Spam. We all know what it is, and we all hate seeing it, whether it’s in our inbox or as a comment on your website’s blog. Today, it’s a daily struggle to keep spammers out of your life, and they’re getting worse – some of them will even send you text messages on your cell phone. Talk about rude!
The good news is as sophisticated as spam is getting, so too are the ways in which you can take out the online “trash” and keep them from cluttering up your blog’s comment section or your e-mail’s inbox. Here’s how to properly identify, monitor, and clean out those spammers.
Common Traits of Spammers
Despite their effort to come across as non-spam related, these are usually the telltale signs of a comment or e-mail address purposely made to annoy you:
- Keyword stuffing, usually within poor grammar and sentence structure
- Comments that have nothing to do with your blog post or content in question
- Comments and e-mails that prompt you to click to other external links (sometimes containing a computer virus)
- Comments suggesting you’ve won a prize in contests you clearly didn’t enter
- Comments that are positive, but pointless
- And more
If you need some more constructive examples of spam comments in particular, there are some great examples you can find that other bloggers have pulled off from WordPress.
How to Monitor Spam
Like we said, for every spam comment or e-mail address that slips through, there is a way to clean it up. While unfortunately the best method doesn’t consist of waving a magic wand to make them go away, these methods are tested, tried, and true.
First, check your e-mail’s hosting. Is it out of date compared to what it used to be? The best hosts will automatically send spam to a specific folder, thus allowing you to filter through and report any e-mail addresses that are legit spammers, or if an e-mail address you trust went into the folder by accident.
Next, check your website. If it’s a WordPress theme, you can check the comments and any e-mails by going to the Comments section on your site’s dashboard. It allows you the power to approve, disapprove, delete, and mark comments as spam.
Finally, ask yourself this #1 question if you’re just not sure about the comment or e-mail address you’re monitoring: is this something I want to have the whole world view when they visit my website? If you think the answer is no, get rid of it.
Tools & Actions that Will Help
If your website is a WordPress one, you’re in luck given how frequently updated the platform is compared to other templates. These are the top plugins you can install that will easily filter out (almost) all of the spam trying to infiltrate your website:
- Anti-Spam Bee
- WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam
- WordPress Zero Spam
- And so many more!
You can find more WordPress plugin lists for spam here, and the forums on WordPress are just as helpful.
When it comes to preventing and cleaning up the spam in your inbox, you can try doing the following:
- Don’t readily give away your e-mail address online. Leave it visible where it matters most, such as on your business’s website or on your social media.
- Make your e-mail address non-scannable. A good example is when leaving a comment on a blog you really like, write out your e-mail in a way to prevent it from being used (for example ‘me (at) Gmail (dot) com’).
- Don’t make your username on social media or public profiles the exact same as your e-mail address.
- Report any spam you find in your inbox. There should always be an option to do so.
If the spam is e-mail related and you just can’t keep them from flooding your inbox, upgrading to a new e-mail hosting service may be the ticket. V3 Media offers just that kind of assistance, and it’s a solid ticket to a more spam-free way of life. Contact us for more information. We’re more than happy to kick those spammers to the curb.