Online security is a hot topic. If you’re running an online blog or a store, make sure you protect your website from unwanted comments, registrations, and spam. I’ve just found a great tool that will help you out – it’s a WordPress plugin called CleanTalk.
How can you find out if your website is being spammed or even hacked? Analytics will help you out – are you getting a lot of sessions from shady referrals like “free-social-buttons”? Make sure you don’t click on those! Some of the websites are created on purpose to randomly “visit” your site, just to get your attention. Clicking back results in downloading viruses or accessing inappropriate pages.
In beginning I used to get a lot of user registrations as well – it’s very flattering but very quickly I discovered that I got more subscriptions to my website than users tracked back in my Analytics – something was wrong. If you encounter the same problem just check through the email addresses or Google them – don’t be surprised to find out that your website has been used on spam campaigns (such as SEO or spam forums). And you thought all those yahoo emails were genuine.
So how to prevent it all? There are few steps to implement right from beginning to avoid spammy traffic:
Filter out spam traffic from your Google Analytics. I’ve written a separate article on this topic and you can find out more here. It’s not a complicated activity but remember – this filters out spam traffic from your Analytics – not your website!
If you’re using WordPress, check your security settings. Make sure you uncheck the setting “Anyone can register” and perhaps ask for a verification if someone wants to leave a comment or moderate it manually. In WordPress settings (Discussion), you can automatically add a comment to SPAM if it contains certain words or links.
Consider buying security packages provided by your hosting company. My hosting offers a number of them – SiteLock (daily malware scan, cross-site scripting scan, SQL-injection scan), backup controls (protect yourself from being hacked and losing data), ServerSide security (protect your mailbox from viruses and malware). They cost as little as $5 a month and it’s a great investment.
If you’re running an online store or a platform which collects important consumer data, you might want to purchase an SSL Certificate. It’s also available at your hosting company.
Consider downloading or buying anti-spam plugins. This is where CleanTalk comes in!
So what does this plugin do? You can scan everything from contact forms, registrations, transactions to widgets on your website. That’s the benefit of CleanTalk – scan either yourself or have it scanned for you.
What I find extremely useful are weekly reports that I get on my email – it shows the amount of spam attacks that are legitimate and those that are not. Clicking on “Dashboard” shows me a more detailed view per day with a log of spam entries.
How did I use it to filter out my spam registrations? Just click “check users” or in WordPress click “Users”>”Check for Spam” and CleanTalk will find them for you. It will ask you to either keep them or delete them – you can also automatically set it on delete.
Does it really work? I tested it simply by using Google – search for one of the email addresses and see what you get. Does the email show up with a title next to it “this IP address has spam activity on X websites”? Or are there no search results coming at all? The second email is probably legitimate.
CleanTalk has many other features that you might want to explore, e.g. no need to use CAPTCHAs or annoying invisible puzzles that sometimes makes you wonder if you’re a robot yourself:) The mobile version is also available on Android and iOS!
Is it for free? Yes, but only for 14 days. What happens after that 14 days? Well you might probably want to buy it – why risk your security? Depending on the amount of domains that you have, the pricing starts from as little as $8 per year (for 1 website). Not bad huh? Check their pricing here.
What are your thoughts on online security? Are you also experiencing problems like dodgy traffic from India or those nasty comments in Chinese in your mailbox? Let me know in the comments below! And please let it be all legit! ;)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]