Where there is good, there is bad. The Internet can be used as a good example of such a saying. Unsolicited and unwanted advertising commonly known as spam continues to annoy and obstruct just about anyone enjoyment of accessing and using the Internet. And in absolute worst case scenarios large volumes of spam can even lead a website or e-mail address to crash if it proves to be too heavy of a load.
To make matters worse, spammers and spam bots are entirely more sophisticated than they were five years ago. That means that even though most websites and e-mails come well equipped with spam detectors, spammers who are quite savvy and have the skill, technology, and determination to infiltrate and infect a website with irritating pop-up ads and fake links that can disorient and frustrate any user.
Fortunately there are things you can do to minimize the damage brought on by spam. Here are four ways to help protect your website and prevent any major spam attacks from occurring and crashing your site.
First, install CAPTCHA on your website forms to thwart the spammer bots. CAPTCHA, which stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart,” requires people to type in a randomized code in order to submit an online form. The randomized code is often a little distorted, squiggly, or otherwise hard, but not impossible to read. Spam bots, which are automated and preferred by most spammers, can’t decipher the randomized code and therefore can’t interfere with that website.
Second do not put your e-mail address on your website. This by itself will save you from large amounts of spam.
However, the decision isn’t always an easy one to make as you still want your customers to e-mail you with questions, feedback, or complaints, keeping the lines of communication open. If you decide to still use an e-mail address, which is recommended that you do, install PrivateDaddy. This free, open-source software conceals your e-mail address from spam bots all the while still making it available and visible to people. Some web platforms, such as WordPress, even come with a plugin you can install to make things easier for you.
Third, turn off comments on your blog. Once again this makes for a difficult decision to take, however like your e-mail it minimizes the risk for spam attacks. If however you have a very active group of readers who regularly comment and provide insightful feedback to your posts then the value of their comments will certainly outweigh the nuisance of any spam bot or ad that comes up. If on the other hand your posts don’t generate much comments or discussion and only have random replies every now and then, chances are that’s just spam. So go ahead and deactivate the comments section relieving you of unwanted spam.
Finally unsubscribe from what you don’t read. When you subscribe to a newsletter, blog, or other form of online communications, you give that business or organization permission to contact you through e-mail. You may not want to receive what they send you, but technically it isn’t spam. They can and will keep sending you e-mails until you ask them to stop.
You should also take the necessary precautions to avoid spam. It will certainly pay off in the long-run. Just remain alert and act swiftly to crush any sort of spam that tries to creep onto your website and irritate you and your visitors.