People signing up on your community just to post spam is a never ending battle much like spam in your email inbox. IPS Community Suite has tools to help you fight that battle.
You will find the various methods in combatting spam in the following location in your ACP
Members -> Content Moderation ->Spam Prevention
The IPS Spam Defence Service is a free service provided by IPS to clients with an active licence. Each time a user signs up to your site, the registration is checked with the spam prevention service which will determine its likelihood of being an spam. This is given a level of 1 to 4.
From here you can set up what automatically happens to these users when they are detected as being a potential spammer by the service.
Spam Defence Setup
You can change the default settings to any of the following items
- Allow user to register as normal
- Allow registration, but require approval of all posts
- Flag the account for manual review
- Register the account, but immediately ban it
- Do not allow the user to register at all
There may be times when you need to see what level has been given to a registering member, and for this we have provided logging for each registration which goes through the spam defence service. This can be helpful if for example a registering member reports they are getting the message they are not allowed to register. You can find these by selecting the "Spam Defence Logs" button in the top right of the Spam Prevention section.
Members -> Content Moderation ->Spam Prevention -> Spam Defence Logs
Here you can see the users details, along with what level has been registered. This alongside your spam defence settings would show you what action was taken
There will be instances where someone has been flagged at a higher level than you would have liked. A prime example of this would be if you are testing registrations yourself. Trying to register over and over would eventually flag you as a spammer at level 4. By default this would refuse registration. In the above scenario, you can whitelist individuals in the spam service, so they are not checked. To do this, you would visit "Spam Defence Whitelist" where you can add an IP address, or email domain to be excluded from any future checks.
Email domain localhost has been whitelisted
CAPTCHA is an external service, in which can be used to determine whether a user is human, or not. Automated code known as bots are often used to automatically sign up to websites, in order to post spam, adverts etc. Therefore adding a captcha method is one form in which to prevent this.
You can set up a captcha on your site from the 'CAPTCHA' tab with the spam prevention section, where you will be able to choose from one of the following
- Invisible reCAPTCHA - Users do not need to do anything. The system intelligently detects if the user is human in the background.
- reCAPTCHA V2 - The user clicks a "I'm not a robot" checkbox
- keyCAPTCHA - The user must complete simple jigsaw puzzle
- hCaptcha- The user must click a checkbox and may be require to select certain images from a grid
For each of these services, you are required to create a (free) API key in order to use them. You will find a link to this under the key section related to the selected service.
Important Note: Google has discontinued reCAPTCHA v1 and this service is no longer available. If you are using Invision Community 4.2 or below, you will need to reset your CAPTCHA service preference to reCAPTCHA 2 or keyCAPTCHA.
The "Flagging Spammers" section is where you can set up what happens when a member on your community is flagged as a spammer. This will allow you to have a member automatically banned, remove submitted content and notify someone if you wish to do so.
Flagging spammer options
You can flag a member as a spammer from one of 3 areas on the site. You will see a flag at the side of each member in the member list on the admin CP which can be used for this purpose, a button on the members profile on the front end, or under the 'More Options' menu in a member card
Flagging a spammer
The question and answer challenge gives you an extra customizable set of questions and answers you can present to a potential member to ensure that the user is human and not an automated spamming bot. You can put whatever questions you like in here for people to answer along with multiple possible answers.
Try to use a question and answer that will make the user think, not a simple math or color question as bots can get right past those. Be sure to add more than one, so the answer isn't the same for each registration, as a human can plug that info into a bot and get right past the same answer each time.
Question: What is the third letter of the 5th word in this sentence.
What is 3rd, word, in this sentence after the comma?