Imagine the situation: you open your website statistics and see the growth of referral traffic. You may think, there are some triggering external links so hundreds of people come to the site. However, the analysis shows that 90% of referral traffic comes from some dubious resources. Moreover, sloppy comments in the style of “I recently downloaded something cool and free here” daily appear under your posts. It looks like spam bots attacking your site. How to protect yourself from them and why to do it?
Why Block and Filter Spammers
Many webmasters set the pre-moderation of comments. This is not enough for three reasons:
1) if spammers are actively visiting your site, it distorts the analytical data. Several hundreds of spam bots per month make damage statistics about referral clicks, as well as behavioral metrics.
2) massive invasions of bots create an extra load on the server. If we are talking about one or two visits per day, most likely you will not notice problems. Otherwise, your real visitors may notice a drop in page loading speed and this is a big problem.
3) Finally, bots may not just leave comments. Some programs look for vulnerabilities in your engine or try to access the server.
How to Protect Yourself from Spambots
You can use three methods of protection against spammers. To increase efficiency, they can be used simultaneously.
This method protects users from spam comments and your site from hacking attempts. Choose specific tools depending on the engine your resource is running on. To report IP address you simply have to visit the official website page https://cleantalk.org/blacklists/report-ip and create an account. The rest will be done automatically.
Set up Google Analytics Filters
This method solves the only problem: protects statistics from distortion. At the same time, spambots continue attacking your site, leaving comments, creating a load on the server and, possibly, trying to access resource management. So, use the built-in filter to block unwanted IP addresses.
Block Spambots with .htaccess File
This is the most radical way to deal with spammers and any other unwanted visitors. By setting up the .htaccess file, you prohibit users coming from the IP addresses you specify from entering the site. The main advantage of this method is that you protect the site from hacking attempts, the server from the unnecessary load, users from spam, and statistics from distortion.
However, blocking in such a way also has disadvantages. First of all, spammers can easily change IP addresses. Secondly, you can close the site for normal visitors who have the same IP address as spammers.
What Tactics to Choose
If spammers annoy you, fight them with the help of Clean Talk. It will block most automatic messages. To combat manual spam comments, you could also use pre-moderation. To clear statistics — set up filters. And if you suspect that malicious users are trying to access your site intentionally, block suspicious IPs using the no-access files.