SMF2.0:Security and Moderation From Online Manual

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The Security page of the Features and Options page of your Administration Center offers several security-related settings that you can configure to meet your needs. Pay close attention to these settings, as a properly-secured forum should take measures to ensure the safety of itself and its members.


The following are the settings included on this page:

  • Do not reveal contact details of members to guests - If selected, this option will hide the e-mail addresses and messenger contact details of all members from any guests on your forum
  • Allow viewable email addresses - If this option is enabled, users are allowed to choose whether or not their e-mail address will be visible to normal members. Enabling this will put your users at greater risk of being victims of spam as a result of e-mail harvesters visiting your forum. Note: this setting does not override the user setting for hiding their email address from users. Enabling this setting is not recommended.
  • Failed login threshold - Set the number of failed login attempts before directing the user to the password reminder screen.
  • Enable error logging - This will cause your forum to log any errors, like a failed login, so you can see what went wrong.
  • Include database query in the error log - This will include the full query sent to the database whenever any database error occurs. This feature requires error logging to be turned on. Note: this will affect the ability to filter the error log by the error message.
  • Disable administration security - This option disables the additional password check for the administrative sections on your forum. This is not recommended!
  • Require reactivation after email change - When this option is selected, all members who change their e-mail address in their profile will have to reactivate their account from an e-mail sent to that address
  • Require admin approval when member deletes account - This will cause the user to require an administrator to approve the deletion request before the account is actually deleted.
  • Enable reporting of personal messages - This option allows your users to report personal messages they receive. This may be useful in helping to track down any abuse of the personal messaging system.
  • Maximum number of recipients allowed in a personal message - This option allows you to set the maximum amount of recipients allowed in a single personal message sent by a forum member. This may be used to help stop spam abuse of the PM system. Note: users with permission to send newsletters are exempt from this restriction. Set to zero for no limit.
  • Post count under which users must enter code when sending personal messages. - This setting will force users to enter a code shown on a verification image each time they are sending a personal message. Only users with a post count below the number set will need to enter the code - this should help combat automated spamming scripts.
  • Number of personal messages a user may send in an hour - This will limit the number of personal messages which may be sent by a user in a one hour period. This does not affect admins or moderators.


This section allows you to setup verification checks to ensure the user is a human (and not a bot), and tweak how and where these settings apply.

Anti-Spam Verification

  • Require verification on registration page -
  • Require verification on all guest searches -
  • Guests must pass verification when making a post - (Automatically set if you specify a minimum post count below)
  • Post count under which users must pass verification to make a post - This setting will force users to pass anti-spam bot verification each time they make a post to a board. Only users with a post count below the number set will need to enter the code - this should help combat automated spamming scripts.
  • Guests must pass verification when reporting a post -

Configure Verification Methods

In this section, you can set which anti-spam features you wish to have enabled whenever a user needs to verify they are a human. Note that the user will have to pass all verification so if you enable both a verification image and a question/answer test they need to complete both to proceed.

Verification Questions

If you want users to answer verification questions in order to stop spam bots you should setup a number of questions in the table below. You should pick relatively simple questions; answers are not case sensitive. You may use BBC in the questions for formatting, to remove a question simply remove the contents of that line.


The Moderation page has settings that administrators can configure which deal with moderation-related tasks with SMF. Most of these settings directly deal with the warning system. The warning system can be activated through the Core Features page.

The following options are listed on this page that involve warning levels. Warnings come into effect when one with proper permissions goes to a member's profile and selects the "Issue Warning" link on the profile sidebar menu. Here is where you can configure the percentages that are needed for having certain penalties dealt to the member, which include the following:

  • Warning level for user watch - The warning percentage that adds the user to the moderator watch list. A user put on watch is listed on the watch list in the Watched Members section of the Moderation Center and you can view all posts made by all watched users in that section as well.
  • Warning level for post moderation - The warning percentage that will force a moderator to approve each post made by the offender. Note: to see this option, Post Moderation must be activated first.
  • Warning level for for user muting - The warning percentage that will cause the member to not be allowed to post any further until his or her warning level decreases.
  • Maximum user warning points per day - This sets the maximum amount of points a member can acquire in one day from being warned by any single moderator. Administrators are excluded from this restriction.
  • Warning points to decrement from users every 24 hours - If enabled, this will cause a member's points to decrease by the amount set per every 24 hours.
  • Users who can see warning status - This option defines which group of users can see a member's warning level: Moderators Only, Moderators and Warned Users, All Users.