Difference between revisions of "Spam - my forum is flooded with spam, what can I do"

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(Tidy up, some grammer changes, needs "Activation Settings" bit filled in.)
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SMF by default offers three tools to help you keeping spammers out of your forum:
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{{Version specific
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|version=2.0.*
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|content=The majority of the following article applies to SMF 2.0 and higher. Some points may still apply to older versions, but they are not guaranteed to apply in all cases.
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}}
  
#'''[[Registration#Settings|Account Activation]]''' - Administrators can decide to either ask their new members to visit an activation link sent to the newly registered member by email or to put all the newly registered members in the approval queue and then personally activate only the non-spammer accounts.
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===Default Spam Prevention===
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SMF, by default, offers three tools to help you keeping spammers out of your forum:
  
#'''[[Security_and_Moderation#Anti-Spam|The Captcha]]''' - Administrators can set a verification code (also known as a 'captcha') that users have to decipher in order to be able to proceed with the registration.
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*'''[[SMF2.0:Registration#Settings|Account Activation]]''' - Administrators can decide to either ask their new members to visit an activation link sent to a newly registered member by email or to put all the newly registered members in the approval queue, and then personally activate only the non-spammer accounts.
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*'''[[SMF2.0:Security_and_Moderation#Anti-Spam|The Captcha]]''' - Administrators can set a verification code (also known as a 'captcha') that users have to decipher in order to be able to proceed with the registration.
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*'''[[SMF2.0:Security_and_Moderation#Verification_Questions|Verification Questions]]''' - Administrators can introduce a number of custom questions and answers. Users that are registering have to answer correctly to allow registration.
  
#'''[[Security_and_Moderation#Verification_Questions|Verification Questions]]''' - Administrators can introduce a number of custom questions and answers, thay users that are registering have to answer to allow registration.
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The first measure is available through the Administration Center: ''Admin > [[SMF2.0:Registration|Registration]] > [[SMF2.0:Registration#Settings|Settings]]''.
  
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Here you can enable several different methods of registration employed for new members, as you can see in the first drop down.
  
The first measure is available through the Administration Center: ''Admin > Members > [[Registration]] > [[Registration#Settings|Settings]]''.
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The second and the third can be configured in the Administration Center: ''Admin > [[SMF2.0:Security and Moderation|Security and Moderation]] > [[SMF2.0:Security and Moderation#Anti-Spam|Anti-Spam]]''.
  
Here you can enable - COMPLETE ME!!!!!! -
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The level of complexity for a verification code can be set from ''none'' (no verification code displayed) to ''extreme'' (the letters are extremely distorted and it should be very difficult to decipher for the automated spammers). '''Be aware that the CAPTCHA has been broken for many years and causes real users more of a headache than the spammers.'''
  
The second and the third can be configured in the Administration Center: ''Admin > Configuration > [[Security and Moderation]] > [[Security and Moderation#Anti-Spam|Anti-Spam]]''.
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There is the box used to configure '''verification questions'''. Usually this is the most efficient anti-spam method provided by SMF due to its forum specific nature. There are a few things to note about this method to increase its efficiency:
  
The level of complexity for a verification code can be set from ''none'' (no verification code displayed) to ''extreme'' (the letters are extremely distorted and it should be very difficult to decipher for the automated spammers).
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*Automated registration bots are usually quite good at mathematics, so avoid using questions like 'what is the result of 2+2?'
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*Ensure that the answer is not included in the question because there are bots that will try to use every word within it, so avoid questions like 'what is the color of the red car?'
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*International audiences may not understand local slang or terminology, so ensure that questions do not alienate potential members and the member base.
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*The system is not case sensitive, so questions requiring upper case answers will still be accepted if lower case is typed.
  
For the verification code, there is the box used to configure the '''verification questions'''. Usually this is the most efficient anti-spam method provided by SMF due to its forum specific nature. There are a few things to note about this method to increase its efficiency:
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Be sure to put in the number of verification questions a user must answer under the configure verification methods category '''above''' the verification questions.
  
*Automated registration bots are usually quite good at math, avoid questions like: what's the result of 2+2? and similar.
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From the Administration Center it is possible to set as many questions you wish, and also the number of questions that each user will be asked to answer during the registration. If you configure ten questions and then set to show two in the registration page, SMF will show two random questions from the ten configured each time a new member tries to register. Having a good bank of questions will stop automated bots from building a set of "known answers".
*International audiences may not understand local slang, or local terminology, ensure that questions don't alienate an otherwise active member base.
 
  
From the Administration Center it's possible to set as many questions you want, and also the number of questions that each user will be asked to fill during the registration. If you configure 10 questions and then set to show 2 in the registration page, SMF will show two random questions from the 10 configured each time a new member tries to register - a good bank of questions will stop automated bots from building a set of "known answers".
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===Mods to Prevent Spam===
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One of the most important SMF features is its ability to be modified, and at the [http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/ mod site] there is an entire category dedicated to [http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?action=search;type=19 Spam Prevention] mods.
  
But that's not all!<br>
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Some examples of very clever anti-spam mods that have been created by our community are (in alphabetical order):
Of course one of the most important SMF features is its ability to be modified, and at the [http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/ mod site] there is an entire category of [http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?action=search;type=19;approved=1 Spam Prevention] mods.<br>
 
 
 
At the moment some very clever anti-spam mods have been created by our community (in alphabetical order):
 
 
*[http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?mod=2502 Bad Behavior]
 
*[http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?mod=2502 Bad Behavior]
 
*[http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?mod=2815 Forum Firewall]
 
*[http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?mod=2815 Forum Firewall]
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*[http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?mod=1547 Stop Spammer]
 
*[http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?mod=1547 Stop Spammer]
  
[[category:FAQ]][[Category:Spam FAQ]]
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[[category:FAQ]][[Category:Building your community]]

Latest revision as of 08:55, 15 June 2019

The majority of the following article applies to SMF 2.0 and higher. Some points may still apply to older versions, but they are not guaranteed to apply in all cases.

Default Spam Prevention

SMF, by default, offers three tools to help you keeping spammers out of your forum:

  • Account Activation - Administrators can decide to either ask their new members to visit an activation link sent to a newly registered member by email or to put all the newly registered members in the approval queue, and then personally activate only the non-spammer accounts.
  • The Captcha - Administrators can set a verification code (also known as a 'captcha') that users have to decipher in order to be able to proceed with the registration.
  • Verification Questions - Administrators can introduce a number of custom questions and answers. Users that are registering have to answer correctly to allow registration.

The first measure is available through the Administration Center: Admin > Registration > Settings.

Here you can enable several different methods of registration employed for new members, as you can see in the first drop down.

The second and the third can be configured in the Administration Center: Admin > Security and Moderation > Anti-Spam.

The level of complexity for a verification code can be set from none (no verification code displayed) to extreme (the letters are extremely distorted and it should be very difficult to decipher for the automated spammers). Be aware that the CAPTCHA has been broken for many years and causes real users more of a headache than the spammers.

There is the box used to configure verification questions. Usually this is the most efficient anti-spam method provided by SMF due to its forum specific nature. There are a few things to note about this method to increase its efficiency:

  • Automated registration bots are usually quite good at mathematics, so avoid using questions like 'what is the result of 2+2?'
  • Ensure that the answer is not included in the question because there are bots that will try to use every word within it, so avoid questions like 'what is the color of the red car?'
  • International audiences may not understand local slang or terminology, so ensure that questions do not alienate potential members and the member base.
  • The system is not case sensitive, so questions requiring upper case answers will still be accepted if lower case is typed.

Be sure to put in the number of verification questions a user must answer under the configure verification methods category above the verification questions.

From the Administration Center it is possible to set as many questions you wish, and also the number of questions that each user will be asked to answer during the registration. If you configure ten questions and then set to show two in the registration page, SMF will show two random questions from the ten configured each time a new member tries to register. Having a good bank of questions will stop automated bots from building a set of "known answers".

Mods to Prevent Spam

One of the most important SMF features is its ability to be modified, and at the mod site there is an entire category dedicated to Spam Prevention mods.

Some examples of very clever anti-spam mods that have been created by our community are (in alphabetical order):