Spam Protection & Home Page Field

Discussion in 'Announcements Archive' started by Fergal, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Unfortunately I've had to remove the HomePage field from User Profiles. We were getting a huge number of spam members signing up every day just so that they could put adult and pharmaceutical links in this field.

    You can still advertise your sites in your signature. However, you must now have at least two posts on the forum before you can add a signature.

    Just another requirement in our never ending battle against spammers.
     
  2. scifi

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    Hi Fergal..
    While you were off...There were many Bots hitting this forum..I guess..

    Dallara .." I am new member" is one such..You can chk it out!!!
     
  3. Kay

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    Well look on the bright side, Fergal! The more spammers find you, the more the word of your site's getting around. :D

    No worries, you've got to do what you need to. If the option allows it in your admin panel you can try increasing your captcha settings to high as well. Sometimes that's just enough to stop them being able to read it.
     
  4. Fergal

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    Thanks, I'm deleting some of that spam right now.
     
  5. Nazreen

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    Deleting of spam is actually a waste of your precious time, Fergal. Hope that removing the home page field in user profiles will somehow discourage spammers from signing up in BAF.
     
  6. Fergal

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    The amount of time I spend deleting spam decreases as we install new features on the forum to prevent the spammers in the first place. Unfortunately I haven't figured out how to block them all, just yet.
     
  7. Kay

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    Fergal, I've had forums for years and it's an ongoing battle. The only surefire way I've found to cut it to a minimum is to make it so that every registration needs to be admin approved before they can post. It's a pain too though as you need to check them all.

    I find that even if you do it that way for a wee while though, then revert to automatic registrations later, it seems to take you off their radar for a while at least. There's no 100% way to avoid it unfortunately.
     
  8. Swastik

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    You may use some mods, or in vB 3.7 setup some questions to be asked before they register. I've experienced it helps a lot.

    :)
     
  9. Nazreen

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    Do we have User Activation turned on in BAF? I'm not too sure if this was set or not.

    Maybe we could also turn this on so that new members have to click a link sent to their email to activate their accounts. This might also help in reducing the number of bots from registering here.

    I've also read that hiding user profiles from guests will also help in reducing spam. By blocking guests from those pages, you also block search engine bots from indexing our forum.
     
  10. Swastik

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    Good suggestion Nazreen.

    It definitely helps in reducing SPAM and SPAM bots registering.
     
  11. Fergal

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    Thanks for the suggestions, does anyone know how I can actually stop guests from viewing member profiles, in VB?
     
  12. Kay

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    Check your permission settings for the Guest group, Fergal.

    I think it's under Memberships>Permissions>Group Settings, something like that. It's been a while since I poked around in a VB admin panel but once you bring up the Guest group you'll probably find a list of checkboxes saying what that level can or cannot do. Just uncheck the box for that and you should be good to go. :)
     
  13. Swastik

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    I think it goes in the UserGroup > Guests > Edit Usergroup.

    Not pretty sure, but I guess it is.
     
  14. Fergal

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    Got it thanks very much.

    Admin ACP - Usergroups - Usergroup Manager - Unregistered / Not Logged In - Edit Usergroup - General Permissions - Can View Member Info.

    Hopefully it will help.

    Just to add, email activation is required for registration. I will look into more SPAM protection mods.

    I've also considered having something along the lines of a "Sandbox Forum". Members could only make their first three posts in this forum and once they had made three posts in the Sandbox Forum, they could then post in the other forums.

    Hence, the sandbox forum is the only place that new members could spam, if they did spam there, their account would be permanently deleted before they could do any damage to the other forums. What do you think?
     
  15. Nazreen

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    That's the first time I've heard of a Sandbox Forum.

    I'm not too sure if this is a good idea or not though because it might also discourage other new members from joining. What will be the forum categories that will be included in the Sandbox Forum? Will it only be the introduction or general chat?
     
  16. Swastik

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    The best way to find out how it works would be to actually experiment it over a period of time.

    I think the idea is just fine. But you need to sort out which sections constitute the Sandbox.
     
  17. Fergal

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    My main concern is that it would stop new members from joining. If I did implement it, there would be just one sandbox forum, where new members would make their first three posts. These posts could be about anything they wish (excluding spam, of course), including an introduction, welcoming others or specific questions.
     
  18. Kay

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    I have a suggestion, Fergal. I think it would work if you set it up like this.

    Have the Sandbox folder where they start out with three initial posts. Allow them still to view but not post in the other folders until they get past the three posts. That way you don't need to hide the other folders. People can still see what the forum's like and if they want to join and genuinely participate, I don't see the Sandbox option discouraging legitimate posters if you explain why it's there.

    Personally speaking what I detest on forums is seeing one folder open and twenty marked Private. Those forums I simply don't join because I don't see why I should up their registration stats just to get a look at what they may or may not have behind closed doors. Some people will tell you that entices members to join but I think that's rubbish. It sure doesn't entice me anyway! It feels unwelcoming and elitist to me.

    (The only exception I'd find acceptable would be a forum where people are discussing deeply personal issues like mental health that they would not want any Tom, Dick or Harry reading that came along.)

    All you'd need to do is make new registrations fall into a group that could access and post in the Sandbox and set them just to view in the other folder permissions. You would also have to set it that after post number 3, they are automatically now in whatever the next membership level would be.

    Or you could just leave it all alone and clear the spam as normal lol. I've found making them wait for admin approval is the biggest deterrent of all. Swastik's right, a little experimentation wouldn't go wrong. :) You could always move their threads to the right category once they'd exceeded the three posts too.
     
  19. Fergal

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    Thanks for the suggestions Kay, that is actually along the lines of what I had in mind. I agree with you 100% about the private forums.
     

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