Jump to content

Community

Stop the Spam: Guide to stopping spammers


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 108
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

With the proliferation of topics regarding how to combat spammers, I thought to create a guide for members on how to fight this phenomenon. The one thing everyone should be aware of is that you cannot

This thread has helped my site stop 600+ Registrations in just under a week.

ie.. If they're bad enough to need such a mod, then either lay down the law and then enforce it or ban them and be done with it. Stop pussyfooting around with it.

I have just installed the Stop Spammer Registration hook as I was getting lots of spam registrations over the last few days. Most were banned immediately by IPS Spam Service but some were not. This was using all steps you listed apart from the last two.

I heard using "KeyCapcha" instead of "ReCapcha" also helps.

I don't think you need an API Key for stop forum spam website... Just one for project honeypot. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are using the QA Challenge, try not to put the answer into the Question. For instance here are two (reasonable) questions:

Type in the number forty seven, just the two digits without any spaces

Is 100 times better than:

Type in the number 47, just the two digits without any spaces

As you've not given the direct answer in the question itself.

The same could be applied to maths questions, although generally it seems best to not use these, or just have one if you have a selection of questions and try not to include the calculation symbol if possible too:

What is six plus six ?

Again, that is a lot lot better than:

What is 6 + 6 ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you also enabled the IPS anti-spam service? I don't know why you're having problems but I've been using these options for quite some time and I haven't had problems with any spammer getting through. If you don't have the IPS anti-spam feature enabled, you might want to consider that. Since October 12th, the Stop Forum Spam app by itself has stopped more than 1200 spammers from registering. Also, make sure that the configuration for SFS is enabled.

And, Andy is quite correct. You don't want to include the answer in the question. lols

One thing, don't rely on a single option I've mentioned to stop the spammers. I use the majority of those options and they work with each other. If one feature doesn;t stop the spammer, one of the other features will.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I Only Use Stop Forum Spam, and that is best, we have 4.5k Registered members, all Legit and 2.6k Blocked and our site has only been online for 5 months

Yes you need a API for stop forum spam, or you site will not read their database of spammers.

Our Stop Forum Spam Setting are only set to block registrations if the email matches one in the sfs database, we do not block for IP matches.

We know all our members are legit because they take part in our forums or Purchase a subscription for our server, or play on our servers.

Our IPS Anti-Spam is disabled, and we require users to activate their accounts before taking part, if their account isn't activated within 7 days it automatically gets deleted.

We have not had to delete any spam posts, or ban any spam accounts for advertising. only banned users we have are ones that have broken our rules more than 3 times.

So in a short answer SFS does the job for us, without any help from IPS Anti-Spam, or our moderators.

Link to post
Share on other sites

DogPatch, I have the same experience. No problem on my community, either. I think I had one spammer actually get all of the way through but my forum staff were able to stop that spammer before they became much of a problem. All in all, the points I outlined in the original post in this topic have a 99.99% effectiveness. But, I do have to stress this, you cannot expect these options to do the work for you. If you don't enable these and don't do the work, then it won't work for your site.

I'm a frequent poster on my own site and I know each and every member. Whenever I get a new registered member and if it looks like a suspicious user account, I do go into investigative mode and search Google, SFS to make sure that the user isn't a spammer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't need an API Key to do checks on Stop Forum Spam, an API Key is only used for adding spammers to the database.

Another suggestion for your article, add a link to 'KeyCAPTCHA' on the marketplace. An alternative to reCAPTCHA if that is proving useless.

For Q&A, questions should be site specific. Don't use questions that will be asked on other websites. Use things like:

- What is this forum called?

- Which of these subjects is not related to this forum? ( <subjects > )

- In the Terms of Agreement what minimum age does it state you need to be in order to register? (Also a great way to get people to READ the TOA)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, CyRem, I'll do that. Great suggestion. :thumbsup:

Oops, can't edit. But, KeyCaptcha is also a great tool to use, as well.

I do agree with you on the Q&A challenge. I can't believe how many people use "what is 2+2" or "what color is the sky". I use specific Q&A that are unique to my community that nobody else would know.

Link to post
Share on other sites

if you allow guests to post but require captcha for it keykaptcha has an issue on mobile skins with some browsers.

just an fyi, its pretty specific config and most would not see it probably.

I had this problem myself with Keykaptcha so I changed to Are You Human, http://community.invisionpower.com/files/file/5615-playthru/, which works really well and is fun too. i got it direct from their site before I realised it was on Marketplace here. Support is excellent and very fast should you need it.

Otherwise, I have all of the suggestions here and also use User Geolocation Restriction, http://community.invisionpower.com/files/file/5262-user-geolocation-restriction/, to block spammer countries like China and Russia and a few others. My forums are pretty much country specific so the chances of someone genuinely posting from those countries are pretty much nil. It's blocked over 4000 from China, for instance, in less than a month. It's not free but it goes a long way to stopping new spammers that aren't yet on databases. There are options to totally disable access or ban from those countries (or allow them through)

Armed with all these, I've had no spammers except one human spammer slip through who must have been bored and spent time looking through the forum in order to answer the Q+A!

Edited by Millipede
Link to post
Share on other sites

The Q&A is very effective, but I wouldn't suggest common questions. The bots that are used are becoming more sophisticated and deal with these with relative ease.

Instead, I would suggest a question that your specific community would be expected to know the answer to. For example, on my gaming forum I had a question that anybody registering would know the answer to... "What is the main gaming title supported by XXXXXX?" (XXXXX being the name of the clan) - answers BF3, BF, Battlefield3, Battlefield 3, Battlefield

Link to post
Share on other sites

Heff, I've been aware of that for some time now. I had customized my Q&As to questions that only members familiar with my website would be aware of. They're not commonly know and unless you knew the subject matter, you're not getting through the Q&A challenge. if you use questions that are commonly know to everyone, then the Q&A isn't that effective.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanted to add to what others have already made about Q&A questions - you are all very correct. As has been mentioned elsewhere in this forum, as bots have grown more sophisticated, we must grow with them. Unfortunately, it's hard to block human (manual) spam, but adding complex Q&A questions like Keiichi mentioned is the best place to start. Not too complex to deter membership from growing, but just enough to make a human spammer or spam bot move on and try a different site.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Collin S., exactly. I happen to have a community that is so unique that it's the last community remaining for the content I have based my community around. My community is based on a specific anime and manga series and is the only remaining website on this particular series. What I had done was create "Question and Answer" challenges that deal with very specific content relating to this series and they are not commonly known unless you're conducting very specific search inquiries on the series. Not only that, but I've crafted several Q&A's around this very ideal.

This is why I advocate that admins don't use such common Q&A's for anti-spam measures because they are easily known.

Link to post
Share on other sites

:thumbsup: The methods that I actually use are:

  • IPS Anti-Spam
  • reCaptcha
  • SFS Plugin
  • Question and Answer Challenge

There are three questions that I use for the challenge and they are not easy to guess unless you know the subject matter, which members and actual new registered members already know the answers to those questions. The SFS Plugin has stopped 1400 Spammers in under two months. lols

Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't used search engines rankings since I started my site ... my community has gained a solid reputation among the online community and that's because of the members. For the past few years, my members run the site and I don't have to worry about advertising it. The thing is, when someone is searching for the subject matter that my site deals with, it ends up as one of the few top listings in the search criteria.

But, what you'll finid is that the more traffic and the larger yoour site becomes, the more attention you will draw from the spammers. I discovered this when 3.0 was first rolled out and having a moderately sized community with more than 150k messages ... tends to draw attention to itself. lols

Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't it possible to allow guest posts but send them to a moderation queue to be authorized before they become visible and permanently posted to the site? I like to have guest posts because it encourages content from visitors without them having to go through the hassle of registering.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We use technologies, such as cookies, to customise content and advertising, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic to the site. We also share information about your use of our site with our trusted social media, advertising and analytics partners. See more about cookies and our Privacy Policy