Home Improve

We all hate email spam in our email inbox, but rarely try to get to the root of the spam mail’s origin and purpose. Many webmasters face a problem of receiving spam emails through the forms on their website. These are usually contact forms which are setup for visitor’s to post their inquiries or to give feedback. Spammers try to hijack these forms to send spam mails, either by manipulating where the forms sends emails or by flooding the webmaster with junk mail. This article points out some of the ways in which you can fight spam in website forms meant for comments, feedback, inquiries and any other contact.

Form Fields Validation n

A very important part of having a secure form is to ensure that there is strict validation of the form fields. This is best explained by an example. When you are accepting a phone number through the contact form, you can code the form to ensure that only numbers are entered in the form field. Similarly for an email address field, the form must be able to determine a well-formed email address has been entered. If the fields contain anything which that field is not supposed to contain, like special characters or some funny text, then the form will throw an error and will not be submitted till the mistakes are corrected. This prevents any malicious code or text from being inserted in the form. It also prevents automated bots from filling up the form without understanding what is required and how it is to be filled.

Captcha

One of the most effective ways of fighting form spam is by enabling a captcha at the end of each form. The captcha requires the user to enter a word or number verification which is shown in an image. This prevents bots and automated systems from sending the forms mindlessly. Since bots cannot usually detect text within images, they fail to enter the correct Captcha text preventing the form from being submitted.

Confirmation Alert

Another simple trick that can be used to harass the spammers is to add a confirmation alert box which pops up to confirm the details that the user is trying to submit. Robots and automatic form submission software are unable to cause the clicking of the confirmation button in the alert box. Something like: Are you sure you want to submit the form? Yes No Can be an added layer of protection from comment spammers. This is also a good way of allowing users to review the information they are sending and correct any mistakes or typos before submitting the form.

Anti-Spam Plugins

Akismet is an Anti-Spam plugin used for WordPress, which can identify genuine comments and filter out the spam comments. This can be helpful if you do not want to enable a captcha confirmation box or cannot have specific validation on your form. Similar anti-spam plugins are available for other platforms as well. While Akismet type plugins are not 100% correct and may lead to some false-positives, they do a really good job of filtering out the noise.

Logging Information

One of the most important things that a programmer can do to track the sources of spam and patterns of spam is to log additional information of the user. This means that along with the normal fields that the user is submitting, the form will also capture his / her IP Address, machine name, browser details, location information and similar information which can be used to trace the spam source. Using this information you can either take action against the spammer or even block his IP Address. This way he will not be able to keep harassing you or making random submissions.

Some programmers also swear by hidden form fields in CSS, which prevent the form field names from being seen by bots, thereby preventing them from knowing what data to auto fill in the text boxes. Consult your coder for the best solution for your website.

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Home Improve

Employee motivation, isn’t that a tricky thing? Yes it is. And it’s also one of the most important, if not THE most important factor that determines an organization’s success. Many companies pay little to no attention to this major aspect of organizational success. If your company does invest on Human Resource Management (really, not just have a dummy HR department that processes papers), training, team building, Etc, then they are way ahead of most others. All these measures are helpful. But without the backdrop of culture, these efforts may not result in significant improvements in employee motivation.

Whats in it for me? As leaders, we hear this cry openly or in nonverbal ways over and over. But its not really about money alone. Yes, when you ask people what their most important motivator is; the answer is most often money. But human behavior belies this often held belief. Yes, having a competitive extrinsic (Monetary) rewards program is important. But in actuality people are really most interested in being recognized for their performance and being given the opportunity to be engaged and empowered in their work.

As a team leader, supervisor, departmental or divisional level you probably dont make the major decisions over the extrinsic rewards for you organization. However you do have 100% control over the intrinsic (Non-monetary) rewards for your entire organization  individually and collectively. Believe it or not on a daily basis, your workers are more concerned with their formal and informal recognition than they are about Fridays paycheck its a given. In addition to recognition we can reward our associate by engaging them in decision making, planning, problems solving and the many other ways to effectively engage them in your workplace.

Recognizing an individual’s needs is critical. Making team priorities and being transparent in your decision making are also crucial. Most salaried employees, at some point, have a tendency to think “what’s it going to matter, I am going to get paid anyway”. Such thinking can bring an entire team down. One bad influentical team member can be the starting point for major setbacks. Recognize where each team member’s motivation stems from. For some, it’s working with technology and learning new things. For some, it is to have structure and discipline in the work environment. For some, it is visibility, for others it is regular feedback and encouragement. All these efforts are needed, but with your team’s culture in mind. Think about how you want to lead. What standards do you want to set. When any of your team members is asked about “What’s your team’s culture like?” The answer should be both positive and consistent. That alone can let you manage motivation levels well in your team.

So believe in your ability to control yhour company’s Rewards program, even if you are not one of those that makes the typical bonus, salary, and other direct forms of compensation. Your team’s performance matters to you. Because, you really do control the most important part of the rewards program for every individual and you team as a whole. Think about culture. That will be the starting point of a most amazing and empowering journey to turn your team into one cohesive motivated unit.