From emails to web forms on your website, Spam is bombarding your feedback pathways. You may be wondering, what is Spam? The basic definition is junk mail or comments that, in some cases, try to solicit the user to buy products and services, or provide confidential information such as Social Security Numbers, credit card numbers, and passwords to obtain user identities for nefarious purposes.
Popular software, particularly WordPress, has great tools for preventing Spam. These tools can help prevent Spam from appearing on your WordPress website:
The most used Spam prevention plug-in for WordPress users is Akismet, developed by Automattic (parenting company of WordPress). This particular plug-in continuously detects Spam on website forms. The current versions of Akismet are installed by default for WordPress users, but are available for over 20 plug-ins and libraries. A list of these other plug-ins can be found here.
Another reliable anti-Spam plug-in for WordPress users is the Spam Destroyer plug-in. It can be used in conjunction with Akismet for an added layer of protection. It works with gravity forms, comments, and other feedback forms on your website.
Anti-Spam plug-ins are not the only way to help protect against Spam comments and feedback. Other methods also can go a long way. For example, restricting your comment list to a select group of people (members or your own personal list) can help eliminate Spam. Moderating and approving comments before they are posted onto your website can help filter through actual posts and Spam. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with how Spam is presented:
- Generalized or foreign languages
- Misspelled words
- Non-matching material
- Long comments loaded with links
All of these are good indicators of Spam comments.
All the plug-ins in the world won’t be much help if they aren’t updated. Make sure you are updating your plug-ins regularly, keeping up with new features that help prevent Spam from taking over your feedback section.
Do you follow internet blogs and news? Both are helpful tools of knowledge against Spam. Research of known Spam, Spam plug-ins, and potential threats can be effective for protecting your site against Spam. Alert systems, such as AtNetPlus’ alerts on Twitter (for more information, click here ) can also be useful in keeping up-to-date on new threats.
As with many things on the Internet, nothing is perfect. Spam may slip through the cracks of your plug-ins or restricted lists. That’s to be expected. You may not be able to eliminate it completely, but you can dramatically reduce it so it is more manageable. As Spam evolves, plug-ins and prevention techniques will involve with it, which is why updating regularly and keeping up with security trends is so important.
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