Do you see TheNextWeb.com, abc.xyz or lifehacĸer.com in your Google Analytics referral reports? If yes then you have fallen prey of the latest Google Analytics (GA) spam! We are going to enter 2017 just in few days, technology is changing every minute, cyber security is getting tight with each passing day but after every possible measures, the Russian analytics spammer ‘Vitaly Popov’ has always made his way out to circumvent the security and trap the GA users. Question here arises, is there any way to be secured? This blog aims to help you with information on Google Analytics Spam such as – what they actually are, what can they do and how to stay away from them:

What are they?

TheNextWeb.com, abc.xyz and lifehacĸer.com are some ghost referral spam that have been developed by the Russian spammer with a goal to affect your Google Analytics Statistics. Ghost referral spam is a type of Google Analytics spam in which the traffic is only registered by Google Analytics. There are no bots visiting the website, rather the spammers are connecting directly to the Google Analytics servers and are logging the traffic there, completely bypassing your website. Therefore, the GA is the only place where you can block Ghost spam. If you see traffic from any of these domains then spammers have been successful in affecting your analytics account!

What can they do?

Whether it is TheNextWeb.com, abc.xyz or lifehacĸer.com, all of them have a common objective- creating a false data within your GA statistics and leading you to believe that you had hits from the spam website. Though the traffic from these fake referral sources has no direct harm on your website but in some cases, there could be some malware on the page that can harm your computer.

How to stay away from them?

Looks like Google Analytics is too alluring for the spammers to leave it alone! This is not for the first time when we are looking for measures against them, even the Google, itself, took secret actions so that the spammers do not compromise with the security, but all the efforts went in vain. Hence, the best way to stay away is to be proactive. We can’t just rely on Google to take actions but we need to be aware too. So here are some ways to prevent the ghost spam:

• Activate Filter

1: Choose Admin —> All Filters from your Analytics account
2: Click New Filter and add in the Filter Name value.
3: Select the Custom Filter Type. In the Filter Field add Campaign Source. In the Filter Pattern text box, add and click on the Save button.

• Through .htacess

Just input the following code if you are aware how to access your .htaccess file:
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} < Ghost Spam Name>[NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} <Ghost Spam Name>
RewriteRule .* – [F]

• Through cPanel

•    Login to your cPanel account.
•    Choose File Manager and click on the check-box “Document Root for” —> your website.
•    Click on ‘Show hidden Files’ and then select ‘Go’ button.
•    Locate for the ‘.htacess file’ and right click on it.
•    Choose the option ‘Code Edit’ and input the code given above then ‘Save’ the changes.

The truth is we cannot stop things from happening but we can surely spread awareness and educate users to protect their devices from spammers!

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