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What is the best way to fight spam?

September 21, 2017
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So you’ve got a great site with all the right plugins, it’s attracting lots of traffic and high conversions. What could possibly go wrong? If you are in that enviable position, you probably know the answer all too well. Inevitably, your site will also attract the wrong kind of attention that comes from spammers, scammers and other undesirables.

This has particularly arisen as an issue with the otherwise excellent Contact Form 7 plugin provided by WordPress. The most popular plugin of its type, it has seen a microcosm of the exact problem we described above – if it’s popular with the masses, it’s popular with the spambots, too. Site owners have seen a huge increase in spam via these forms over the past year or so.
What is the best way to fight spam

Isn’t that what Akismet is for?

If you have a problem concerning a plugin, there is usually another plugin that will solve it, and that is where Akismet comes into play. The service is enormously popular, and by and large, it does an effective job in protecting a wide number of applications from spam.

A key to its strength is the fact that it is so prolific – it gathers data from a vast number of sources, and is constantly updating to make the best and most recent decision on whether or not an incoming message should be treated as spam.

False positives

If you are detecting that there is a “but” on the way, you are not wrong. Akismet definitely has its uses, but one of the biggest criticisms is the higher than average quantity of false positives it produces.

These are the instances when something is wrongly flagged as spam, be it an email message or a comment on a webpage. This can potentially be even more harmful than getting it wrong the other way, if it leads to an ignored or disgruntled customer or potential customer.

Everycloud tech’s spam filtering capability

The issue of false positives is one of the reasons so many business sites instead choose a bespoke product from a supplier like Everycloud tech to take care of their spam filtering needs. The beauty of the kinds of products that everycloudtech supplies is that they can be easily tailored to your specific needs. This is a diametric opposite to the likes of Akismet, where consensus rules and if enough people say something is spam, then it is spam.

The customizability also extends to what is filtered out – for example, you can choose which of those circulars you actually have a use for, and anything that is not needed is left parked in the cloud, where it is not taking up disc space and cluttering your view.

Other options

There are a range of alternative solutions. A popular one is the Contact 7 Honeypot, which sets a trap for spambots with a hidden field – the theory is that they will populate it, while genuine visitors will not.

When it comes down to it, however, there is truth in the saying that you get what you pay for, and to wage the most effective war on spam, you simply cannot beat a bespoke system.

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