Spam is a problem we all generally deal with in day-to-day life. Snail mail, email, cold calls, or street canvassing, it can all get a bit annoying. Doing business online brings with it the inherent risk of being the target of online spam, and when you have a public space online for your customers to converse, that risk becomes greater.
This article outlines the tools available to you, and how you can use utilize them to fight spam in your help center. All of these tools are available to all plans, with the exception of word moderation.
This article contains the following topics:
Spam filter for preventing and managing spam
Determining what is spam and what is legitimate content is a difficult and evolving task. The help center uses Akismet a leading spam filtering service. As soon as you turn on the spam filter, content submitted by your customers in your help center is filtered through Akismet to determine if it’s spam. Suspicious posts and comments are automatically sent to a spam queue where Guide admins can review and manage them.
The Akismet spam filter won’t catch all spam, but it does get the bulk of it. In the past year it’s been over 98% accurate. Akismet requires fine-tuning over time. The more content that is passed through the filter, the more accurate it becomes. You can help train the filter by managing the spam queue and suspending users or marking content as not spam. With every click, the accuracy of the spam filter will improve for both you and everyone using the spam filter.
The spam filter is available in the help center for all Guide plans. If you haven't already done so, you should enable the spam filter in your help center. Be sure to subscribe to the spam queue to receive notifications when you receive spam. Learn more.
When you find spam in your Community that wasn't removed by the spam filter, you can remove it manually by clicking Mark as spam. Marking a post or comment as spam will also give you the option to suspend the user and delete all of their content. Deleted content is also sent to Akismet to improve the spam filter. This is an effective way to deal with spam if it was posted in your help center before you enabled the Spam filter. Content in the spam queue is automatically deleted after 30 days or you can manually bulk delete the entire queue at any time. Learn more.
Word moderation for content that contains specific words
Guide admins can choose to filter content based on specific that will trigger content moderation. When this option is enabled, end-user content that contains any of the words indicated in your list, is placed in a moderation queue instead of being posted publicly. You can then moderate the content and decide if it is spam or if it's safe to post in your help center. You can subscribe to the moderation queue so that you are alerted when there are posts in the queue. Learn more.
Rate limiting for new content
Your help center limits the number of new posts and comments a single user can create within a 24 hour period. By researching usage patterns we’ve created rate limits that don’t affect normal use, but target spammers. While rate limiting new content itself doesn't block spam, it does help reduce it.
Blocking IP addresses of known spammers
Your help center actively detects and blocks the IP addresses you've received the most identified spam from, so that they can no longer access Zendesk accounts.
To make comments on your help center end users must sign in, which means creating an account first. End users of all Zendesk Support customers who activated the help center will experience Cloudflare's CAPTCHA when signing up.
Additionally, when you enable the Anybody can submit tickets setting, CAPTCHA is automatically enforced for end users submitting new requests (tickets), via your help center. Learn more.
Blocklist for identified spam domains
If you can identify patterns, email addresses, or domains in spam users, you can add them to the Blocklist section of Customer Admin settings. Learn more
Subscribe for notification of new content
Make sure you subscribe to the sections in your Knowledge base and the topics in your Community so that you receive email notifications when new posts and comments are created. Not only will you see what your customers are asking, but you'll also catch spam early so that you can quickly remove it and suspend the user. Learn more