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What Anti-Spam measures do you use?
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Jim_UK
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008

Posts: 548
Location: North West UK


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 7:17 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

drathbun wrote:
Nor will they get any watched topic notices or anything else that relies on valid a valid / working email address.


Bit like here then Dave. icon_lol.gif

Jim
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roadhog
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008

Posts: 95
Location: Central Texas


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 7:33 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

Despite what I said, note that I did not mention that I will be removing the requirement for an e-mail address from my code. icon_biggrin.gif I certainly agree that a lot of users do indeed use notifications, and would probably complain, if that feature were not available. Those users, obviously, will either enter valid e-mail addresses, or they will notify an admin that they are not receiving their notifications, and will be advised to check their e-mail addresses for accuracy.

My point was simply that I don't see much point in worrying about the accuracy of a typical user's e-mail entry. Even if someone chooses to intentionally try to "cheat the system", by entering an invalid address, it's their loss, not mine. Also, anyone can register with a valid address, and after activation, change it to anything they want, in their profile.

Just thinking out loud here, (dangerous, I realize) - maybe the entry of an e-mail address should be made optional, rather than mandatory, with a warning that without a valid address, notifications, and some other features will not be available. icon_eek.gif Perhaps that would be more user-friendly for those prospective new members with privacy concerns, (whether unwarranted or not). icon_rolleyes.gif

Wayne
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Nightrider
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Joined: 10 Dec 2008

Posts: 41
Location: St Petersburg, FL


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:18 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

I have been a fan and avid reader of a blog named Crooks & Liars. Until recently, we could respond to the blog as a guest. But they now require registration in order to post. I registered but never received the activation email. I registered under a new name and again I never received the activation email. So I can no longer respond to any of the blog topics at Crooks & Liars. I really don't want to create the same problem in my community...

I really don't care if an email is valid at registration or whether it becomes invalid sometime after the fact. If I have a problem with a member, I can deal with them without having to send an email to them. If a regular member's email starts bouncing, I can notify them either in PM or when responding to them in a topic. I can usually reach them without having to go through their Inbox. If I have a spammer, I can simply delete their account. I feel no need to contact them through PM or email...

The activation system would be nice if it was guaranteed to be reliable. Since it is not 100% reliable, I can live without it. I have already lost potentially good members because of lost activation email, so I feel that the benefits do not outweigh the risks. For over 2 years, I have and continue to live without the email activation in my community and have had very few, if any, problems without it. IMO, it is an unnecessary hoop for my new members to jump through...

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dogs and things
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Joined: 18 Nov 2008

Posts: 621
Location: Spain


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:40 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

Quote:
Most people copy / paste in that situation... I know I do.
So do I... icon_razz.gif

But I'm not so sure most people will do the same, and if they do, well, as mentioned before, what do I really want a correct email address for?

If the address is incorrect it's bad for the user, not for me, and as Jim says, an email containing username and password is sent on completing the registration proces. If the email address is wrong that mail will be bounced.

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drathbun
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008

Posts: 656
Location: Texas


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:40 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

Jim_UK wrote:
drathbun wrote:
Nor will they get any watched topic notices or anything else that relies on valid a valid / working email address.


Bit like here then Dave. icon_lol.gif

Are you not getting notifications from this site?

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~Cowboy~
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Joined: 08 Dec 2008

Posts: 297
Location: Chicago


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:25 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

Dave,

I get my notification emails pretty quickly here.

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Jim_UK
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008

Posts: 548
Location: North West UK


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:17 am 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

drathbun wrote:
Are you not getting notifications from this site?


I will now Dave - just checked my profile and see that you have it "turned off" by default.

Jim
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drathbun
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008

Posts: 656
Location: Texas


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:28 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

That's correct, you have to "opt in" to get emails from the board. icon_smile.gif That goes for topic replies as well as the nightly digest (summary) of forum activity.
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scotty
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Joined: 22 Dec 2008

Posts: 32


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:21 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

V.I.P mod and no spammers for over 16 months
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Salvatos
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Joined: 19 Feb 2009

Posts: 418
Location: Québec


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:29 am 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

On topic: I have been using Anti-Bot Question for a few years now I reckon, and had no bot registration since.

On off-topic: I also think that it's the user's loss if they do not enter a valid e-mail. If I can't reach them, it will again most likely be their loss and/or end up in the deletion of their account. I have never used confirmation e-mails (I did use admin's activation for a while on a more private forum, but that does not really apply).
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rAWR
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Joined: 26 Feb 2009

Posts: 9


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:42 am 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

I don't remember what the name of the modification is (the previous owner installed this modification), but it asks you if you're human (it uses the rand_seed from the config table as the form name). I've made it nearly automated (with javascript; it tells you if the answer is wrong) to help newly registering users. I don't even use a confirmation image. icon_smile.gif

Not a single spammer btw.
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RefugeeBob
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Joined: 13 Mar 2011

Posts: 31



PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:43 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

Here's a great way to deter manual spammers:

Set your board to require admin activation of new accounts.

It appears that spammers work from lists of forums. They don't want to waste their time signing up for boards where they will never gain access and will never be able to post spam, so they purge such boards from their lists.

I run a few phpbb-based boards. I've had one set to admin activation for a few years and never see any spammers signing up. Others have been set to user activation and spammers were signing up every day (more than half of new registrations were spammers). I set those other boards to admin activation and, within a week, the number of spammers signing up dropped to zero.

I'll give it another week or so to be sure, then I'll try setting them back to user activation and see if spammers return. If they do, I'll have to leave them set to admin activation indefinitely.

This does inconvenience new users, but it's yet another case of spammers ruining things for everyone else.

In case no one has posted this yet, there is a very good database of forum spammers at:

http://www.stopforumspam.com/

You can search by IP address, e-mail address or username. IP address seems the most effective, but it doesn't hurt to search by e-mail address as well.
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lumpy burgertushie
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008

Posts: 217


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:06 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

RefugeeBob wrote:
Here's a great way to deter manual spammers:

Set your board to require admin activation of new accounts.

It appears that spammers work from lists of forums. They don't want to waste their time signing up for boards where they will never gain access and will never be able to post spam, so they purge such boards from their lists.

I run a few phpbb-based boards. I've had one set to admin activation for a few years and never see any spammers signing up. Others have been set to user activation and spammers were signing up every day (more than half of new registrations were spammers). I set those other boards to admin activation and, within a week, the number of spammers signing up dropped to zero.

I'll give it another week or so to be sure, then I'll try setting them back to user activation and see if spammers return. If they do, I'll have to leave them set to admin activation indefinitely.

This does inconvenience new users, but it's yet another case of spammers ruining things for everyone else.

In case no one has posted this yet, there is a very good database of forum spammers at:

http://www.stopforumspam.com/

You can search by IP address, e-mail address or username. IP address seems the most effective, but it doesn't hurt to search by e-mail address as well.

Hi bob, welcome to the board.
Your suggestion is good for a small board that doesn't get many registrations but if it is a busy board you would be spending all your time dealing with approving registrations.

Installing the RAC MOD will completely stop all spam bots in their tracks and you can set it back to "user" with no worries.

as for the stopforumspam thing, I have not seen that it really helps. It will slow down your board while it searches for all those spam addresses etc. It is simply not needed when you have the RAC MOD installed.

As for human spammers, well, there isn't a whole lot you can do about them but deal with them manually.

thanks,
robert
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RefugeeBob
Board Member



Joined: 13 Mar 2011

Posts: 31



PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:42 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

lumpy burgertushie wrote:

Your suggestion is good for a small board that doesn't get many registrations but if it is a busy board you would be spending all your time dealing with approving registrations.


My boards get about 8-10 new registrations per day. I don't mind checking to see if they're spammers because I am diligent about keeping spammers out. It's worth the effort.

lumpy burgertushie wrote:
Installing the RAC MOD will completely stop all spam bots in their tracks and you can set it back to "user" with no worries.


I am specifically talking about MANUAL spammers here, actual humans who sign up for boards to post spam. Read the very first line of my previous post. Spambots are easily defeated, so manual spammers have been on the increase lately. Many of them have been using AOL e-mail addresses, BTW.

lumpy burgertushie wrote:
as for the stopforumspam thing, I have not seen that it really helps. It will slow down your board while it searches for all those spam addresses etc. It is simply not needed when you have the RAC MOD installed.


I respectfully disagree. It takes seconds to check an IP address against the forum spammer database.

lumpy burgertushie wrote:
As for human spammers, well, there isn't a whole lot you can do about them but deal with them manually.


Which is what my post was all about. They can be deterred. I'm sorry, I thought I'd made myself clear.
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RefugeeBob
Board Member



Joined: 13 Mar 2011

Posts: 31



PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:21 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

I set my least active board back to user activation and, after about a week, not a single spammer (again, the human kind). I've just set my other boards back to user activation. I'll see how it goes.

If there's money to be made selling lists of forums for spamming purposes, it's possible that new lists are being compiled. If so, these boards could pop up on future lists and (human) spammers could return. If that happens, I'll just set them back to admin activation until the spammers cease signing up. It's a PITA, of course, but spammers must be fought.


I once saw a forum that had been completely taken over by spammers. It was a support forum for some software I once used. I moved on to better software and no longer visited that forum until, about 2 years later, I got a piece of spam with a link that caught my eye. I recognized it as a link to a post on that forum. I didn't click on the link, of course, but visited that forum. There had been nothing but spam posted there for about a year and a half. Spammers were using it to create their pitches, then sending links to those pitches in spam e-mails (a means of getting past spam-blocking, I presume). I don't know what happened to the one guy who owned/administered that forum, but it was obvious that no one had been minding the store for a long time. About 6 months later, I looked at that forum again. It had been cleaned up. All the spam and spammers were gone, and the forum (and software) was under new management. I still don't know what happened to the original guy.
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