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

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:48 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

Exactly! It always works, and if it should ever stop working, there are an infinite number of ways to easily change it so that the spammers will have to start over, to try to figure out how to get around it. It's as close to a perfect solution as we will ever see, IMO.

I tried just about every scheme available, before I tried the RAC mod, and while most of them helped, they slowed down the registration process, and introduced stumbling blocks for legitimate registrants, while still allowing an unacceptable number of bot registrations. With the RAC mod, I get zero bot registrations.
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Jim_UK
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:57 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

I even turned off the requirement to activate via the email link about 6 months ago. I did this due to the number that I was seeing register and then for what ever reason fail to activate via that link. It maybe that they had mistyped their email address or it had gone to the junk folder or they had turned off the PC prior to the email arriving and then not gone back on line for several days.
Whatever the reason now all that register are active and still no bots.
Why complicate things for folks? Many have no interest at all in computers and/or are not very IT savy. They just want to communicate with folks with similar interests.

Jim
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dogs and things
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:06 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

That's a good idea Jim,

I just did the same thing.

The only if that this might have is the occasional new member that registers with a wrongly written email address. Although I added a second email field asking to re-enter the email address, just like the password.

I agree with you, registering and overall use of a board should be as easy and user-friendly as possible.

Greetings.

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roadhog
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:12 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

I've noticed the same thing, and it bothers me enough that I usually manually activate their accounts, which is obviously an unnecessary step. Thanks for the tip. I'm going to turn off the e-mail activation on my board, also. That's something I should have already done - it just never occurred to me.

Most of my members are not very computer-savy either, and I'm guessing that some of those e-mails end up being snagged by a spam filter somewhere, simply because they contain a live link.

Thanks.

Wayne
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dogs and things
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:20 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

The same happened to me, it never occurred to me to do this and now that Jim brought it up it seems so logical that I donīt understand why it never occurred to me before as I pursue absolute ease of use for my board's visitors. icon_wink.gif
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Nightrider
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Joined: 10 Dec 2008

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Location: St Petersburg, FL


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:40 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

Jim_UK wrote:
I even turned off the requirement to activate via the email link about 6 months ago.

I did the same thing years ago. Email is not nearly as reliable as it used to be. And many who registered in my community never received their activation email, so were never able to complete the registration process. I lost several good members who could have been extremely active in my community because of this. I turned that "feature" off and still don't have much of any trouble with spam registrations...

My co-admin lives in Texas and we are in regular contact. But I can't even begin to tell you the number of emails that she sends and I don't ever receive and visa versa. I don't know if her or my ISP is incorrectly filtering out the notifications or what is happening. Also, I forgot my password with a business website and asked for a new password to be sent to me. We do know that the email was sent, but it never arrived on my end. This isn't a problem with email ending up in a junk inbox or any problem on our end. It's just that email is no longer as dependable as it used to be...

It's easier for me and everyone to allow automatic activation on the completion of the registration, then if there are any problems, I can deal with them on an individual basis. That has worked well for several years now...

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Sylver Cheetah 53
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Joined: 17 Dec 2008

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:34 am 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

I did that two years ago. icon_smile.gif Email activation is unnecesary. Some people don't know that they have to activate and try to post, but they can not, and don't know why. icon_rolleyes.gif And I guess will all know that email activation won't stop robots. icon_lol.gif
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drathbun
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:37 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

I am really quite surprised to see so many people turning off email confirmation (user activation). How can you be sure they're using a valid email address? If they're not, then how can you be sure of a way to contact them?

Another example, there was a problem with the way our host had configured their configuration of this server that was only revealed because one of our members consistently never got his activation. By getting input from him (and others) I was able to get the host to fix the issue before we went "live" for everyone else.

I don't consider user activation an anti-spam measure at all; I said as much during the talk at Londonvasion. But I still consider it to be important, thus it is turned on on this board and other boards that I run as well.

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dogs and things
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:57 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

My experience so far shows me that 99 out of a 100 registers are with valid email addresses.

As I have two fields for the email address in the sign up form and both addresses must be equal I figure most people will notice a mistake if they misspell one of the two.

And the ocasional user that signs up using an invalid address I shall consider "colateral damage" due to the easier sign up procedure.

Anyhow, if someone uses a wrong email address I'll receive email error messages when topic reply notifications are bounced.

Also, how can we be sure that an email address that was valid at the time of registering will remain valid over a period of time?

Resuming, I donīt worry enough about invalid emails to turn back on email validation as ease of use weighs more for me than the worries about invalid email addresses, for the moment.

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Jim_UK
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Location: North West UK


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:19 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

Hi Dave
Even though they do not get the email that requires them to click the link for activation they are still sent an email. If it was not valid then it would bounce and I would be aware of it and PM them to check their profile.
I have not had a single one bounce in 6 months.
What I have had is emails bounce when users have changed their email address and forgotten to change their details in their profile.
I fail to see the use of the email activation now that the automated bots are blocked with the VIP code mod. If they managed to register then they are human and not a bot. If they are human then they are not aware that they do not require a valid email address until they have registered.
When I had email activation on the only spammers (3 in 4 years) that I got were human and were using genuine email addresses.
That is - email activation does not stop human spammers as it is what they expect to have to produce to register.

I am all for making my site as user friendly as I can and as I said a lot are not very computer savy at all.
I fear that some if they fail to register at first or second attempt may well never come back thinking the problem was with the site and not them.

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 5:14 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

Hi Dave,

Ditto on what Jim has said. My site is a support and information board for a debilitating disease, and members span all age brackets. Most of them are so sick when they register, that they are not in the mood to play registration games with their computer. I find that despite special wording advising them to be sure to respond to the system e-mail, in order to activate their newly-created account, and to contact the admin, if they do not receive that e-mail, I regularly see accounts that are never activated, and only a small percentage of them ever actually ask for help. They're probably frustrated, and intimidated by the system, so they just move on.

In the past, even if they properly activated their accounts, I noticed that many new members often waited for days, weeks, or even months, before posting. It's almost surely just a coincidence, but I've noticed that since I turned off the captcha routine, and allow automatic account activation, suddenly all new members now post immediately upon registration. That's a very gratifying response, (if it continues).

To be honest, I have never felt an urgent need to contact members by e-mail, unless they contact me by e-mail, first, so I'm really not that concerned about someone registering with an invalid address. As was already mentioned, those addresses often become obsolete, and are seldom corrected. If I need to contact a member, I usually send a PM. IOW, I can easily live with an occasional invalid e-mail address, and not lose any sleep over it.

I'm probably overlooking something here, though. Why is it important for every member's correct e-mail address to be on file?

Wayne
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drathbun
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008

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Location: Texas


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:50 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

dogs and things wrote:
As I have two fields for the email address in the sign up form and both addresses must be equal I figure most people will notice a mistake if they misspell one of the two.

Most people copy / paste in that situation... I know I do. icon_smile.gif That just guarantees that the wrong address is used twice.

Jim_UK wrote:
Even though they do not get the email that requires them to click the link for activation they are still sent an email. If it was not valid then it would bounce and I would be aware of it...

But then the burden is on you to check / react to it. I get close to 800 registrations a month, and I'm not interested in checking each one. In my opinion, it's not that much to expect someone to be able to check their email.
roadhog wrote:
My site is a support and information board for a debilitating disease, and members span all age brackets. Most of them are so sick when they register, that they are not in the mood to play registration games with their computer.

I can see that as being a more specialized case. The members of my bigger board are all technical people and are probably used to the idea of providing their email address as well as making sure it's valid.

As far as sending someone a PM, well, if their email address is invalid they won't get the notification of it now, will they? icon_wink.gif Nor will they get any watched topic notices or anything else that relies on valid a valid / working email address. In my opinion (and it's obviously just an opinion) I would rather ensure the email address is correct to begin with.

I realize that email addresses can become invalid; we deal with a few of those each month via the contact form. I don't consider user activation an anti-spam measure, but I do consider it a valid requirement to sign up for a board in order to at least start with clean data.

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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 6:29 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

I'm seeing an increasing number of registrants who deselect many/most notifications, (I assume they're tired of seeing their mailbox flooded with what they consider to be unnecessary e-mails, and they're tired of seeing "in-your-face" pop-ups). When they log on, they will usually notice the PM, (even if they deselect the pop-up notification, etc.). If they don't log on again, it's a moot point anyway.

I can see their point - every Tom, Dick, and Harry wants our e-mail address, and every time we list it, doing so can only add to the problem of already-bloated mailboxes. The question is, "Do we really need that e-mail address?" IMO, it's obviously nice to have, and it gives us some sort of warm feeling of "power" and control, but is it really essential? As an admin, I used to feel obsessive about having accurate information such as that on file, but I've mellowed to the point where I'm not so sure that we actually need it.

At any rate, in the years that I've been administrating my board, the only time that I've actually found e-mail addresses to be useful, was when I was initially setting it up, and conferring regularly with my moderators. I do indeed feel that it's important to have accurate contact info for other admins and moderators, obviously, but I suspect that if I never even asked for the e-mail addresses of most users, it wouldn't matter one iota, in the long run. YMMV, of course

Wayne
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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 6:49 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

I find that email notifications make your boards more active because the members are eager to see what was posted to their replies.

So, I consider email essential to board operations.

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drathbun
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:51 pm 
Post subject: Re: What Anti-Spam measures do you use?

I'm able to see your points, but I'm not sure I'm completely ready to change my opinion. icon_smile.gif I will think about it for a few days.
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