Spam…You probably hate this word, don’t you? If you are a website owner or a blogger you likely have some kind of web forms, and if you do, you know not by hearsay how terrible and annoying spam is. It is a big problem when spammers try to make use of your web forms for their unkind purposes, so the first thing you have to think about is how to prevent spam from spreading and do it in such a way that won’t complicate forms filling for your visitors.
You need to find a perfect balance between comfort for the users and web forms reliability and now we will take a look at 8 efficient ways which will help you to forget about spam attacks once and forever.
Before we get started, it is worth noting that there are 2 types of spam. The first one is spambot which is programmed to abuse all web forms it can reach, leave comments about some product and spread the links. The second type of spam is organized manually by people who were hired to spam targeted sites. It is more difficult to divine their actions because they can get around the defense systems. So, first of all, you need to get a good contact form that will provide all the necessary means to protect your site from spam. Now, let’s get back to it and consider the ways that will enhance the spam protection:
Install CAPTCHA plugin
CAPTCHA is one of the most prevalent and popular ways of spam blocking. This script is designed to generate randomly selectable texts or more complicated expressions which are displayed in such a way that makes it hard to decipher for spambots (in some cases even for humans as well). If the user enters the data correctly he will be able to fill in the form and you won’t be overwhelmed with tons of spam, but do not overdo it with CAPTCHA. Set it on the most significant forms, otherwise, your visitors might be scared away by constant verifications.
Do not use auto-responders
When a user fills in the form he can get an automatically sending Email with words of gratitude for registration or something like that and this is a powerful weapon for spammers. Instead of this you should better reply to everyone personally and disable auto-responders to prevent “over spam”.
“Honey Pot” – a trap for spambot
Limit the login attempts
You can reduce the spam number by installing the Limit Attempts plugin which will allow you to set the number of failed login attempts and block the user’s IP, so you can stop automated scripts and protect your website.
Use test questions
The idea consists in putting a simple question that would be easy to answer for a human, but which will cause problems for the bot. It is usually a simple math problem or a well-known question like “What is the color of the tomato?”. If you get an incorrect answer, you’re probably dealing with a spambot (or a guy, who doesn’t know what a tomato looks like, which is very unlikely), so block the access and stay calm.
Try to embed session tokens
Considering that bots don’t set cookies, you can prevent spam attacks by setting the session tokens. If the session cookie wasn’t set on the form, so only the people will be able to fill it out because most spambots attack the forms directly and this measure will help to get rid of them.
Use special tools like Akismet
Akismet is an efficient tool that will help you to block spam on your forms. Generally, it is very popular among bloggers because the tool is doing its job great when you’re dealing with comment spam, but the other forms can be protected too. The most distinguishing feature of Akismet is its ease of use, so you can set it on and relax while it will defend your forms automatically.
Check your IP filter
When you receive spam you can get the IP addresses from which it was sent. A list of these addresses will help you to monitor and filter the incoming requests so the next time you could deny it and protect your forms from spam attacks.
The spam problem is getting more and more actual for website owners because spam programs are constantly improving and becoming more sophisticated and compound. The most efficient way to struggle with spam is to use different strategies and do not focus on a certain method, but use the advantages of several ones. In this way, you can provide a versatile defense system, which will become an unapproachable wall for spam.