Does your website suffer from considerable volumes of spam? Has this increased recently? If you’ve answered yes, then continue reading to discover how you can fight against spam “bots”.
Incorporating user-submitted content on your website can enhance user engagement but also leave website owners vulnerable to spam attacks. As a business, you shouldn’t spend unprofitable time observing spam notifications when your time is better allocated to handling genuine customer enquiries sent from your website. Whether you have contact forms or a blog comment section, getting spam from your website is never enjoyable.
In the forthcoming weeks, we’ll be addressing a selection of topics encompassing the communication elements of business websites. In today’s Web Wednesdays we present answers for defending your website from spam. Let’s get things started!
Spam Protection Tips:
Technology is regularly evolving, making protection from online spam increasingly more challenging. We have provided a collection of straightforward tips which you can apply to help. These points have been elaborated on further in this article.
- Adding a spam CAPTCHA filter onto your forms.
- Hiding your email address from visitors.
- Manually moderating submitted comments and testimonials submitted by users.
1) Spam CAPTCHA Filter:
The most obvious approach to preventing “bots” from using your contact forms and prevent spam is to implement a CAPTCHA filter. Over the years, there have been many modifications to this solution. You may remember (and still actively see!) a form requesting the user to input the letters and numbers composed in an image. Another solution called “HoneyPot” was frequently employed by web developers, but we have noticed a sharp acceleration in spam from these forms, hinting that bots have evolved to now be able to bypass this method.
Most recently, the most advanced and sophisticated solution to defend your business against spam is to employ Google reCAPTCHA. There are several versions, with the most commonly encountered version being the “I’m not a robot” question, which asks users to carefully choose images (from an assortment of choices) that are applicable to the question that the CAPTCHA challenges you. If you passed the CAPTCHA filter then your email is delivered. If your website contact forms, or any user-submitted form, uses an older CAPTCHA method and doesn’t include a Google reCAPTCHA filter then it’s important to ensure this is added to protect your website from spam. At Success Local, we have been replacing older versions of CAPTCHA with Google reCAPTCHA for clients who have experienced an increase in spam levels.
2) Hiding Your Email Address:
An approach which has divided opinions, but helps prevent spam from being delivered to your business email address, is to conceal your email address from visitors. This is unquestionably one of the last actions to take if you’re receiving spam as displaying your email address to potential customers is an incredible approach to attract additional enquiries from visitors who might prefer to send enquiries using this method rather than using your contact form. Nevertheless, if you’ve been receiving tremendous amounts of spam it would be beneficial to temporarily remove your email address from the view of visitors and monitor how this affects your spam and enquiry levels. It’s certainly a compromise between how troubled you are about receiving spam and how much you value additional customer enquiries.
3) Manual Moderation:
Moderating spam generated from your website may be a daunting process, but disabling specific website features (such as testimonial submit forms or blog comment systems) can discourage visitors from fully engaging with your website. Whether you enable visitors to write testimonials on your website or submit comments on your blog articles, it’s useful to ensure a method of CAPTCHA is implemented onto your forms as discussed above. In addition to this, by applying a moderating system you will ensure any spam which does bypass the spam filter can be successfully moderated before being noticed by your website visitors. This ensures your website doesn’t get overwhelmed with spam comments being displayed which can produce an unpleasant experience for your visitors.
Overall, it can be a challenging task to successfully defend your business from spam enquiries thanks to continually developing technology. It makes previously valid methods now inadequate due to progress “bots” are regularly making. We hope the suggestions covered in this article aid in your battle against spam. If you would like further assistance and advice please do not hesitate to get in touch with Success Local.
Be sure to check out next week’s article revealing the fundamental reasons why a professional email address is essential to your business.