If you are like most business owners, you simply don’t have enough time in the day to filter through spammy emails to find legitimate form submissions from your website. The truth of the matter is that while 100% of spammy form submissions cannot be stopped there are measures that can be taken to reduce them dramatically. In this post we will touch base on a few methods that you can use in combatting spam from form submissions and what you need to know to help slow them down.
Why does spam happen?
When you have a website that becomes visible to Google and the world wide web, it’s a double edge sword, because not only is your website now visible to your ideal target audience but in turn it becomes visible to spammers and hackers as well. Trust me when I say that these spammers have nothing better to do with their time than to make our lives miserable.
What is a spam bot?
Spam bots are computer programs that are written and programmed to surf the web and spread spam across the internet. They often seek out your contact information via your website or seek out contact forms and automatically fill out the information. They typically have fake or stolen email and social media accounts and they use these methods to spread viruses, spammy sales pitches or even use these programs to insert something called injection code or spyware onto your website and computer via a link that you might (but shouldn’t) click from their submission or email. In short, until you combat this problem, simply delete them and don’t click any links within them. They may even comment on a blog post on your website with something like “great blog post! Click here to make money” and it’s a link to a spammy website selling fake hats. IF you happen to allow commenting on your website blog posts; word of advice, make sure that they MUST be approved by an admin FIRST and never automatically added to your website.
Humans rather than spambots can also do the exact same thing, only much slower, but the thing about humans is that they cannot be stopped quite as easily. While the bots can be a bit easier to stop.
Taking action against spammers
You can install certain plugins and code from third party tools that help reduce spam commenting and form submissions. Here are a few of our top picks!
- Captcha: Is a fraud detection test that you can add to websites contact form that basically helps tell humans and bots apart. The captcha program will let a human through but not a bot. This comes in handy to help reduce the amount of spam submissions come through a contact form via spam bots. Captcha is a free tool, you can register a website for it here: https://www.google.com/recaptcha/
- Honeypot: Honeypot is a program that is utilized on contact forms to help weed out the bots with a hidden/fake field that IF it’s filled out, then it means it’s a bot and its automatically blocked from being submitted. This field is hidden from humans, so they will never see it. If we developed a website for you and you have a contact form then its already in place.
- AKISMET: Used by over 10 million websites Akismet helps stop spam in its tracks. Akismet filters out comment, form, and text spam with 99.99% accuracy. The Akismet program will filter spam comments and contact form submissions on your website using anti-spam algorithms. Every time a user posts a comment or tries to submit a form with malicious content, Akismet examines it based on its database and if the algorithm identifies a comment or submission as spam, it will be removed from your website atomically. Akismet costs approximately $5 per year. We give this plugin two thumbs up, you can get your account here: https://akismet.com/pricing/
- Country Blocking: This comes in handy for those of us that only want to target the USA, with the advanced country blocking tools offered by the Wordfence security plugin you can make your website invisible to any country you choose. This will help eliminate a great deal of spam. If I have developed a website for you, then you already have the basic version of Wordfence installed on your website, but you can get the Premium version of Wordfence here: https://www.wordfence.com/products/wordfence-premium/ The Premium version costs $119 a year.
Please contact us today for more information. Let us help you unleash the full potential of your website without so much spam, enhance user engagement, and drive your business forward.
Your Page Today LLC specializes in custom website design, custom website development, search engine optimization, monthly or weekly blog writing services, content management solutions, and ongoing maintenance and support such as website security and data backups. Our company began its journey as an owner-operated web Development Company in 2001. Back when websites were just that, web pages. With well over 20 years of hands-on experience in the world of website design and development, we have the expertise to not only get your website up and running but get it visible to those ideal prospects who ARE your target audience.