Obfuscate Mail-Address and keep Usability

Today a friend pointed me to an old Blog-Post that talks about obfuscating mail-addresses.

Cool stuff I thought at once.

Especially simply using the code-direction to obfuscate the mail caught my eye.

But on the second glance, there was one major drawback. Try to bring such an eMail-address to your mail-client by copy and pasting. The nice and shiny address foo@example.com suddenly transforms into an ugly moc.elpmaxe@oof.

But hey, the user wants to click onto the mail-address anyway. So no Problem there. Simply add a mailto-Link to the obfuscated eMail-address and thats it.

Oh, wait! Major drawback there.

  • Either I have to use the plaintext eMail-Address – Why go through the hassle of obfuscating the address in the first place?
  • Or I need some way of translating the reversed address into a plain one without someone noticing.

So I fiddled around a bit and came up with a simple server-side script that not only allows you to use obfuscated mail-addresses, but also gives you the possibility to add some informations to the mail, the user is about to write.

PHP to the rescue. Assume that the link looks like that


Then you simply need a server side script that look something allong these lines (here an example in PHP)

Thats all!

Nothing more!!

Simply reverse the string and send a Location-Header that instantly redirects the browser to a mailto-URI. That causes the browser to fire up the users default mail-client, create a new Mail, address it to foo@example.com and also set the subject to “my Subject”.

There is a module for ZendFramework2 for that at https://github.com/heiglandreas/OrgHeiglMailproxy

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