Taking Out The Garbage (Blog Spam) On Your Site

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We’ve talked about the importance of having a blog. If you are in business, it is essential to communicate with your customers and prospects. On the personal side, a blog allows your friends and family to stay up-to-date with your life (without an inbox full of e-mails and attachments).

Either way, one of the best ways to keep in touch is through the “comments” section of your blog. The problem is, comments are also a perfect place for SPAMMERS to do their dirty work. They often leave links to inappropriate Web sites, unsolicited advertisements, or otherwise undesirable comments. And since a blog is inherently personal, you don’t want those things attached to your name.

A few simple techniques can preserve all that is good with the comment section while still eliminating all of the drawbacks.

Here’s how to keep unwanted comments off of your blog:

Consider going private. If you have a personal blog with limited viewers, it’s not a bad idea to host a private blog. You can invite friends and family to your blog and exclude everyone else. If your friends and family are leaving SPAM in the comments section ... well, you have bigger issues to deal with.

Moderate comments. Most blog platforms allow you to moderate your comments before they are posted. While this may take a bit of your time, it will definitely save you from unwanted public comments. It’s a good idea to tell your readers what types of comments will get the ax, lest they feel you are unfair. Some common ground rules include deleting posts that are too long, contain vulgarities, use personal attacks, or include broken links.

Use a filter service. WordPress users can use a plug-in called Akismet, one of the most reliable SPAM filters available. All new comments, trackbacks, and pingbacks that come to your site have to filter through Akismet, a service that performs hundreds of tests to determine if the comment should be tagged as SPAM. Other services, such as Defensio, will perform similar functions.

In the end, the best defense is vigilance. If you receive a SPAM comment, delete it. Even the best filters may occasionally let an unwanted comment through. If you are actively engaged with your blog comments (which is the whole point of having a blog), you will be fine.

For help in setting up a blog or installing security measures, call Computer Problem Specialists at (928) 468-0000.

Go out there and tell the world your story ... just make sure nobody else is using your space for inappropriate content. There is already plenty of that to go around. Your blog will be a breath of fresh air for us all.

Daniel Taft is the senior network administrator and member/owner of Computer Problem Specialists, LLC with a degree in applied computer science. His career spans more than 20 years.

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