail/vrf/sha1-zYCFzfXqaXSfE51BU2m7FJz4O3U/Verdana/" title="mail">
<img src="http://www.2pu.net/mail/sha1-zYCFzfXqaXSfE51BU2m7FJz4O3U/Verdana/"
title="mail" alt="mail" border="0" /></a></td>
</tr><tr>
<td>From:</td>
<td><input type="text" name="from" /></td>
</tr><tr>
<td>Subject:</td>
<td><input type="text" name="subject" /></td>
</tr><tr>
<td>Body:</td>
<td><textarea rows="10" cols="60" name="body"></textarea></td>
</tr><tr>
<td><input type="submit" value="Send!" /></td>
</tr>
</table>
</form>
</html>

What is SPAM?

Maybe you heard some definitions, here is one: Spam is an inappropriate attempt to use a mailing list, or USENET or other networked communications facility as if it was a broadcast medium (which it is not) by sending the same message to a large number of people who didn't ask for it.

Where can I download these scripts?

You can use this service for free, but these scripts are our property and you can't download them anywhere.

Is this service really free?

Yes, it is 100% free. You don't have to pay any fee, or even register to use it. The reason we are able to host it free is that we place an advertisement on pages which generates a small revenue for us. But we will be happy, if you can help:

  • Link to us: put a link to www.2pu.net on your pages
  • Donate via PayPal: you can find link at the left menu
  • Tell to a friend: send to friend URL of this site
  • Write to us: send your comments, questions to our e-mail
  • Use this FREE service :)

How can I protect my Web pages from e-mail address harvesting?

Below is a selection of methods to protect e-mail addresses from harvest scripts:

- Reformat addresses:

The simplest method for hiding e-mail is to write them in form, which is readable by human, but not readable by most harvesting programs. Makes the address unusable without some modification; here are some examples for [email protected]:

test @ testing . com
test at testing dot com
REMOVE_BEFORE_REPLY-test [at] testing [dot] com

and so on...

You can also write only the username part of the address and make a note elsewhere on the page telling people to add the domain to a username to send e-mail. The main drawback to this method is that it renders the address unclickable, forcing the user to take extra steps in order to send e-mail. Therefore, you may wish to add a statement to your page to explain. Here is an example of the kind of wording you might include:

"E-mail addresses on this page are displayed in a manner that will deter automatic address harvesting programs. This step is taken to reduce unsolicited e-mail. We regret any inconvenience caused for our legitimate visitors."

- Substitute ASCII codes in addresses:

This is a method of presenting e-mail addresses by substituting ASCII codes for certain characters in the address, trusting the user's browser to translate the codes back into the correct characters. The format for ASCII codes is the & (ampersand) symbol, followed by the # (pound sign), followed by a number corresponding to the character to be displayed, followed by a ; (semicolon). For example, you could substitute the ASCII code for the @ (at sign), which is 64, and the . (period), which is 46, in an address, like this:

test&#64;testing&#46;com

When you enter the above code in your HTML, it will be rendered by browsers as [email protected], but simple harvesting scripts looking at the source will only see the ASCII codes. Many of current harvesting scripts know this technique, so it is not effective

- Build the mailto: link using JavaScript

These methods use scripts to emulate the function of a mailto: URL, in order to avoid having a complete e-mail address visible on the page. The idea is to create a link on your page that submits the username and domain of the e-mail address to a javascript program that will build the mailto: URL dynamically and return it to the user's browser.

This JavaScript function can also accomplish the obscuring of e-mail addresses:

  <a href='javascript:window.location="mail"+"to:"+"test"+"@"+"testing"+"."+"com";'
  onmouseover='window.status="mail"+"to:"+"test"+"@"+"testing"+"."+"com"; return true;'
  onmouseout='window.status="";return true;'>Click here to send e-mail.</a>
  

The JavaScript function returns a mailto: link to [email protected], but the username and domain appear broken up in the source HTML file, protecting them from harvest scripts. This type of protection is modern one, but we think it is not so secure as people think. There always can be program, which can "convert" any JavaScript code to text.

Note: Using a JavaScript function requires your visitors to have JavaScript enabled in their browsers. You should make a note of this requirement on your page, but many modern browsers support JavaScript.

- Use graphics in displaying addresses

This works well as a companion to the previous methods in order to have a normal-looking, clickable e-mail address displayed on your page as the link to your CGI, JavaScript, or form. However, if your priorities require maximum security over user convenience, you should use this method by itself and instruct users to type the address into their e-mail program to send e-mail. With this method, you create an image of some or all of each address, to reduce address text in your HTML code that could be recognized by a script. The most secure way to implement this would be to represent the entire address with a graphic, like so:

Replacing the entire address requires the most work, as each graphic would have to be unique. But it would also be the most secure, because it would require a harvesting script to have optical character recognition (OCR) or a human operator to harvest the address, if used in conjunction with one of the script methods above.

- Web form

You can create web form for sending e-mails. You ask user for his e-mail address, subject and body. Sender don't see your e-mail address. You can also ask user some questions for preventing any auto-submission robot. If you are administrator or have enough privileges of hosting server, this is not problem, but on many free or even paid hosting you can't create this type of form.

Here is pros(+) and cons(-) of each method:

- Reformat addresses:

+ easy to implement
+ middle protection
- sender have to modify address

- Substitute ASCII codes in addresses:

+ easy to implement
+ clickable form of e-mail
- low protection

- Build the mailto: link using JavaScript

+ easy to implement
+ clickable form
+ middle protection
- browser must support JavaScript

- Use graphics in displaying addresses

+ easy to implement
+ high protection
- sender have to retype address
- sender must see the picture

- Web form

+ high protection
- harder to implement

Why I should use your type of protection?

Good question. There are many types of e-mail protection, each of them has own pros and also cons. We tried to pick up the best side from every type, so we connect these types of protection:
Graphics + web form.

We didn't see any of other service, which support this kind of protection as we offer:

- high protection: you and even any program can't read e-mail adress just from URL link, e-mail has to be rendered, so you can read it. Also for paranoid users we made RANDOM effect, so programs with OCR can't read e-mail from picture:)

- easy to implement: just copy and paste generated code

- support for bbCode, ezCode: you can use our protection on (x)HTML sites and also on forums. We support HTML code, bbCode and ezCode.

- nice design: you can select font color, background color, font type, font size, frame effect, random effect and picture format. Also we made some presets and we support some e-mail providers with nice graphics logo, list of them you can find under FAQ: Which e-mail providers has graphics logos?

- compress URL: if you don't like long URLs like: http://www.2pu.net/mail/sha1-zYCFzfXqaXSfE51BU2m7FJz4O3U/Andalemo/13/fgc-333366/bgc-99ff99/frame1/rnd3/nogfx/mail.png with our compress URL, you can get: http://2pu.net/afU (15% of original) or even better - you can choose you own URL path, for example: http://2pu.net/john

- outhosted web form: when user clicks on e-mail picture he can send to you e-mail via webform on our web. He also get clickable textform of e-mail. Also you can have web form at your site.

- small size: our logos are small, obviously under 1kb, maximum is 3kb.

- support for dynamic site:You can use this also for dynamic sites (guestbooks and so on), where you don't have control about published e-mails

- no registration: You don't need register or signup to use this service

- no fees, free forver: You will never pay a penny for this. This service stay free forever

- we fight against spam!

Which e-mail providers has graphics logos?

We support limited well-known e-mail providers. If you didn't find your provider here, just send us name, link, and optional logo, maybe we add it. List:

  • aol.com
  • atlas.cz
  • atlas.sk
  • att.com
  • bigfoot.com
  • blueyonder.co.uk
  • centrum.cz
  • centrum.sk
  • comcast.net
  • earthlink.net
  • email.cz
  • emal.cz
  • galaway.com
  • gmail.com
  • gmx.net
  • go.com
  • hotmail.com
  • hotpop.com
  • hushmail.com
  • inbox.lv
  • index.hu
  • interia.pl
  • lycos.com
  • mail-box.cz
  • mail.com
  • mail.ru
  • mail2web.com
  • mailbox.hu
  • mailbox.sk
  • miesto.sk
  • msn.com
  • netscape.net
  • orcon.net.nz
  • pobox.sk
  • post.cz
  • post.sk
  • qq.com
  • quick.cz
  • rocketmail.com
  • safe-mail.net
  • sbsglobal.net
  • sciaga.pl
  • seznam.cz
  • stonline.sk
  • szm.com
  • szm.sk
  • tiscali.cz
  • usa.net
  • volny.cz
  • walla.com
  • yahoo.com
  • zoznam.sk

What is e-mail address harvesting?

E-mail address harvesting is proccess, when robot (bot - script, program) collects e-mails from web pages. It uses different techniques to extract e-mails. One of the most common ways spammers collect e-mail addresses is by running automated harvesting scripts that parse Web pages one by one, looking for strings of characters that appear to be e-mail addresses. These programs work automatically and can catch thousands of addresses in a very short time. As a test to see how secure your own address is, go to a search engine such as Google and enter your e-mail address. The number of results you see is at least how many are visible to these harvesting scripts. But these scripts are more "inteligent" than any search engine, they use advanced techniques for extracting. If you'd like to test, if your e-mail is safe, just write URL adress (starting with http:// or www.) into e-mail form and we will show you, what can e-mail harvester extract.

I use your service and I still get spam!

We didn't say, if you will use this service you don't get spam. It is just not possible. If your e-mail address has some spammer it is possible he sells it to another and you always will get more and more spam. The goal of this service is protect your mails at web sites. We can promise you (and you can test it), if you publish email using our protection system no robot can harvest it (only using OCR is possible, but robots don't use this) and you get no spam. But there is another problem - spammers could get your email address from other sources than web. Use our service, antispyware software, antivirus and when you write to e-mail forum set up your address only for that forum conference.

Mail picture is higher than other text! What can I do?

You created mail picture and pasted HTML code. But mail picture mail is higher or under than other text and it not looks good. You can change this behaviour by adding align tag to the img. Now the HTML source looks like: <img src="http...You should add: <img align="absbottom" src="http... Valid alignvalues are: LEFT | RIGHT | TOP | TEXTTOP | MIDDLE | ABSMIDDLE | BOTTOM | ABSBOTTOM | BASELINE. Now everything is OK: mail