While technological advancement has brought multiple benefits to users, it also poses a considerable in terms of online security. This stands to reason, especially when you consider the accessibility of contemporary technology and how powerful it can be in the hands of malevolent cyber thieves.

In many instances, opportunistic individuals who aim to steal either your money or identity use similar online techniques that are most commonly referred to as spamming. Email spamming is the most common online technique, as cyber criminals often assume false identities and narratives to access recipient’s details and bank account information.

How to Deal with Spam on your Blog

There is a wide diversity of spam on the Internet, however, with social media profiles and blogs also susceptible to low quality or malicious content. Even online gaming is being targeted through forums and chat channels, while more sophisticated cyber thieves are active in driving in-game purchases. Blog owners need to be particularly cautious, as malicious comments or low quality content can damage the integrity of your website and wider brand. With this in mind, you will need to develop a suitable strategy for identifying, controlling and eliminating spam. Consider the following steps towards achieving this: –

  1. Have a Clear Understanding of Spam and its Multiple Forms

The issue blog owners have is that spam can take many forms, from poorly constructed and overly promotional content to comments, pingbacks and trackbacks. The latter are automated and manual processes for identifying links within your blog, and all of these forums can be corrupted by spam. With Google taking an increasingly aggressive approach to web spam and altering its algorithms accordingly, it is crucial that you regulate all forums for communication on your blog and review them methodically. You will also need to apply various methodologies for inspecting content, as while trackbacks and pingbacks can often be assessed simply by checking the link that they originate from blog posts and comments also need to be considered in line with their tone and relevance to the site. All of the published copy and outbound URL’s on your blog should share a common theme, and anything that departs from this may be quickly identified as spam.

  1. Remove Automation and Take Control of your Blog

Whether you have endured a bad experience with spam or are simply trying to be proactive as a way of avoiding it in the future, it is important that you adopt a manual approach towards managing your blog. You can turn off trackbacks and pingbacks, for example, as these features are less purposeful if you intend to take a more hands-on approach towards regulating content. You should also commit to moderating comments for first-time authors, as this provides you and established bloggers to review the feedback that is being left on their work and decide whether or not they are constructive. In terms of content, you should also refrain from enabling user-generated content. These types of site are a breeding ground for spam and can become difficult to control or manage over a prolonged period of time.

  1. Use Plugins and Third-party Systems as Part of a Sustainable Strategy

While it may be practical to manually manage your blog for a predetermined period of time, the time and effort involved makes it an inadequate long-term strategy. It is far more sensible to embrace helpful third-party systems and plugins and utilize these to combat spam more efficiently going forward. Disqus, Livefyre and Facebook provide prominent examples, as they offer features such as multiple comment moderators and require users to log in a provide contact details before publishing. Although this may impact on the loading speed of your blog, it is important to measure this against the benefits before making an informed decision. In terms of plugins, these are particularly helpful at identifying spam and highlighting repeat offenders. Akismet is a particularly productive plugin for this purpose, as it is free for personal blog users and automatically blacklists suspect comments or email addresses.

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