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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Outwitting Nitwits

I don't get many spammers, but a few occasionally weasel in and I have to guard myself from committing murder.

Nobody likes spammers, not even their mothers. I'm pretty sure all of them were abandoned at birth and were then raised by nematodes--the parasitic kind found in dung heaps.

I have this blog set with word verification. I know a few people find it annoying, but it's the least intrusive form of stopping the robotic spammers. Unfortunately, it won't stop the human spammers.

To slow them down, this blog also prevents comments from being published without my permission after 24 hours of the post being published. The first 24 hours, anyone can see their post, after that, it needs my permission to continue.

This is helpful because some, I mean spammers usually prey on older posts to hide their links to porn and other dubious undertakings.

On Blogger, you can moderate comments for any amount of time. Find the control under Settings.

I haven't figured out how some of them can get in without being seen by Stat Counter. Those are the most insidious spammers, the kind that can slip in under the radar.

And then when they use a foreign language (that I can't read) I get very suspicious. Just why do they think I'm going to leave up a comment that I can't read?

But here's a tip in case you get such a comment and want to know what it is. If the link is encrypted, that is, it looks like a bunch of nonsense, or is truncated, copy it and put it on your browser. Once it's pasted on the browser, it should show up as the actual link.

Don't click it. Most of the time it will have a word or two telling you it's a sex link or what not. If you click the link, you run the risk of infecting your computer with malware or a tracking cookie from that site.

My recent spammer left a message entirely in Chinese, but no clickable link. I copied the first line of the message and put it into Google. It brought up plenty of entries, including a translation. The translation, it was no surprise, was another sex ad.

Poor nematodes. Maybe we should get together and send them all the junk from our spam email folders so they can find a good sale on viagra or a nice sex toy.

May their hell include partners with no working parts and sex toys with corroded batteries. And spam. Lots and lots of spam.


Sandra said...

Sometimes spammers bury the link in a line of periods. You can find it by letting your mouse hover over the punctuation.

I recommend comment moderation; posts don't show up until I approve them.

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: mouse hover

Good tip, Sandra. Thanks!

Julie said...

I started scratching my legs as soon as I saw the picture. It felt like bugs were crawling on me.

So far I've only had one spam and it was advertising first aid supplies. I realized the excerpt that I had posted that day was a scene with a few of my characters in a lifeguarding class. I guess they do some kind of search?

Maria Zannini said...

Hey Julie,

I've had those too. Stat counter shows they usually find me through a search and they use that to piggyback their advertising on my post.

Very bad manners. I don't advertise for a reason. I sure as heck am not going to invite others to advertise on my blog. --especially without asking.

Dru said...

That's one of the reasons I have word verification and comment moderation after 3 days.

Karlene said...

I have several blogs and I've noticed a sudden increase in spamming comments lately. I've had to go to comment moderation on almost all of them. Which is a real pain.

Marianne Arkins said...

Drives me WONKY. And yeah, word verification stinks, but it helps. And I moderate after a week.

What a PITA.

Blech on the wormies, btw.

Maria Zannini said...

Dru, Marianne, 3 days to a week: That just proves you guys are much nicer than I am. LOL.

I'd happily keep it on immediate moderation if I knew it wouldn't tick off so many people.

Maria Zannini said...

Karlene: I've noticed that trend too. I wonder if there's a season for spamming. Like the end of the month or just before a holiday.

I'm glad you mentioned this.

Joanne said...

Thanks for the spam tips here. It's really so annoying, but thankfully pretty easily bypassed or deleted at our control. I really don't understand the thinking behind it, and so I guess we just deal with the annoyance :/

Shelley Munro said...

I have Askmet that catches most of the spam on Wordpress, so not much actually gets through to my blog. I've had a bit of spam lately too -for some reason it seems to go in cycles. I wonder what their percentage of click throughs is?

Marian said...

Does immediate moderation tick people off? I know if I'm entering a contest, I like to be sure that my reply has gone through and looks good, but otherwise I don't mind.

Maria Zannini said...

Marian: I've read several blog posts from people who hate moderation, but I think it's fairly painless. I don't mind it either.