Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Thoughts on Word Verification

I was having problems with posting on Blogger last Monday until yesterday so I went to check my settings to change my editor preference. While checking the settings, I decided to check my other settings as well. This is something I haven't done in a loooong time. And guess what I found?

Eeeep!! Sorry about that! I don't remember ever having turned this on but I guess I did a long, long time ago after I first set up my blog. So after seeing that yesterday, I selected 'No'. I figured it would be more convenient for my readers.

I don't really mind encountering word verification (or Captcha) on the comments section of some blogs I visit. In fact, in the kind of work I do... we (my team) recommend using word verification when designing web forms. It's a security feature that prevents spam bots (automated programs) from sending junk information to your database using any web form that is accessible by the public. On the other side of this issue, we have people who stress about  the 'customer experience' and they point out that having this extra step to enter word verification is annoying for some people and present negative customer experience. 

I've read some blog posts about this... that they find it annoying and wish other bloggers would just turn the feature off. After all, how much spam could you possibly get?

Well, yesterday, I found out. 

I turned off my word verification in the afternoon... and a few hours later, when I checked my email in the evening, I already have 3 spam comments. This is the first time I experienced spam on Blogger. Fortunately, even with the word verification turned off, Blogger still detect spam and does not display it on your blog. You can find it under your Comments tab in your dashboard.

Then on the upper left corner, click Spam to display all comments that Blogger filtered as Spam. From this view, you get the option of publishing a comment or deleting it.

So... no harm done after all, right? However... my account is set up to send an email to my personal email address every time someone leaves me a comment. It's how I know someone left me a comment on which post. Those spam comments might not have been displayed on my blog, and I just needed to make a few extra steps to remove them permanently... but the moment they are posted, Blogger sends me an email anyway. It adds to the emails I have to go through. I work for a company that offers internet security products so anything spam means... Ggrrrrrrrrrr!!! X( (just kidding).

After giving it some thought... I decided to turn my word verification on again. Practice what you preach I guess. Sorry guys, I hope it doesn't irritate you too much. When I get more free time (which would be soon I hope!) I will experiment with turning the word verification off for a longer period to see how irritating spam comments are going to be. Maybe if there aren't a lot, I'll turn it off permanently.

NOTE: Ok I got 2 more spam comments while I was writing this post... *sigh* Time to turn that word verification on.

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