Tag: spam prevention

A reCAPTCHA Plugin for Joomla 1.5

Finding extensions for Joomla 1.5 is not so easy any more, and when you do find something you need there is a good chance it doesn’t work anymore (php versions, api changes etc).

I was asked today to add a recaptcha field to the standard contct form on a 1.5 site. Please, no comments about upgrading, it is not my site and not my decision, the job was to add the field, full stop.

It wasn’t so hard to find an existing plugin, but if you use recaptcha on an existing site then you are probably aware that Google recently changed the urls to access the service.

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Fighting Spam on Joomla K2 Based Websites

In the days of Joomla 1.5 there were a few limitations to using core content for anything other than simple pages. Yes, plugins were available but they couldn’t handle things like nested categories, item specific galleries and videos etc etc. Many components were created to combat those limitations but the outright winner in terms of number of users and community is (by a longshot) k2.

Much of its functionality has now made it to the Joomla core (nested categories, tags, featured images) but it continues to be popular with its users (old and new). Sometimes it can be a bugger to configure, but once it’s set up you can have multiple templates with a very flexible output. For an example, take a look at Joomlabamboo’s responsive k2 template set ‘zenkit’.

Unfortunately there is one thing it lacks, and that is good spam prevention. The choices are recaptcha and stopforumspam. These days spammers get increasingly sophisticated in their methods and can get around most things quite easily. Just google ‘captcha bypass’ and look at the prices to see what I mean.

Anyway, I have seen some sites grind to a halt because of the number of spam comments submitted and today I was asked to look at one that was getting hit about once every ten minutes which when having to moderate can be pretty annoying.

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Protecting Email Address Links from Website Scrapers

Spam mail is an unfortunate fact of life. The more things we sign up for, the more our addresses get sold as marketing lists. There is one area where we can try and minimise the collection of email addresses though and that is when pasting them on a website.

These days, content management systems such as Joomla automatically protect email addresses by obfuscation (or – making something harder to understand). They do this by breaking up the email address into parts and then putting it back together using javascript. This generally works on the assumption that scrapers do not have javascript enabled. Unfortunately spammers tend to be quite savvy coders and usually find a work around for most things. So how can we protect a standard website?

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