How to protect your online store from spam and bots – 2021 Guide

Online stores have become essential in today’s date if you want your business to flourish to new heights. Especially in the pandemic, where people are forced to stay inside their homes and purchase commodities from the confines of their homes, online stores especially have become the most relevant. While it’s fairly easy and intuitive to set up an online store, especially through online shopping platforms, the real problems come when your store is up and about and running.

One of these major problems you’ll face when you start your online store is spam and bot attacks. Spam and bots are inherently the same (and there are even spambots) just the function they differ in is that spam sends continuous pings for the services on your store, while bots send traffic and pings both. When your services suddenly start getting used more than before and you get lots of traffic, most of the time it’s spam bots attacking your online store for their own nefarious purpose.

These purposes and their senders vary but the one thing they all have in common is that they harm your online store one way or the other. Whether it be an overload of traffic causing your server to shut down, generating misleading numbers, or sending misleading emails on your behalf to people you don’t know (which makes Gmail put your store on its blacklist). If you are an online store owner, bots can be a really distressing factor.

However, you shouldn’t worry about it because there are several ways you can protect your store from spam and bots. There are several measures you can take to protect your store from bots which you can learn more about on this website, but also in this article itself where we will discuss several tips that can help you get rid of your bot problem.

Use reCAPTCHA.

Source: pcpress.com

You might have seen reCAPTCHA on several sites already. They are verification check marks that verify whether you are a bot or not before letting you access a particular website. You can use this software for your own stores as well to avoid spambot attacks. It is fairly easy to do so, all you need to do is find a web developer who is willing to integrate reCAPTCHA on the framework of your online store, install it and you’re done.

You might have to pay a considerable fee but considering how well reCAPTCHA does its job, the fee is well worth it. You can also consider using other types of CAPTCHA software, however, reCAPTCHA is the most popular and reliable one. The security checks help a lot in minimizing spambot attacks, though, it might not get completely rid of some particularly intelligent bots designed to counter reCAPTCHA. Also, it’s important to know that your reCAPTCHA will also be forced on the clients who access your website, and seeing a reCAPTCHA check as the first thing might discourage them from exploring your online store.

Block traffic from major proxies and hosting providers.

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Many bot attacks are actually sent from well-known hosting providers and proxy servers (servers that mask the attacker’s identity). One of the simplest ways of blocking spam bots is, thus, simply blocking these hosting providers and proxy servers. You can be assured that normal users don’t use proxy servers to access the web nor hosting providers. Thus your clients have a slim chance of coming from either of these sources.

That’s why just simply blocking them off from your access settings can prove helpful and help you minimize spambot attacks. Various online sources can tell you which hosting providers and proxy sites to disallow from entering your online store. Since the list is particularly large (and ever-growing) we won’t put it in this article, but we strongly advise checking these websites outside this article with your own research.

Monitor your store’s user traffic.

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You should constantly be on the lookout for the people who are accessing your store so that you can change your website according to them. However, while this practice is fundamental for any website, it should not be done when the traffic is from spam bots. If, for example, you are targeting your website for a Russian audience and clients, and you are getting traffic from South America without you doing anything to generate it, then be assured that you are getting a spam bot attack.

To avoid this, you can simply block regional access from a particular area so that all the traffic that comes from that region gets blocked automatically. However, there is one major drawback to this as you might have already guessed. If by chance you are getting South American clients because of your marketing style and you block them off, you are not only losing potential customers but also exposing yourself to a bad reputation in different regions. To avoid this, you can consider blocking regional access only for the duration of the spam bot attack and turn it on again after it’s over.

Monitor traffic pings and unusual actions.

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Let’s say you suddenly get a lot of user traffic to your online store. Instead of celebrating early, check why the traffic is coming. If this traffic comes after your marketing campaign then it’s understandable but if it comes out of the blue then chances are those are bots accessing your website. Often, this won’t be the only thing bots do.

Spam bots are infamous for availing of the various services an online store offers. They will check your services out, try to use them but fail repeatedly. Such repeated failures are the prime sign that bots are using your website. Keep an eye out for service failures and try blocking traffic from that area or particular address when you find it out. Hackers are known to utilize real identities and information to fool you into believing that this is organic traffic accessing your website when in reality it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Conclusion.

Spam bot attacks can be scary but they can easily be avoided if you take preventive measures. We hope this article helped you out and if it did please consider following our website for regular updates as it will help us out immensely.

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