Getting spam from your own email address to yourself? Learn how to filter it out on CPanel

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Recently I've been getting spam sent from my own email address to my own email address, with the subject line Contact Form Submission from My  Site, or Contact Form Submission from (insert Michael Kors or any other brand name here). These were robot generated, dropping into my inbox at a rate of one every couple of minutes. Annoying? Immensely. My first instinct was to check the back end of my website using FTP to check that it hadn't been hacked. All was clear. I use a Mac, and did check that my machine hadn't been vulnerable to any little nasties who'd slipped in under the radar. I host my own site and my client sites on platforms which use the excellent CPanel as a means for managing website software, spam fighting, email addresses and much more. Read More

Fighting your forms spam

Posted by | Services, Websites | No Comments
CAPTCHAHaving forms on your site instead of email as a means of contact is a great way of minimising junk email - we know spammers love to get their hands on email addresses. Forms are susceptible to spambots, however; you will have noticed most sites now use a form of "CAPTCHA", where you, the user, have to type in words or numbers displayed before you submit the form. CAPTCHA stops spambots. CAPTCHA relies on you, the human, seeing an image with the letters and numbers embedded in it, often distorted to make it harder for spambots to analyse. If you leave the CAPTCHA field blank, your form cannot be submitted. Spambots can't 'read' CAPTCHA images. Many of the forms on our client WordPress sites use the excellent Contact Form 7 plugin to easily build the form, together with Really Simple CAPTCHA, from the same developer, to add that anti-spam layer of security. Really Simple Captcha IS really simple - four letters or numbers that your readers have to type into the box; however, it works effectively. We have been using it on our site and a number of client sites for ages. While there are other form builder plugins out there Contact Form 7 is easy to use for people who don't have programming experience. If you're a small business owner running a non-IT business, you don't have the time or need to learn to program fiddly forms. We've chosen an easy and effective method for you to create new forms and edit existing ones. If you are one of our clients and still getting spam from your forms, contact us and we'll look into the issue and fix it for you.  
Spam - universally disliked.

Plugins to minimise your comment spam

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Spam - universally disliked.We all hate spam - the electronic kind, that is, although I haven't heard of anyone except tv presenter James May who likes the tinned stuff! Spammers are sophisticated and relentless, and use 'spambots' - automatic spamming - to leave nonsense comments on your website or contact form data. Typically you receive notification of comments and forms via email, and who needs more junk email?  Thankfully there are measures you can take to keep these pests at bay. Mortein for the Internet. With WordPress' modular construction, we use Plugins to combat spam (as well as add some amazing functionality to sites). One of the most popular for killing off spam is Akismet, which is free for personal sites or via a donation should you wish, and via a monthly billing system for high-traffic, commercial or money-making sites. It's very thorough - it stops 99% of spam comments making it to your inbox. Akismet comes bundled with WordPress even though it's a third party application. It is THAT effective. We've been using it until recently. However... I've recently discovered that Akismet uses its own server to process data. What's the problem with that? Well, as far as your readers are concerned, their data is being sent to a third party server, including their IP address. This could raise privacy issues and potentially make some of your readers annoyed with you. We are currently trialling Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin on most of our client sites as a result of a successful trial on this site. It has a growing reputation, and works on the client side, not the server side. In other words it sits on your website and does it work, not on a third party server. People leaving comments have to simply tick a box to prove they're human and not a spambot. Because of the coding behind the plugin, the tickable box is invisible to spambots. So - no tick, no submit comment. For you, the user, it's easy to configure; if you wish you can simply install it and not touch a single option. It's free to use - which is often something our small business clients take into consideration. We will be trialling AntiSpamBee next on this site and will roll out to interested clients in the new year if we like it and think it's as good as its reputation. Again, it's a free plugin. It also sits on the client side and doesn't use any third party servers to block spam. Mollom is a big player in the anti-spam stakes, and offers a free version as well as a paid one. The downside with the free version is that you must wear the Mollom logo on your website. Paid plans start from 30 Euros a month, so depending on the rise and fall of the Australian dollar, this could either be a cheap or expensive option for a small business owner. Another possible point of contention is that data is sent to Mollom's servers; there's that third party issue again. If you'd like to try any of these spam-fighting heroes on your site, contact us and it shall be done.