As a business owner, it’s important to get feedback from your clients and customers. Many of us have websites and forums that allow users, registered or not, to place comments and share ideas. Sadly, this is also where spammers lurk. These gnats of the Internet can clog your website, slow down your speed, lower your SEO ranking, and just plain bother people.

Here are a few tips to make spam harder to reach your site and thus cause a majority of spammers to look elsewhere for easier pray (perhaps your competition’s website):

  1. 1.Add a CAPTCHA to your site. “A what?” you say. A CAPTCHA is the box on a website form that shows words and number combinations that are hard for computer programs to read (and more often than not, hard for humans too). These tools slow spammers down and prevent those using computer programs to register for you site/forum. A word of caution though – most people hate CAPTCHA and it’s turned me off from registering for more than one site out of frustration. “Wait, is that a capital i, j, or l?” Here’s a really cool video from the man who used CAPTCHA to digitize books: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ht4qiDRZE8
  2. 2.Extensions! Many CMS (content management systems) and BBS’ have extensions you can install to help ward off spammers. There are both free and paid extensions for Joomla, WordPress, and phpBB for example. Extension can be a quick and easy way to ward off known spammers and likely evil doers. Some extensions will require a user, or potential spambot, to answer a simple math problem such as the one found here( http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/access-a-security/site-security/captcha/11964); while others will check the spammers signature against the spambusted.com spammer database such as this one:http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/access-a-security/site-security/spam-protection/19095
  3. 3.Require moderation. Yes, just like dessert, sometimes your site, or forum, just requires moderation. This isn’t the best way to run a website in my opinion since the goal of any process should be to automate as much as possible, but there does come a time when you need to be the front door bouncer of your website and moderate who gets in.

As with everything, the spammers are one step ahead of technology and as long as they’re getting paid to spam, it will be a problem. By utilizing the above techniques an staying current with the times, you can cut down on frustration, and spam.

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