Web Wiz Forums Preventing Spam
Web Wiz Forums can be configured to stop 100% of spam being displayed within your forums, however how far you go with anti-spam prevention depends on your own individual forum and preferences.
You should also be aware when setting up your anti-spam measures that although preventing spam from automated programs and remote computers is easy that many spammers are now employing real people from low wage countries to do their spamming for them and you may need to use more extreme measures to prevent these spammers.
For most forums the following settings are sufficient in preventing the majority of spam:-
- Disable Guest Posting (Unregistered Member Posting)
- Enable CAPTCHA Security Images
- Enable Email Activation of new member accounts
- Set the Anti-Spam Flood Controls at sensible levels
Below you will find a number of different strategies for preventing spam in your forums, however you should remember the more extreme the measure the more inconvenience there will be to your members and more work for your admins and moderators.
Allowing Guests (unregistered members) to post in your forum is a big invitation to spammers as they will find it very easy to post spam in your forums.
If you do decide to allow Guests to post in your forum then you should enable CAPTCHA Security Images and also consider using 'Post Approval' so that Admins and Moderators can approve the posts before they are displayed in your forums.
Email Activation of New Member Accounts
This is the most affective way to prevent the majority of spam within your forums (as long as Guest Posting is disabled).
By enabling Email Activation of new accounts from the Email Settings page within the Admin Control Panel new members will be required to enter a valid email account when registering on your forum. An activation email is then sent to the new members email address with an activation link to enable the members account.
This features puts off most spammers from signing up, it also gives your forum more protection from unruly members by suspending an account the member can not signup again using the same username or email address.
StopForumSpam Known Spammer Blocking
StopForumSpam provide a list of known forum spammers. Web Wiz Forms is able to connect to the StopForumSpam service to check the IP Address, Email Address, or Username of new Members and if found will block them from registerng on your forum.
You can enbaled the blocking of known forum spammers from the StopForumSpam Settings page within the Admin Control Panel.
The configuarable Spam Filter using either words or regular expressions is a great way to reduce spam. You can add words, links, or patterns that are common in the spam your forum receives and set the actions of either to reject or require approval if spam is detected in posts.
The Spam Filter is ideal as different forums get different spam and by configuring the spam filter over time you can eliminate nearly all spam forum your forum.
Post Approval - Full Post Moderation
This option can place more work on admins and moderators but will prevent 100% of spam being displayed in your forum by requiring posts to first be approved by an Admin or Moderator before they are displayed within your forum.
This feature can be enabled through the Forums Permission System on individual forums for particular members or member groups. By being selective you can reduce the load on Admins and Moderators to approve new posts by only enable it for certain members or groups, such as only enabling it for new the new members group so that only new un-trusted members are required to have their posts approved.
Anti-Spam Flood Control
The Flood Control Features of Web Wiz Forums prevent your forums from being flooded with Spam Posts and Private Messages by limiting the number of Posts and Private Messages that can be made within a certain time frame. Once the limit is reached the member will be required to wait before making anymore Posts or Private Messages.
Admin Activation of New Member Accounts
This feature is both useful in preventing spam or if you want to create a private forum. By enabling this feature from the Email Settings page within the forum Admin Control Panel it will mean that an activation email is sent to the forums email address when a new member registers on the forum allowing the member to be 'checked out' before the forum admin activates their account.
Email Address / Email Domain Banning
Many spammers use free anonymous email accounts from GMail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. when registering to use forums to spam them. By using the Email Address Banning Tool in conjunction with Email Activation of New Member Accounts you are able to prevent people from registering to your forum using these free anonymous email address.
The Email Address Banning Tool available in the Admin Control Panel not only allows you to ban individual email address, but can also be used to ban email domains as well. For example adding *@gmail.com would prevent anyone from using a GMail Email Account when registering to use your forum. The same can be used for *@hotmail.com, *@yahoo.com, *@mail.ru, etc.
Disable New registrations
This feature is intended for extreme situations where for whatever reason you need to suspend new members registering on your forum.
Spam Cleaner Tool
If a spammer still gets through the Spam Cleaner Tool, available through Member Profile pages, can be used to clean up a spammer. From the Spam Cleaner Tool you are able to perform the following actions:-
- Suspend the Spammers Member Account
- Submit the Spammers details to StopForumSpam
- Delete the Spammers Posts
- Delete the Spammers Private Messages
- Block the Spammers IP Address (IPv4 and IPv6 supported)
- Remove Spammers Avatar, Signature, and Homepage
- Add Notes to the account for other Admins and Moderators to read