Anti-Spam

My Forum is full of spam messages, how can I avoid that? How can I get rid of spammers? How can I prevent it from being hacked?

Spamming is the biggest problem you have to deal with when using PhpBB. That’s because it is the most used forum engine. The developers of PhpBB are aware of this issue and try to improve the anti-spam mechanisms with every update.

I once found myself in the situation of having the forum heavily spammed. But it's not just the forum. Also my other website files were hacked. Usually spamming is not cuased by real people but is caused by applications developed by hackers. These applications are called spam bots.

Fortunately there currently are some easy ways to keep spamming away from your Board. I'm not a friend of captcha. They are really annoying and sometimes challenging for humans too. Also I'm not friend of confirming the e-mail address to activate the account, sometimes e-mails just don't arrive or get caught in the spam folder which is annoying too. Further I doubt this is keeping away spam bots.
Instead to prevent spamming I would recommend you to add two custom profile fields which people will have to fill in when signing up to your forum:

- "Are you sure you want to join the forum?"
- "How much is 3+4?"

On my forums this is keeping away 98% of the spam. What about the remaining 2%? Well these are actual humans...

Creating a custom "Are you sure you want to join the forum?" field

Login to your admin area.

From the top choose Users and groups. Then go to Custom profile fields on the left hand side.

Enter join_or_not as the name of the field and choose Dropdown box as the kind of field (it's really important to use the dropdown box)

Hit Create new field.

Under Visibility options choose the following settings

Under Field name/title presented to the user enter Are you sure you want to join the forum?
Under field description enter which is the right answer to make sure no one types it wrong
Under Entries type the possible answers one per line
NO
YES

Hit Profile type specific options

Under Default value make sure the wrong answer is selected. Same for the Option equal to non-entered value.

This way the one who wants to register to the forum is obliged to change the value.
Hit Save (on the right).

Go to General and choose Purge the cache for the changes to take effect (Cofirm=>Yes).

Creating a custom "How much is 3+4?" field

Login to your admin area.

From the top choose Users and groups. Then go to Custom profile fields on the left hand side.

Enter calculate as the name of the field and choose Numbers as the kind of field.

Hit Create new field.

Under Visibility options choose the following settings

Under Field name/title presented to the user enter 3+4 = ?
Under field description enter which is the right answer to make sure no one types it wrong

Hit Profile type specific options

Length of input box enter 5 (it actually makes no difference what you type in here)
Lowest allowed number enter 7 (or your result)
Highest allowed number enter 7 (or your result)
Default value leave this field empty

Hit Save (on the right).

Go to General and choose Purge the cache for the changes to take effect (Cofirm=>Yes).

Further ideas

1) For the first part...

"Do you want to spam on my forum?" (The answer is NO)

YES
NO

Default value and equal to non entered is YES

"1+5 equals" (The answer is 6)

1
6

Default value and equal to non entered is 1

2) For the second part...

Any combination other than 3+4


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