These days, it seems like everyone has a blog. While the vast number of blogs on the Internet might seem to lessen the chances that your’s will be the victum of hacking or spamming, the greater quantity of blogs out there only encourages more of these annoying pests to attack.
In the Internet marketing world, spamming has unfortunately become a popular way to get free links, referals, etc. While legitimate Internet marketing firms such as Reciprocal Consulting look down on these sorts of black hat practices, the most annoying thing about these spammers is that some people actually click on these links, hence giving them a reason to continue to do it. If everyone knew how to spot spam and no one ever clicked a spam link, they would probably die out, but unfortunately this is not the case.
So, as long as there will be spammers and hackers, there will also be those who wish to put an end to it, and a lot of these programs are not only free, but coded specifically for your needs. The best example is a self-hosted WordPress blog. Due to ever growing popularity, the WordPress blog has become a prime target for spammers, both human and robot controlled, but by the same token, so has the number of anti-spam WordPress plug-ins increased. There are also a few other ways to protect your self hosted WordPress blog.
- Choose your password wisely– it may seem like elementary knowledge but believe it or not, many people don’t know what makes a password good. The first step is to choose something that is easy to remember, or something that you can write somewhere you will always be able to look it up if you forget what it is. Worst case scenario, you can always have the password sent to your email address, but that should only be the last resort. I personally have a password that includes numbers and letters, both lower and upper-case. The further your password is from a coherent English word or phrase, the better, which is why the combination of numbers and letter is best.
- Check your settings– The WordPress self hosted blog has a lot of built in features to help protect your blog, many of which can be found in the settings. Many times, an effort to allow more user interaction via comments on a blog will result in more spam, so what I have found to be the best settings for comments is allowing anyone to post, but first requiring myself or another admin to approve the comment. Once a comment is approved for a user, then comments from that user no longer require approval. This way, anyone who’s posted before can feel more welcome posting, which could increase visitor loyalty. There are also a number of great plug-ins available on the WordPress.com site which can help you deal with spam and security. These are conveniently organized by category, so performing a search for “anti-spam” or “security” should get you a plug-in that works the way you want it to.
- Watch Those Links– WordPress blogs have a handy feature on the dashboard that tells you who is linking to you. This is a great way to network, but also a good way to see when people are linking to you, even if you don’t want them to. Should you encounter a website that is saying bad things aboout you, or one with a large readership that might send unwanted traffic your way, you can easily see this and send a kind email over to ask the administrator at the other site to remove the link.
There are plenty of more advanced tactics to protecting your blog, but these are the most basic, and believe it or not, the ones most often overlooked.