Antispam for Sites: how to Protect Yourself from Bots in Comments?
Spammers are like cockroaches. Luckily, they have vulnerabilities, too – the cloud Anti-Spam service!
All sites suffer from spam bots, with no exception. Shady ads in comments threaten the site’s credibility and scare users away. Void profiles distort the real figures in online stores and mess up performance. If you can’t relate to these, then:
- You don’t have a site. So why are you reading this?
- No one is visiting your site. First of all, you need to solve this problem.
- You do not allow users to sign in, post comments and reviews. Not a great idea, though.
Why Should You Allow Users to Post Comments?
All site owners tried to disable comments at least once. But it’s not a great idea. If you don’t communicate with users, soon enough you’ll lose your community.
The community is a group of active loyal users. They are your best friends. They post, discuss, help newbies, share knowledge and opinions, and so on. The discussion thread in comments is your way back to win the audience, increase traffic, and extend the lifecycle of the content.
User engagement makes the site more popular. However, it comes with a price: spammers inevitably appear in the ‘crowded’ places. They turn even the coziest blog into the trash. Soon, the blog becomes disgusting to look at, and even more disgusting to visit.
So how can you block spam without blocking comments and reviews?
1. Hire a Moderator
You can hire a professional who would look after your site, monitor new comments and reviews, remove spam, and ban spammers.
- Pros: high accuracy. A person can track not only spam but ‘trolls’ that provoke flames and violate rules.
- Cons: your moderator needs a salary. Besides, the moderator needs to sleep, but spammers don’t sleep. It means you’ll have to hire a few moderators to work in shifts.
2. Install a Standalone Anti-Spam App
You can install a standalone antispam app on your server. But it will need the initial setup and periodic updates.
- Pros: the program works 24/7 and doesn’t get tired or lazy.
- Cons: An anti-spam robot can miss spam or ban innocent people. It can’t detect implicit abusive comments: flames, trolling and distribution of illegal information. The accuracy of the program and the server load depend on developer skills.
3. Use the Cloud Anti-Spam Service
The cloud anti-spam is the most advanced protection. You install the plugin, and it checks comments and registrations automatically. It also blocks spammers without interfering with regular users. For example, you can use AntiSpam Pro. It’s a cloud-based anti-spam service for WordPress users for $15 a year with a free 14-day trial period.
Pros: it is invisible to users, has an easy setup and doesn’t require manual updates. Its cost is way cheaper than other protection methods. Moreover, it checks not only comments but all possible forms as well. Messages go through a three-step verification:
- Match with the spam database that updates regularly.
- Check by a neural network.
- Filter old comments posted before the plugin was installed.
Cons: cloud-based anti-spam services don’t have cons of standalone apps. But there are still chances of false triggering, compared to a human moderator. However, you will spend more money on the moderator’s salary.
How Cloud AntiSpam Pro Works
Here’s an example of a cloud anti-spam service advantage over the standalone app. Imagine an entrance to a popular nightclub. There is security at the front door that lets established clients and regular visitors in. The security guy should be sure that the evening would go smoothly, with no incidents, and no one would cause a scene or put up a fight. If the security guy sees someone suspicious, his colleagues in other clubs in the neighborhood will know all about it: how this person looks like, what he is wearing, where he came from, and even what he was carrying. Now the suspicious person won’t get a chance to get in.
AntiSpam PRO works the same way: a single system protects more than 100 thousand sites. Once a spammer gets into one site, the system blocks his access to all other sites. The process is fully automated; no manual updates of blacklists is needed.
But sometimes the security guy can’t recognize a troublemaker as they usually look normal and act normal until they get a shot or two… So what to do in this case?
Here comes a self-learning neural network. It double-checks the messages. Artificial intelligence replaces the human moderator and filters spam in complex cases.
The greatest advantage of the cloud service is that it works on the background and doesn’t bother users.
We all know what a captcha is. Whether you want to post a comment or do something else, you are asked to enter a barely readable set of letters or numbers from a picture, select all squares with buses, traffic lights, whatever. Pretty annoying, isn’t it? All you want to do is to close the page and leave the site for good. And many users actually do this. Captcha reduces the engagement and loyalty of the community.
AntiSpam Pro works invisibly. Unlike captcha, AntiSpam Pro works correctly with disabled JS and cookies. No confirmation forms or other annoying and time-consuming actions. Less load on the site and easy setup.
Other useful AntiSpam Pro features:
- Check existing users and comments. If there are many comments and users on your site, AntiSpam Pro can check them all and put things in order.
- A handy WordPress plugin. Download the free AntiSpam plugin from the WordPress repository and start working. If you want extended features, feel free to upgrade to the Pro version.
- Free trial period to test the service capabilities and understand whether AntiSpam Pro is what you are looking for or not.
Spam can be defeated. Test AntiSpam Pro and see for yourself.