SPAM: unsolicited or undesired electronic messages. Spammers create bots as a common method to automatically find web forms and emails to post or email unsolicited messages and advertisement links.
If you have a website with online forms (i.e. blog comment forms, contact forms, or registration forms), then I imagine you see your fair share of spam. Unless you have found a way to block these attacks, it is very likely that many of your blog comments are spam. If you have your email notifications turned on for comments, then you see all this spam in your email inbox as well.
How Big of a Problem is Spam?
According to a Cyberoam report in 2014, there are an average
of 54 billion spam messages sent every day.
Not to worry. The fight against spam is not lost. There are a few simple steps you can take that will go a long way in eliminating most, if not all, spam generated from your website.
SPAM BLOCKERS: A spam blocker is software or a plug-in that, when applied to your website, will incorporate rules for blocking spam. The author of the spam blocker uses varied methods to monitor the Internet and maintain a list of know spam practices and offenders. That knowledge is then applied through software technology on your website to block spam attempts.
For Wordpress, a free plug-in that works well is Antispam Bee. I have used it with great success on dozens of websites. If you do not have a Wordpress website, contact your website provider to see what options they can suggest for blocking spam.
GOOGLE reCAPTCHA: In days past, ‘CAPTCHA’ was a popular solution to block forms and comment spam. Typically, it was a simple test designed for humans to pass and bots to fail. Maybe you had to type in a displayed word or solve a simple math equation. However, CAPTCHA has lost much of its effectiveness due to increased bot intelligence. So, Goggle has now introduced ‘reCAPTCHA’ which is a new generation that boasts, “Easy on Humans, Hard on Bots.” Best of all it is a free service! Google’s latest version is invisible reCAPTCHA that does not present any human verification visually.
There are two steps to setting-up Google reCAPTCHA. You need to create a public and private key on Google, and then add those keys in the appropriate place on your website. Once applied to your website forms, reCAPTCHA will detect and block most spam attempts.
Current websites and form builders will have the functions built in. All you need to do is copy and paste the reCAPTCHA keys into the designated fields, and add the reCAPTCHA choice to each form you build.
THERE ARE MANY OPTIONS
Since there are so many variations of websites and web building platforms, I can’t possibly cover them all here. If adding a spam blocker or reCAPTCHA is not an obvious process for you, then you should be able to get help from your web host. In any case it should not be too complicated of a process.
Please keep in mind that there are many options for fighting spam. Some free and some paid. What I am suggesting here are two very popular, simple, and free options. However, do your own research to find what will work best for your needs.
If you are unsure how to proceed, please feel free to contact me. I am more than happy to talk it through with you and help you identify a good solution for fighting spam.