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Email Addresses Behind reCAPTCHA in Public Member Directories
Email Addresses Behind reCAPTCHA in Public Member Directories

Learn why some website visitors must go through reCAPTCHA in order to see email addresses in public member directories.

Pete Zimek, CAE avatar
Written by Pete Zimek, CAE
Updated over a week ago

Preventing Bots with reCaptcha

As long as a member directory is available to the public and you have chosen to show contact information to the public, the data within that directory will be subject to manual harvesting by human beings.

If you open your data up to one anonymous visitor, then you're opening it up to all.

Novi utilizes reCAPTCHA to force non-logged-in website visitors to prove that they are human. We have placed this tool in front of email addresses that otherwise would be visible on the website.

When anonymous visitors click to view an email address within the member directory or within a leadership role, they are shown reCAPTCHA instead of the email address. Once through this gate, we display the email address that they were looking for.

Three things to remember:

  • If members are logged in, then they will not be directed to complete reCAPTCHA in order to see email addresses.

  • Humans can get through reCAPTCHA, and humans can manually scrape your data. If you want 100% coverage, then we suggest that you lock down your member directory to logged-in members.

  • If you are using the member contact form, the email address is never given to the visitor unless the member chooses to email them back (at which point communication is happening fully independent of your website).

User Experience for Non-Logged In Website Visitors

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