The Internet is an ever-changing system of networks, protocols and technologies. Yet among all these variables, there is one constant: spammers are looking to take advantage of website vulnerabilities for their own gain. Think it can’t happen to your company? You’re wrong. Every day, spammers attack B2B companies large and small, public and private, to steal valuable information, leave behind their own content or make it impossible for your customers to interact with your site. But just because an attack is inevitable doesn’t mean you have to make it easy for would-be spammers. Here are four things you can do to protect your site:
1. Protect your web forms from spam attacks
Web forms are the most sought-after site content for spammers. Protect your forms by setting up human verification methods and interaction/knowledge-based tests such as dynamic CAPTCHAs or Are You a Human? It’s also a good idea to avoid having forms on your site that upload files directly to your database. If you have a form on your site that transfers data, either set up a mailto link that emails the form to a specified recipient or ensure your site has an SSL certificate in place.
2. Protect your posts from spam attacks
Along with human verification methods, posting security can be improved by adding an automatic spam filter and/or a spam word filter. One filters out any IP addresses flagged as spam, while the other weeds out any posts that contain a word from a defined list. You can also enable a time-based filter that stops users from posting if they have already posted within a specific timeframe.
3. Block spam IP addresses
Over time, you may notice some suspicious referring IP addresses coming into your site, mostly from out of the country. If this happens, it’s a good idea to do some research to make sure they’re not an actual overseas customer or lead. Once you’ve determined you’re dealing with a spammer, you can block them from accessing the site by denying their IP address in the .htaccess file of your content management system (CMS).
4. Monitor for spam attacks
The best weapon in the war against spam is keeping an eye on your site. Spammers will always be looking for a new shortcut around whatever security measures you have in place. Regular monitoring of your site’s CMS and analytics and moderation of comments, posts and other activity will make it easier for you to recognize when something doesn’t seem right, so you can solve the problem before any major damage is done.
This may seem overwhelming, and quite frankly it can be. The good news is you don’t have to do it alone. Give us a call—as your growth partner, web development and the maintenance that comes with it are just a few of the services we offer.