Providing contact information on websites is convenient and allows your audience the ability to communicate with your department. But websites also provide spammers a source of e-mail addresses to target. Your department's needs should be evaluated against the pros and cons of the various solutions. A more in-depth discussion of this topic is available to the UCSB community at Web Standards Guide Resources - Email Addresses (login required).
Avoid Displaying Personal Email Addresses
Do not display personal e-mail addresses (e.g., "firstname.lastname@example.org") on web pages. Instead, use contact forms that allow the user to send an e-mail by submitting a form or an e-mail alias that forwards to another account.
Contact Forms and Aliases
A contact form or e-mail alias provides a number of benefits, including:
- Protecting an individual department member's email address from being vulnerable to spam or other unwanted email
- Routing general enquiries to a specific person or multiple people within the department
- Keeping a web site updated. For example, if John Smith leaves his position, the contact form or email alias can be directed to the next person who fills his position