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Spam Prevention


Spam is a problem that every community of a certain size has to deal with. IP.Board contains a number of features to prevent, and easily deal with spam. This article serves as an index of these features.


Captcha

Captcha is something seen on almost every registration page on the Internet - it is where the user is asked to type in a word or a series of letters. The theory goes that computers cannot read these, and so requiring the user pass a Captcha test proves that the user is human.
This is vital to spam prevention, as without Captcha, a computer program could register on your community and post many topics filled with spam.

IP.Board includes two types of Captcha you can use: ReCAPTCHA, an externally hosted Captcha service (this is what we recommend users use) and a traditional Captcha, generated by the GD library.
You can enable Captcha and which type to use by going to Admin CP --> System --> System Settings --> System --> Security and Privacy. ReCAPTCHA is used by default.

Configuring the Captcha language
If you are using ReCAPTCHA, you will notice that by default, ReCAPTCHA uses English. ReCAPTCHA also supports several other languages, you can configure which language is used by changing the "reCAPTCHA Language" on the Security and Privacy setting page.
This setting should be a two character code - at the time of writing, the following languages were available:
  • en - English
  • nl - Dutch
  • fr - French
  • de - German
  • pt - Portuguese
  • ru - Russian
  • es - Spanish
  • tr - Turkish
If the language your community is targeted for is not available, you may wish to consider switching to the classing captcha option, instead of using ReCAPTCHA.

ReCAPTCHA keys
ReCAPTCHA uses a private and a public API key to operate - IP.Board by default has these settings set with keys which will work. Should you wish to change them to your own keys, you can do this on the Security and Privacy settings page.


Question and Answer Challenge

Sometimes a Captcha doesn't prevent all computers from registering. There is a chance that as computers become more advanced they learn how to read Captchas, or, the Captcha is fed to a human to type in, and then the computer continues with the registration process.

Another feature IP.Board has to prevent computers registering is the "Question and Answer Challenge" - you can configure IP.Board to ask the user a question, and only allow users to register if they answer the question correctly. For example, if you create a question which asks "What color is the sky?" and put "blue" as the only valid answer, then nobody will be able to register an account without answering the question correctly.

To set this up, you first need to set up your questions and their answers. You do this by going to Admin CP --> Question & Answer Challenge. Click "Add New Question", then enter the question and the possible answers (one valid answer per line, if you only want to allow one valid answer, just enter the one, and do not allow a blank line in the list anywhere). You can set up as many questions as you like, a random one will be used if you have more than one. Once you've set up your questions and answers, the feature will automatically be used on the registration page, serving one question at random.


Spam Monitoring Service

If you have a current active IP.Board, you are entitles to access to the IPS Spam Monitoring Service - using this service, whenever a user registers, IP.Board will make a call to IPS servers to check if the user is a known spammer. You can then choose action to take based on that report.
You can then report users as spammers which will feed back to IPS, meaning as time goes on, the service becomes smarter and more accurate.

To set up the Spam Monitoring Service, see this article: http://community.inv...html?record=185


Flagging Spam Users

Sometimes, despite the various measures to prevent spammers registering, you may find some slip through. Fortunately, IP.Board includes a feature that allows your moderators to flag an account as a spammer, which can instantly stop them from posting, unapprove all their existing posts and/or ban the account with a single click. If you use the Spam Monitoring Service this can also feedback the user's information so that the service can continue to grow. You can also then review flagged members and ban them if you see fit.
To set up the action to take when a user is flagged as a spammer, go to the Security and Privacy settings page (Admin CP --> System --> System Settings --> System --> Security and Privacy) and to the "Security [Managing Members]" section - there are several settings to configure.

Flagging a member
Instructions in this article explain how your moderators can flag a member.

Reviewing Flagged Accounts
When a member flags an account as a spammer, they will show up in the Admin CP --> Members --> Manage Spam Accounts section. From here, you can remove the flag or ban the account as you see fit.



2 Comments

Where is this setting nowadays folks:

 

"Once you've set up your questions, you need to turn the feature on by toggling the "Enable questions and answers?" setting on the Security and Privacy setting page (Admin CP --> System --> System Settings --> System --> Security and Privacy)."

 

 

I created the questions, but where to enable them om the registration form?

 

Thanks, Marten

Document has been updated.

 

The feature is used automatically once one or more questions have been entered.


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