How to protect your website from spam
Just recently, a client’s site set off some spam alerts. Obviously, this is something that’s pertinent that it be resolved, and be done so immediately. If you don’t remove spam from your site as soon as possible, readers and subscribers will start to drop off and your site will most likely be flagged as spam or infected in search engine results.
If you don’t pay for a service (Jetpack’s premium VaultPress feature is one service option), then you need to be diligent about keeping track of your site’s security. These preventative steps include (click on the links for details and how-tos):
- Making sure you have chosen a secure login and password, and changing it occasionally (consider activating Jetpack’s two-step authentication system for easy and extra security),
- Having Akismet installed so that most of the spam is filtered out,
- Backing up your WordPress site on a regular basis,
- Updating your WordPress version, themes and plugins when those updates are available,
- Going through the comments section and marking those questionable posts from “readers” as spam, and
- Monitoring your blog through a site spam checker (Sucuri does a basic scan for free, at sitecheck.sucuri.net).
- Feel free to add to my list below in the comments!
So what did I do? To resolve the spam on the above-mentioned site, I first went over to Sucuri and did a scan. And yes; spam alerts showed up, particularly in the projected spam category.
Next, I went through and manually removed all of the comments on her site that looked even remotely like spam — with junky links in the comments, or even the spam-looking ones listed as the commentator’s website. (When commenting on a WordPress site, fill-in fields include name, email and website.) Another check through Sucuri, and just this simple task eliminated all of the spam warnings.
I also installed the Wordfence Security plugin to help with any future spam and to provide email warnings. And Akismet should be one of those first plugins you install to your new WordPress site!
If your site had been marked by Google or other search engines as having spam and malware on it, request a malware review to have the warning label removed on search result pages. Also, read up on Google’s guidelines for preventing malware infections on your site.
Do you have any other tips for combating spam on WordPress? Please share them!
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