Tips for banning users

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Proper usage of SMF's system for banning users can make bans work fairly well. A number of tips advising administrators how to implement effective bans are listed below:

  1. Avoid creating an entire ban group for a single ban.
  2. Avoid banning based on host name. This is a slow process because it involves carrying out a reverse lookup on the IP, which takes time.
  3. Avoid banning on IP, if possible. IP based bans are useless because IPv6 affords any user a wide range of IPs from where they can log into a forum. In addition, owing to Carrier Grade NAT (GCNAT), as well as some countries having few IPs, banning by IP may result in banning a large number of legitimate users because there could be many of these users behind that sole IP address. Banning by IP should, therefore, only be used as a last resort.
  4. If the account which is to be banned is a spammer or one which will be deleted, ensure that the ban is on the email address and prevent this account from registering. This means that the ban check is only applied when attempting a registration action or when attempting to change the email address. If login or post is used as a ban trigger, the ban check does have to apply when this user visits the forum.
  5. If the account belongs to a registered member, simply ban their account. This is fast for SMF to process.. If this user is getting around the ban, take alternative measures then, rather than in advance.

Hopefully, these tips are helpful for administrators. Please ask on the forum if further advice is required.