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How to protect your VPS from spam?

ŽydrūnėŽydrūnė Moderator
edited October 23 in Know-how articles
After you acquire a VPS, get familiar with control panel and learn how to use VPS, the next step is to ensure maximum security and protect a VPS from hacking, which often result in spam. Even though some spam in unwanted email letters is harmless, some of them might have a virus or malware, therefore endangering a website. Such spam bot attacks infect and take down the websites resulting in uncountable errors and for that it is significant to know how to build a defensive layer from attackers. Let‘s explore effective steps to protect a VPS from spam.
 

Good bots vs bad bots

First, it’s important to define the two. Good bots help businesses to ensure an online authority and visibility on the Internet. If you know how to use VPS, you can allow and disallow what certain pages these regulated bots can index and to define how they do it. Good bots greatly help to improve website’s SEO, so the products and services are listed on the search page.
 
Meantime, unregulated bots does a malicious job – by stealing content from one website they can publish them elsewhere, be it breaking news, pricing information, product catalogue or reviews. Consequently, this affects search engine rankings and can cause huge financial damage. For this reason, it is important to block the bad bots entering the website and leave open access to the good bots.
 

Effective spam filtering techniques

It’s not enough to know how to use VPS, what are good and bad bots, however it is significant to find ways on how to protect your VPS from spam and avoid enormous damage to one’s website. Even though the techniques are more a prevention than a solution, they can help to manage the spam problem. These techniques include:       
  • Authentication;  
  • Filtering by country;  
  • URL filtering;
  • Blacklisting IPs.
With the authentication service, the administrator or owner of the domain can categorize certain emails as authorized to send messages on their behalf. Today, widely used systems are SPF, DMARC and DKIM – they make it harder to cause frauds via email. If you know how to use VPS and manage your website’s email, you will be able to make a good use of the technique.
 
Further, filtering by country allows to block emails from certain countries and URL filter provides the possibility to look up the URLs from messages and block them if suspicious. Finally, by blacklisting IPs one can prevent continuous emails with spam coming from the same IP.
 

Anti-spam filter: SpamExperts

According to statistics, in 2019 there were at least half of all emails including spam in their content. Considering this fact alone, spam filtering techniques might not be enough to deal with spam bots – it is highly recommended to seek help from spam filter systems. The way how to use VPS safely is the way of prioritizing security.
 
One of the solutions is to use Anti-Spam cloud service SpamExperts: it filters algorithms and spam patterns, therefore can eliminate nearly 100% of the spam reaching a mailbox. The cloud service secures VPS from unsolicited emails, spam, emails containing viruses and other malware as well as protects from junk emails.
 
Moreover, SpamExperts has automatic updates, so IT recourses can support other vital responsibilities as well as save time while dealing with the daily spam messages. Receiving filtered emails also saves website recourses and helps to reduce the load. Lastly, SpamExperts filter provides full reports on any email that passed filtering.
 

Is your VPS being used for spam?

How to use VPS in cases when your VPS is being used for spam? When you get a report that spam is sent from your VPS, first check the disk of the website on your VPS and look for malicious files there. Spam scripts often contain randomly generated file names with a combination of letters and numbers, or lines can be encoded with „gzinflate & base64“ (execute a search in the command line to detect the script).
 
Furthermore, other ways to find spam script is to install a software solution, such as ClamAV, which can be found in cPanel and DirectAdmin control panels. Also, Plesk has Dr Web that can carry out similar actions. To prevent your VPS from being used, make sure CMS and plugins are always updated, download plugins from well-trusted websites, run a frequent scan with above mentioned tool and never use connection without SSL.

When you acquire a first VPS, learn not only how to use VPS, but search and take any security measurements. Not paying attention to bad bots or other cyber criminals can result in severe damages to your business or even shut it down completely.
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