Fighting spam is an essential part of managing your website. Spam hurts your brand’s professional image and can even be used to steal your customer email list. Finding a solution to spam that balances ease of access for real users while barring the gates to robots has gotten easier in recent years with improvements to spam filters. Let’s look at three types of spam and ways to keep them in check.
Most professional websites include a contact email to offer customers a direct line of communication with you. Unfortunately, it also gives spambots a way to spam others using your email address. The simplest way to eliminate this problem is to keep your website email address free and use a contact form.
Contact Form Spam
Contact form spam is one of the biggest time-drains while managing your website. Unless you stop it in its tracks, you must sift through all the submissions to weed it out. Contact form spam is when automated computer programs send false information to your contact form or email signup. The goal of these programs is to take over your site and server. Sometimes they even steal your email address and email list and use them to send out spam emails.
Simple Ways to Fight Comment Spam
- ReCAPTCHA is one of the most common ways to fight form spam. There are several different versions of reCAPTCHA. The original CAPTCHA was a frustrating string of text that real humans got wrong as often as they got it right, so Google created a second version—reCAPTCHA.
- reCAPTCHA v2 is just a checkbox that lets the program know you are human when you click on it. There is also a version where you click on a grid, checking the pictures that have cars or busses or traffic lights in them (whatever the program chooses).
- reCAPTCHA v3 is an invisible system that tracks your behavior behind the scenes, detecting any suspicious behavior such as bypassing the rest of the site and going directly to the contact form. This can prevent legitimate visitors, however.
- Custom CAPTCHA asks your visitors to solve a simple math question.
- The Honeypot Method is invisible to humans, but to bots, it shows an extra form field
- Block copy and paste so that human spammers can’t quickly paste information into your forms. Companies often hire these human spammers to bypass the usual anti-spam measures and link back to the company to give them a backlink and up their SEO.
- Use WordPress plugins like Jetpack, Akisment, Antipam Bee, and WordPress ZeroSpam. These not only protect your forms but the rest of your site from spam, as well.
Comment spam comes in many forms, and they are almost all embarrassing. They include people posting links to adult sites on your company’s website, customers or trolls writing negative comments about your products or services that sit on your site for a day or two before they are noticed and taken down.
Simple Ways to Fight Comment Spam
- Install the Akismet WordPress Anti-Spam Plugin. Akismet is a high-quality, trusted plugin that automatically checks comment and contact form submissions, filtering any that look like spam. In addition, it includes an easy-to-use dashboard where you can view the filtered submissions and mark any misflagged comments as “not spam.”
- Moderate Comments. Since no plugin is perfect, you mustn’t allow users to publish information to your site without you first clearing it. You can adjust the settings
Professional Web Development by Iceberg Web Design
At Iceberg Web Design, we build websites with anti-spam tactics in mind. For help keeping spammers at bay while getting a website that converts, contact us today!