SMF2.1:Anti-Spam From Online Manual

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The Anti-Spam page is for configuring options to help prevent spam on your forum and to prevent spam bots from registering. As you set up these various verification methods, remember that the more difficult the challenges, the more spam will be prevented, and/or the more bots will be deterred from registering. However, you should also realize that your human members may also be annoyed by these measures if you make the challenges too difficult. Weigh up these factors carefully when you deciding how to set up these options.

Anti-Spam Verification

These options help to prevent spam from being posted on your forum.

  • Require verification on registration page - If this is enabled, potential new members must pass the verification methods that are required on the Registration page.
  • Require verification on all guest searches - If this is enabled, guests must pass verification when they use the Search feature.
  • Guests must pass verification when making a post - Guests with this number of posts or fewer must pass verification to be able to post a message.
  • Maximum number of recipients allowed in a personal message - Set the maximum number here. Note that users with permission to send newsletters are exempt from this restriction.
  • Post count under which users must pass verification when sending personal messages - Users with fewer posts must pass verification.
  • Number of personal messages a user may send in an hour - This option determines the number of messages that users can send in this time period. Admins and moderators are exempt.

Configure Verification Methods

This displays an image that is used to ascertain whether a potential new member is a human or a spam bot. It lets you choose how complex the image is. The more complex the image, the harder it is for bots to read.

  • Visual verification image to display - Select options from 'None', meaning that this option will not be available at all, to 'Extreme' complexity of the image. While the most extreme is the hardest for bots to decypher, it is also hardest for humans, so experiment and choose carefully which level is most suitable for your forum.

reCAPTCHA Verification System

A reCAPTCHA system also helps to deter spam bots from registering. If you want to use it, either in addition to, or instead of, the image verification above, you can configure it here. This sytem requires two official keys, which you can acquire by clicking on the text link "Get your reCAPTCHA key here."

  • Use reCAPTCHA Verification System - This enables this feature.
  • Site Key - Enter the site key which you have requested here.
  • Secret Key - Enter the secret key here.
  • reCAPTCHA Theme - Choose whether a light theme or dark theme would be best for your forum.

Verification Questions

Another way to prevent spam bots from registering in your forum, is to set up one or more challenge questions, which potential new members must answer. Pose multiple questions related to the subject of your forum, which only those who are familiar with such content will be able to answer.

  • Number of verification questions user must answer - Choose how many verification questions you want your potential new members to answer. You can create as many questions as you want, but your potential new members will only have to answer how many you set here. If they get a question which is too difficult, they can refresh the registration page to obtain a new question.
  • [ Add another question ] - This is a text link, and clicking it opens two new fields, one where you can compose a question, and another where you write the correct answer. Every time you click this, two more fields open.
  • [ Add another answer ] - Under the Answer field is another text link to provide more than one answer for a question. While a question may have more than one answer, any potential new member only has to give one of the correct answers.

Note that if you have installed extra languages on your forum, you will want to compose the same number of questions and answers for each language that you have installed.