With the large increase in spam across the internet in recent months, we thought it best to share some of the ways we can all help to reduce the problem.
As a company, we are proactively and consistently making improvements to our systems and processes all the time to avoid the spread of spam and the problem of blacklisting, but we can be even more successful if you as a customer remain vigilant. Browsing and developing websites safely and securely and using email carefully can help us all fight the ongoing battle against spam, and ensures an even better and faster experience for all our customers.
There’s a mountain of spam and security advice available on the internet, and there are countless things you can do to avoid contributing to internet spam, including:
Keeping control over your website
Moderate interaction – If you run a blog, forum, gallery or similar, don’t set it to automatically approve comments – hold them in a moderation queue and delete any spam comments.
Stay up to date – Ensure you’re running the latest versions of all the software you’re using and only download directly from trusted sources (rather than third party sites that may have edited the code). If you have a lot of websites and/or a lot of software, make sure you keep a secure record of what you have installed where so you don’t lose track. If you have the option of subscribing to software updates then do so!
Spring clean – Delete all unused themes, plugins, hacks, add-ons etc., and review them on a regular basis to ensure you only have what you need. Never advertise the versions of scripts and software you’re using anywhere on your website.
Install Google Webmaster Tools – It’s free and helps you keep track of what links and keywords are going out from your website (which can help highlight significant spam problems and sources).
Manage your emails
Don’t post your full email address publicly on the internet in a plain text format, and delete spam emails as and when you receive them. Never reply to spam emails as the spammers will then know that your email account is active.
If you have multiple email addresses, delete any you aren’t using. If you have forwarding set up, especially for multiple accounts, make sure you aren’t just having spam forwarded between accounts.
Use encrypted SSL connections (https:// instead of http://) where possible, including to social network sites such as Twitter and Facebook. You can protect your own site visitors and customers as well by purchasing an SSL certificate for your website.
Be extremely careful when entering passwords in public places, particularly on touch screen phones and tablets where someone can easily look over your shoulder. Don’t stay logged into any accounts on portable devices, and ensure your passwords are as secure as possible by following our top password tips.
Scan your computer regularly using industry-standard and up to date anti-virus and anti-malware programs, and keep on top of technology news, particularly that relating to holes and bugs in scripts.
What steps do you take to combat spam and stay safe online? Let us know in the comments!
(Image credit: soshable.com)