spam-hot-spots Image: Steve DavisIf you’ve ever paid close attention to space travel, you’ll know there is a constant, unrelenting shower of particles bombarding ships, equipment, suits and astronauts.

Sadly, the internet is like that now with storms of spammers prodding and probing our websites, registration forms and login fields, with tricks getting nastier by the day.

Here at Baker Marketing aka your WordPress Mission Control, we are constantly on the look out for new defensive systems and today I have a two-punch option to keep your Mailchimp forms safe from dud registrations.

Spam registrations and MailChimp’s vested interest

We do like MailChimp as an email newsletter provider, especially the forever free plan which gives small businesses a chance to get comfortable with eNewsletters and mailing lists of up to 2,000 subscribers before they need to pay for the service.

Unfortunately, spammers have found ways to get around the double opt-in protection which is meant to weed these vermin out of your lists.

Couple MailChimp with its bespoke WordPress plugin for native registration forms and widgets and those pests can still slip past and into your database.

Within the discussion about this issue online, people are pointing out that MailChimp has been very, very slow in seeking a solution and the consensus amoung the agrieved is that it is not in MailChimp’s interest to stop list bloating because then they can charge you, or charge you more, for the service.

I don’t agree with that because MailChimp is vigilant about list hygeine for everyone’s sake. However, this does seem like a low priority issue to them.

A plugin two-pack to stop spammers dead

While MailChimp does let you turn on a Google Captcha option for sign up forms hosted on the MailChimp site, for most of us we prefer NOT shunting visitors offsite when joining our lists.

Therefore, we have found a deadly combination of plugins that brings protection back to the table while keeping the sign up forms in house.

Firstly, Mailchimp for WordPress, by Danny van Kooten is a free plugin that gives you good control over your sign up forms. We’re using the premium version on the Baker Marketing site.

Secondly, Goodbye Captcha by MihChe, complements the other plugin while adding much more rigorous protocols to various login and registration options sitewide.25

Goodbye Captcha also gives you reports on where the bad activity is coming from and displays it in lists and maps. See a map from our installation, above.

It shows that the hottest spam trouble spots in the world for our website are France, Italy, Ukraine.

But, for now, they can keep knocking, they just won’t get in.

If you’d like a hand hardening up your WordPress website, contact our team.

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