Website Spam and How to Get Rid of It
by Charles Pobee-Mensah, Director of Digital Marketing
From time to time, our clients find themselves up to their ears in website spam. This usually takes the form of tens, dozens, or even hundreds of emails related to Russia, porn, Viagra, you name it. Website spam can sometimes be tricky to get rid of. But thankfully, there are common fixes that you can put in place to stop (or prevent) website spam.
Website Spam to Your Email
If you’re getting inundated with spam emails at a work email address, there is a good chance that the problem is stemming from your website. Let’s look at a few issues and their solutions.
If your website has comments turned on, it might be set up to have you moderate the comments that come in. This is an extra layer of security to make sure no one posts anything inappropriate without your permission.
After the comment is submitted, you’ll get an email asking you to check and approve the comment before it’s posted to your site. Even though spammers can’t make it onto your site, they can make it into your inbox this way.
While there are a number of ways to attempt to filter out the bad comments, the easiest solution is to just turn comments off. Unless you’re one of the rare jewelers who have a positive, lively discussion on your website’s blog, it’s probably not worth the hassle.
One thing you don’t want to turn off, however, are forms on your website. These are necessary tools for any jeweler. Spammers can have bots fill out forms on your website over and over again automatically and create a real nightmare for you.
To combat this, we usually use a piece of spam blocking software called Akismet. Spam blocking software isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good. They’re able to identify and keep track of known spammers in order to block them.
Over time it gets continually smarter and better at identifying spam. It can also be implemented for comment spam if you need to keep your comments turned on on your website.
Email Address Spam
Sometimes the spam comes directly to your work email address instead of passing through your website. This situation is tricker, because you really don’t know whether the source of the spam was your website at all.
Oftentimes your email provider can filter these messages into your spam email folder for you without you having to take any extra steps. That’s why spammers like going through forms and comments on your site. If the email is being sent to you by your website, your email provider won’t want to put the message into the spam folder.
There are precautions you can take to make it less likely that your website will contribute to spam coming to your email address.
First, you can keep your email address off of the website entirely and only use website forms. This is one less way for spammers and internet bots to get access to your email address.
If that’s not an option, you can rewrite your email address without the “@”. This keeps many bots from understanding it as an email address and can keep it from getting in their hands in the first place. Instead of writing your email address like “email@example.com” you can write it like this “johndo [at] example.com”. Humans intuitively understand what you mean, but a bot will not.
If you’re struggling with website spam, don’t let it go on forever. You don’t need to let the spammers win this game. There are ways to fight back and reclaim your inbox.
Are you looking for an agency that can help you keep your inbox clean? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.