Whether you are running a personal website, an online store, or a blog, spam is something that you often have to deal with. Spam can not only be annoying, but it can also lead to security breaches and other types of malicious activity, which can damage your reputation and cost you money.
These spam bots and automated systems often use sophisticated techniques to bypass security measures and flood your website with unwanted messages.
Since most spam is automated, it can be difficult to prevent and detect. However, there are a few things you can do to protect your website from unwanted visitors and reduce the amount of spam that reaches your email or comments section.
1. Install reCAPTCHA
Preventing spam from reaching your website entirely is nearly impossible, but a tool like reCAPTCHA can help. This free service from Google requires users to complete a CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) before submitting a form or comment on your website.
It involves completing a challenge, such as clicking on images that match the description given, before the form or comment is submitted. Easy to set up and free to use, it adds an extra layer of protection by ensuring that only humans can submit content.
2. Create a honeypot
Luring spammers with a honeypot is one of the easiest ways to keep them away from your website. A honeypot involves adding an invisible form field that should remain empty when submitting.
Spammers often use automated bots to submit forms, and these bots will generally fill in every field. If a honeypot is filled out, the form submission can be flagged as spam and blocked.
3. Hide email addresses
Practical measures like hiding or removing your email address can help prevent spammers from harvesting it. There are various ways to do this, such as using a contact form, displaying the address in an image rather than text, or linking it to a text like “email us.”
Hiding your email also helps protect against phishing scams and malicious emails that could contain viruses or malware.
4. Block certain countries
Hackers and spammers come from all over the world, but some countries are more prone to malicious activity than others.
If you find that a particular region is sending an unusually high amount of spam your way, it may be beneficial to block them from accessing your website altogether, especially if they are not a target audience for your business.
Most hosting companies will allow you to block certain countries using plugins, so take advantage of this security measure if needed.
5. Make your domain private
Numerous spam bots crawl the web in search of vulnerable websites. A simple way to reduce the chances of being targeted is to make your domain private, which means that your domain name and email address will not be listed in public databases.
Switching to a private domain is easy and can be done in just a few minutes through your domain registrar.
6. Implement a double opt-in form
Filling out forms and leaving comments can be a great way for visitors to engage with your website, but it also provides an opportunity for spammers. To reduce the risk of receiving automated submissions, you can set up a double opt-in form.
This type of form requires users to confirm their email address before they are allowed to submit the form or leave a comment, making sure that only real people are sending messages.
Maintaining a spam-free website will keep you secure and prevent malicious activity. Leveraging tools and techniques like reCAPTCHA, honeypots, and double-opt-in forms can help you protect your website from spammers and bots, so you can focus on providing a better user experience for your visitors.
At Begin B, we take website security seriously, providing our customers with the best security measures to protect their websites from spam and malicious activity. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you keep your website safe!