Google Wave emerged from the shadows earlier today, stirring up the entire interweb in the process. While those fortunate enough to receive a Google Wave invite rejoiced, others resorted to buying them from eBay or begging on twitter and message boards. In the process many bid adieu to even the most basic sensibilities like not sharing e-mail addresses publically.
Publically sharing e-mail addresses on micro-blogs, social networks or message boards is equivalent to welcoming spammers with open arms. It’s ridiculously easy for a bot to harvest e-mail addresses shared in plain text. Even using fake [at] emailid [dot] com instead of email@example.com isn’t very helpful since most bots are intelligent enough to recognise such minor modifications.
Thankfully, there is an easy we out. reCaptcha has a little known service called Mailhide. Mailhide basically allows you to input your email address and instantly generate a sharable hyperlink. When other people click on the link your e-mail id will be shared with them, provided they prove themselves as human by passing reCaptcha’s test.
What’s brilliant about this method is that it is hassle-free for both parties. Sharing as well as receiving an e-mail id is extremely simple and fast. So, if you must share your email address publically use reCaptcha to protect it from spam-bots.