What do you do when a spammer comes to your forum and posts spam?
Most likely you would go ahead and ban that spammerâ€™s id and delete the post/thread. However it is only time before the spammer comes back, with another user id and spams your forum again!
While you can go ahead and ban that spammerâ€™s IP address, most often than not the spammers are using either dynamic IP addresses or a proxy server to hide their identity. Which means IP banning not only doesnâ€™t works, it can even block potential/current members.
With manual targeted spamming gaining momentum, captcha and normal bot prevention techniques are also proving futile, since it is a live person registering with a verifiable email address from a free email service provider.
So what further step can you take to rein in this spam menace?
Blacklist the domains posted by spammers!
This is a potent weapon against targeted spamming. Because the spammer has specifically chosen your forum since it belongs to their/clientâ€™s niche, hence they are more likely to try and spam your forum again. However by blacklisting their domains, their attempt at spamming your forum would be futile. Because their siteâ€™s URL and companyâ€™s name wouldnâ€™t be visible to the users! This way a spammerâ€™s site cannot be listed even in a genuine reply, which means in the long term they would loose business.
This I believe should deliver a strong message to business owners. If they wish to continue running their businesses, they have to stop these underhanded tactics, else not only their domains, but also their reputation would go down the drain!
Here is how you can blacklist a domain if you use vBulletin:
Log into Admin CP – go to vBulletin Options – then go to Censorship Options – ensure Censorship is enabled – scroll down to Censored Words – enter spammerâ€™s domain.
For best results enter both www and non www versions of the domain and also write the domain name without www and TLD extension (donâ€™t do this if itâ€™s a generic word). Voila, now the spammers canâ€™t spam you with the same domain, after this they wouldnâ€™t even be able to mention their companyâ€™s name in a post, let alone post a link!