Friday, 27 February 2015

Four Ways to Cut Down on Spam

CAPTCHA, which stands for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart," requires people to enter a randomized code in order to submit an online form. The randomized code is often in the form of distorted, wiggly, or otherwise hard (but not impossible) to read lettering. Spam bots - the automatic email generators favored by today's sophisticated spammers - can't read the randomized code so they can't submit the form.

 By itself, this will eliminate a lot of spam. But the decision has to be weighed against with other concerns, such as making it easy for site visitors to contact you. If, like most companies, you decide to include email addresses on your website, install PrivateDaddy. This free, open-source software hides your email address from spam bots while still making it visible to humans. Some web platforms, such as WordPress, even come with a plugin you can install.

·         Turn off comments on your blog
Again, not an easy decision. But like leaving your email address off your website, it can help to reduce spam in the right situations. If you have a very active community of readers who post a lot of legitimate responses, the value of that community will outweigh the inconvenience of any spam that comes through. On the other hand, if you tend to get a small amount of random comments, chances are that many of them will be spam. Turning off comments will eliminate spammers' ability to get through using your blog.

When you subscribe to a newsletter, blog, or other form of online communications, you give that business or organization permission to contact you via email. You may not want to receive what they send you, but technically it isn't spam. So they can - and will - send you stuff until you tell them to stop.


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