What if I tell you that you are much more valuable online than in the physical world? Calling me weird, eh? Well, it might sound stupid to you but this is true when you notice how businesses are chasing after customers online, putting every possible effort to woo them. The current era has made businesses shifting online to interact and sell product to their customers and need I say, customers are the lifeline of any business. In this scenario, digital identity is the passport that lets your customers seamlessly roam around web properties.
On www, digital identity is the reflection of a person’s real identity. When the user shares its personal information online via digital identity, it becomes a golden opportunity for businesses to woo its users with the services he might like converting him into prospective customers. The importance of digital identity of a customer can be assumed with the research by Oracle that around 64% businesses find digital channels extremely important to business revenue. Moreover, Boston Consulting Group considered Digital Identity, an economic mega trend and estimated that the market value of Digital identity will reach €1 trillion by the year 2020.
The growing importance of Digital Identity led to the creation of registration process. But with each website providing its own registration process, each digital identity got quickly scattered over the web. But each signup process can affect the overall customer experience becoming either a cause of annoyance or an opportunity to offer personalized services. But what if the data your signup forms are providing are fake? Let’s talk to our main topic, ie spam signups.
So what are spam signups and how they harm your business?
We all know that the world is full of animus. Spamming is a great example of this in online world. Spamming includes flooding a process with fake data using bots. Registration process is an area that has been a huge victim of spamming in the past few years. What spammers do is to build bots that can flood the database with fake or irrelevant data which is of no use for the organization. These bots are intended to provide the dummy information in registration form directly to the server, bypassing the website code. Now let’s understand how these spam signups hurt your business.
How spam signups hurt your business?
The value of customer data is known to all. From providing insights into customer behavior to offering personalized experience with user oriented marketing strategies, without customer data you can’t do anything.
But if a website becomes the victim to spam registrations, the database become flooded with fake information thereby reducing credibility. The lack of accurate customer data makes it difficult to grab user attention and in short, confuses the web owners to who are their real customers. Since customer data is used to understand the customer's’ needs and expectations, wrong customer data leads to wrong marketing strategies that bring little to no benefit for customers as well as businesses.
Now let’s talk about how these spam signups affect customers. Since the whole database of a victim business if full with spam data, customers won’t be able to get the desired service and experience from the businesses leading to huge frustration, annoyance and negative reviews.
Now that you have got the whole idea on how spam signups can damage your business reputation and decrease sales, you must be wondering, is there any solution? Well, of course there is. While you can always delete the spam data, isn’t it better to use required measurements to combat spam signups at the first place? Let’s find out how.
How to protect your website from spam signups?
With the incidents of becoming a website victim of spam signups, IT professionals have developed a lot of technologies to prevent spam signups. Let’s talk about them one by one:
CAPTCHA codes are the most common and widely used measurement against spam registrations. The key goal of CAPTCHA code is to filter humans from bots. The most popular way of using CAPTCHA is to present a set of distorted characters which is recognizable only to humans, not to bots or automated scripts. Other forms in which CAPTCHA code is used are audio and visual forms.
But again, CAPTCHA comes with its own problems. First, it receives a lot of criticism from visually impaired person, second many of the online users have expressed annoyance while trying to decipher difficult CAPTCHAs and at last leaving the website. Moreover, with the advancements in technologies, hackers have developed various methods to break through the CAPTCHA codes. In short, they are a good start but other modes of security should also be looked.
2. Phone Authentication:
Phone authentication via one time password (OTP) is a widespread security mechanism against spam signups. Specially used in banking sector, the technology is widely adopted by many brands in the past few years. The process mainly requires users to enter the verification code (OTP) sent on his registered mobile number in order to get access to the website. The method not only makes sure that you get only authentic signups but also improves security by setting up an expiry date to OTP. OTP used as Two factor authentication is the most common approach.
3. Social Login:
Social Login lets your website visitors login to your website using their existing social identities. The process makes sure that your users don’t have to go through the long complicated process of registration while leveraging the security measurements taken by big social media networks like Google+, Facebook, Twitter, etc
Now coming to the point, it is quite difficult for a bot to have an established social media account and then be smart enough to complete spam registration using those social media accounts. Thus, the process has been an efficient way to stop spam registrations on the website.
4. Honey Pot:
We all know that the registration process is always prone to spam attacks and these attacks harm not only businesses but customers too. So if you want your registration database to be spamfree, make sure to opt for these methods.