Posts tagged 'Spam prevention'

Spam Reduction revisited

Posted by on June 6th 2009 in Plugins, Site update

Last month I went into some detail about the measures that I've taken to reduce the amount of comment-spam. Despite all of the protection in force, a few hardy YSMs have managed to get through the barricade. Not many, and not a lot to be worried about.

Nevertheless, there's no harm in strengthening the defences.

The upshot of this is that for the last week or so I've been trying out the WP-SpamFree plugin and I can confirm that it's caught every scrap of spam since installation. It's got a few nice bells and whistles such as logging options and the facility to set up safe contact form (I'm not using this yet), so it's worth a look-see.

Just how long it'll take for the malevolents to figure a way around it remains to be seen, so I'll keep you posted.

Spam Reduction

Posted by on May 5th 2009 in Plugins, Site update

I think it's fair to say that this blog is small change in the grand scheme of things, and as such doesn't attract too much attention from spammers, but I still like to maintain the defences to keep the yoghurt-sucking mutants at bay.

For a while I relied solely on the supplied-as-standard Akismet plugin, which does a fine job of preventing spam from appearing on post/page comments, but it didn't prevent further attempts by the same spammers.

The required prevention was added by the installation of the WP-Ban plugin, into which I put all of the IP addresses of the spams caught by Akismet. This meant that spammers no longer got a repeat chance, as WP-Ban prevented access and reduced the throughput into Akismet. The only hassle there is that the IP addresses have to be cut&pasted manually, which is a PITA. If only somebody could produce a bit of code that would allow these two plugins to talk to each other, life would be a tad easier. At about the same time, I installed the Simple Trackback Validation plugin, which is fairly self-explanatory.

That setup worked fine for many months, but just into the New Year I started to get a higher incidence of spam, so I looked at further lines of defence. As the majority of the spam was aimed at some older popular posts, the first thing that I did was to automatically close comments on posts that are over 150 days old, using the options in admin > settings > discussion > other comment settings. This cut down the spam even further, and I thought that I had installed enough protection. Spam-rates were down to about 15 a day, which was manageable.

Then a friend called me and said that he thought that a lot of his spam was coming in from sites that were scraping his content and displaying it in frames, and he was wondering if I was experiencing the same. To be fair, I had no idea what he was on about, but I thought I'd see if a preventative measure would make any difference, so I installed the No More Frames plugin to see if it had any effect. That was back in mid-March.

Today I had a look at Akismet Stats to see what the score is. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the spam-count since mid-March was down to just one a day at the most, with many days being spam-free. I like that!

Here's the spam-graph (click the pic for a larger version):

Spam-stats screenshot from Akismet


Of course, there'e always a downside to these things. In this case, I now have precious little new material to add to my "Spam: choice cuts" page. Never mind, eh?

Blog Widget by LinkWithin