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The Menace Of WordPress Registration Spam

The threat of spam is one that we all have to deal with one way or the other. Spam emails, SMS text messages, Web comments, are just some of the different type of spam that people have to deal with on a daily basis. Whilst these types of spam are somewhat common, registration spam-types particularly in relation to WordPress blogs is a different ball game as there are only present in blogs that allow guest authors or contributors to register. Furthermore, registration spam is only visible in the back-end and not to ordinary users.

How To Identify Spam User Registrations

If you decide to invite others to register on your blog, then you might not notice registration spam immediately. From our experience, they only begin to appear as more and more people become aware that you are accepting user registrations and then wham! you gradually become overwhelmed. There are two major ways to know if you are a victim of registration spam. First, there is an unusual increase in the number of user sign-up you receive per day. For example, from 7 per week to around 60 per day. The second sign is the number of error delivery messages in your inbox will go up dramatically,  particularly if automatic verification emails are sent out to those who register.

Stopping Spam User Registration

As this is a new experience for us, we are trying out various ways and still looking for the best solution. However, there are three possible ways of managing the situation effectively. Firstly, install security and anti-spam plugins such as, Akismet and Sabre. Secondly, ask registered users to confirm they are real people by sending you a private email to signify their intentions (as you may have observed on here). You could even ask them to quote a particular word or sentence just to be double sure. Last but not least, disable registration entirely.

Consequences Of Spam User Registration

At the moment, there are no fatal consequences of user-registration spam if those who register do not possess more than basic user roles such as subscriber or contributor. However, the major problem lies in the difficulty and confusion that is caused when it comes to separating fake registrations from authentic ones. Also, if false registrations are not removed or deleted, you stand the risk of overloading or clogging up your database although there are various plugins that can deal with this by removing users who do not verify their accounts in X number of days.

Talking Point

Can you suggest other ways of removing spam user registrations?

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