Spam is a major concern for every WordPress blog, and usually doesn’t arrive in delicious “Jalapeno” flavor in a toasted corn tortilla.
Spam is nasty and relentless. In fact, I have a blog that has never allowed user comments, and it still gets dozens of spam comments every day!
Anyway, you don’t have to pay to protect yourself from the mindless robots that want to destroy your peace of mind, (I’m rtt talking about Fox News anchors!) so here are a few of the best free anti-spam plugins for blogs:
No serious post about blocking comment spam on WordPress sites is going to neglect Akismet. It comes standard on new installations of WordPress, and is used by millions of WordPress users; from beginner to advanced.
Features of Akismet:
Automatically checks and filters every blog comment
View every comment’s status history to see which were “spammed” by a moderator, or put in the “spam” folder automatically
URL’s are shown to reveal hidden or disguised links
See the number of comments approved by each user
Optional “discard” feature that sends obvious spam right to hell, without even saving it.
Akismet claims to stop an average of over 7 million spam comments an hour these days, which is pretty impressive.
Akismet Plugin: To Free, or Not to Free?
For non-commercial blogs, you can “name your own price” when you sign up for Akismet.
Just like any site that asks for a donation, people don’t usually pay, so let’s call that their free version. For commercial sites, they have plans starting at $5 a month with more features like online backup of your WordPress site included.
Regardless of which plan you go with, you’ll need to register on their site and get an Akismet API key to activate the plugin.
*Warning: If you try to put too many blogs under one free key, you’ll get flagged, and asked to pay!
Just like the others, SpamShield is an anti-spam plugin that blocks comment spam, trackback spam, and spam in your contact and other forms.
A WordPress Spam Filter with No CAPTCHAS
People can get annoyed when you ask them to read and retype those sometimes unintelligible characters called, “CAPTCHAS” to prove you aren’t an evil spam robot.
The problem? It’s not user-friendly, and I can’t tell what those characters are half the time. When I get an error, it makes me wish i never even tried to comment.
How the SpamShield Filters Works
SpamShield recognizes that spam comes at you from both robots and humans. The plugin works like a firewall, blocking the robot spam, then identifying the spam sent by evil humans with an algorithmic layer consisting of over 100 filters.
This filter works quietly in the background, so most of the time you won’t even have to think about the junk that’s being thrown at your blog. It deletes spam instantly instead of adding it to the comments queue, which wastes time and space.
Without thousands of spam comments in your WordPress database, your blog won’t be slowed down.
Trackback Validation and Spam Filtering
SpamShield’s trackback filter compares the client IP address of the incoming trackback against the IP address of where the link is supposedly originating. If they don’t match, it’s instantly zapped as spam.
Free Spam Filter: Personal or Commercial WP Sites
This plugin is free, and if you like it, you’re welcome to make a donation. See site for WordPress requirements and more info.
Another easy to install, maintenance free plugin to block spam is “Zero Spam.” They promise to “make blocking spam a cinch” and a spam-free site with no CAPTCHAS for users to type in to prove they arent a robot.
Here are some great features of the plugin:
No CAPTCHA for users to type in
No spam comment moderation queue
Gravity Form, BuddyPress, and Contact Form 7 support
Automatically blocks spammy IP addresses
Optional comment / trackback logging in case you really care who’s spamming you
Although this is a relatively new plugin, I see nothing but praise for it online, and on WordPress.org, there are still no negative reviews. (Out of 40 reviews) It’s developed by an impressive team of WordPress developers, so let’s assume they’ll continue to update and offer plugin support for some time.
Anti-Spam Plugin by CleanTalk
Another “install it and forget about it” free spam-blocking plugin with no CAPTCHA to consider that they bill as, “maximum protection against spam bots.” Not only does the filter stop new spam comments, registrations, and contact emails, but you can also check existing comments to quickly find and delete spam comments that are on your site.
Contact form 7, Formidable Forms, JetPack contact form, Gravity Forms, and WooCommerce Review forms, as well as custom contact forms in WordPress
They also offer weekly reports, technical support, and a free mobile app to control the anti-spam filter for your website(s)
Need to remove existing WordPress Comment spam?
Most of these anti-spam plugins were designed to filter incoming spam, but what if you have 1500 spammy comments sitting in the queue? This isn’t good for your database, and might even affect the performance of your website.
There are some spam removal plugins that specialize in cleaning out your queue so you don’t have to waste your time moderating a huge number of comments.
Tips for Online Shopping: So, what can you do right now to stay safe online and avoid computer viruses and malware? Since the story broke about how up to 100 million people’s credit card information was stolen, there is renewed interest in online security. If it can happen to top retailers, surely we’re at risk too.
Here’s a video (under 2 minutes) with tips for not becoming a victim of viruses when you shop online;
Here’s what you can do to stay safe when shopping online:
First, make sure your web browser is up to date. Old browsers can be hacked into more easily, and aren’t up with the latest security threats
Watch the display URL in your browser; whenever you buy something online, you’ll want to see an https:// before the site name. This means that any info that you send will be encrypted before it’s sent because that site has an SSL certificate
A green bar on the web address means that the site has been verified to be safe; it may also accompany the “Norton Secured Seal” which shows you that Norton, the leading name in computer antivirus and security online, has verified the site
You don’t even need Norton software(click for a coupon for up to a $50 discount on Norton Security) or McAfee software (click for a 50% off coupon!) to have a fighting chance against viruses if you take precaution online. Also, remember to keep up with credit card and bank statements, as your first red flag may be unwanted charges.
Here is a list of sites that have been kind enough to link to 0Spam.com. If you would like to link to 0Spam.com, please use the URL www.0spam.com. If you prefer to use a logo, you may use this one below, or another one on this page.
Spam: How to Fight it – Elsop’s Anti-Spam Page.
Many useful anti-spam tips and information, including filtering software and how to hide your E-mail from spammers.
Monitors IPs for being listed on blocklists.
Anti spam service for webmasters.
Anti-Spam Information in Russian.
Information We Collect
0Spam.com does not collect personally identifiable information from users who simply visit our website. If a user registers for a 0Spam.com account, they should provide specific information about their E-mail account(s) in order to use our service. Providing such information is entirely voluntary. If a user signs up for the 0Spam.com service and decides to upgrade their account to paid status, our payment processor requires that the user provide the necessary information in order to receive payment. We use this information solely to provide the user with service and it will not be given, sold, or bartered to any third party. Upon account cancellation, information about the user is deleted.
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0Spam.com uses many methods of ensuring the data and information passed to and from our website remain secure. Such security methods employed by 0Spam.com are the usage of a 128-bit security certificate to encrypt login information and information sent to an from the user and their Administration Page on our website when they are logged in. We also run security-checking software on our servers that notifies us if any security issues exist. To minimize security risk, we do not store paid users billing information on our servers.
Links to external websites such as norton.com may exist on the 0Spam.com website and we are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such websites.
Should you have any questions or comments about our privacy statement, you may contact us here.
Thought it was just Yahoo, Hotmail, and GMail that provide free E-mail accounts? Below is a list of 1634 domains that provide or provided in the past free E-mail addresses. Using this list may help software developers fight spam.