Spam, Spam, Spam: What can you do?

October 5, 2008

It’s a sad reality these days on the internet, but Spam is everywhere. For most people, it starts in your inbox and ends up a battle on your forums and comment systems on your websites.

We’re not immune from this at Rochen. We have also been trying and testing out various options for our own pre-sales forum. I think it is finally starting to help now though. However, let me try to explain a few things that may help you in your own fight against spam.

First, email. Many of our clients have good success using an email filtering system, such as the one Google offers. This system works by filtering and delivering the email to the normal location (your webserver) where you then access it as usual. Others have found using 3rd party email like Google Apps which allows you to have ‘gmail at your domain’, works for them. Lest I appear to be only plugging Google, there are other systems out there, but IMHO nothing quite as effective as Google’s spam filtering.

All our hosting accounts also come with free spam filtering by Spamassasin. This is yet another option in fighting spam in your Inbox. You have choices, find the one that suits you best, and I’m sure you will feel some satisfaction knowing you’ve helped to clean up your Inbox, and perhaps those of your fellow employees as well.

Second, website/comment spam. I think it goes without saying that *IF* you decide to utilize some kind of comment system on your website you NEED some bot/spam filtering. Some common 3rd party services I’ve used with good results are:

..there are others, but the bottom line is, you must consider things like this when implementing a website these days. On the Joomla! Community and Developer websites we make use of Akismet with excellent results. Manually filtering and approving comments on large sites like these is just not productive.

I have noticed there are many Extensions for Joomla! available to help in the website spam fight, be sure to check them out yourself the Joomla! Extensions site.

Isn’t it intersting how much resources are devoted to things that in the past were a non issue. A similar subject is antivirus, but seeing as I personally only use Mac/Linux that is less of a personal concern.

Well, I hope this information at least proves beneficial to someone. Until next time.

– Brad Baker

Brad Baker has been a member of the Rochen team since early 2003 and is a founding core-team member of the Joomla! Open Source Project. He also blogs here.

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This article was published on October 5, 2008 by Rochen.

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