Stop vBulletin Spam

vbulletin_logovBulletin spam or forum spam is simply some automated script that is able to register an account and/or post unwanted stuff on your forum. Spam these days not only confined to scripts but there are human spammers as well and you cannot prevent them from spamming but you can definitely stop them to an extent. I will write on how to stop them in the most effective way with a simple plug-in in Part II of this article but as of now let’s see what options we have for spam prevention into vBulletin

Moderate New Users

This is probably one of the few full proof option for preventing spam but not practical one for large forums. When you have thousands of users getting registered daily it becomes difficult to moderate so many users manually but still if you can manage you can use it.

Login to your Admin Control Panel and visit

vBulletin Options > vBulletin Options > User Registration Options

And select Yes for Moderate New Members

Enabling Captcha/Questions/reCaptcha for Registration

You should enable Human Verification in vBulletin.

Login to your Admin Control Panel and visit

vBulletin Options > Human Verification Manager

And choose the option that would be best for your users.

I have reCaptcha for Go4Expert.com but remember that many non-technical forums at times have issues when it comes to reCaptcha. I prefer simple question and answer verification which works best on any forum. Question very simple – as simple as 2+2 can prevent many bot activities. Dumb fellows :D

Stop guest and unconfirmed user from posting

If you do not allow guest or unconfirmed users to post on your forums you can be safe from lots of automated spam scripts.

Login to your Admin CP and visit

Usergroup > Usergroup Manager and disallow posting from

  • Users Awaiting Email Confirmation
  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Ban Spam Email Domains

Banning email domains like mail.ru and other such email domains can prevent lots of spammers to pass the registration process. To do

Login to your Admin CP and visit

vBulletin Options > vBulletin Options > User Banning Options and

In the Banned Email Addresses Field Paste list of spam email domains

Add extra custom profile field as required

Many bots are programmed to work on default vBulletin fields and having an extra required field can lower spam activity on your forum.

Login to your Admin CP and visit

User Profile Fields > Add New User Profile Field

Select any type of field you want user to input (It can be as simple as user’s real name) but in step 2 do not miss on selecting the Field Required option to yes.

Banning from Infractions for senior members

One more thing that I recently started at Go4Exert was to allow senior members to give infraction to users and that way any serious spammer can be blocked by senior members even though no moderator is online. This helped moderators to cleanup from too many threads to just a few posts.

Let’s say you want any user with 1000+ posts should be allowed to give infractions.

Login to your Admin CP and visit

Usergroups > Usergroup Manager

and click on Add New Usergroup and here we create Usergroup Based on users previous Usergroup which is Registered Users but under User Infraction Permissions we allow this Usergroup to give infractions i.e. Can Give Infractions to Others to Yes and Can See Others’ Infraction Level to Yes

Now you need to create an automatic promotion for users to be moved to new Usergroup.

Usergroups > Promotions and Click on Add New Promotion and select the necessary fields to move user to the new Usergroup.

Now In Admin CP visit User Infractions > User Infraction Manager and add few Automatic Bans and some custom infraction levels.

ban-infractions

Do you have more tips to share? Post them in comments.

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  • http://vbresults.com Steven

    “No captchas, no questions, no counting animals, no puzzles — simple.”

    http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=289463

  • codeunlock

    I would add one more point. The Option to allow posting in certain forums only after few days or after few posts. This worked for one of my client very much where he got lots of spam in general chat forums and there we blocked posting for 3 days after registration.

  • codeunlock

    I would add one more point. The Option to allow posting in certain forums only after few days or after few posts. This worked for one of my client very much where he got lots of spam in general chat forums and there we blocked posting for 3 days after registration.