Site policy: Spam and security features

Forums Management Site policy: Spam and security features

  • 2021-09-30 at 10:30 am

    As this forum is run by a small group of busy people with day jobs, we need to minimise the impact of spam and bot registrations. Ordinarily, I (Robert) would not like to have 3rd-party software that stops visitors from coming and contributing, or that might collect data on them and their use of the site.

    However, we have to balance that against the usefulness of the blog and forum. If it were awash with spam, it would be hard to use.

    So, we currently have the following installed:

    • Akismet anti-spam plugin to stop individual posts that are likely to be spam
    • creativeminds Email Blacklist plugin to prevent bots from registering. (I don’t approve of the “blacklist” term by the way)

    The potential problems here are that someone legit can’t register because they want to use a personal email address that happens to be on a domain which bots use (typically free email that is easy to register for), or that a registered user can’t post because the anti-spam detects something suspicious in their text, like if they were doing a meta-analysis of ED medications (you see, I can’t even write it here!).

    So, the policy at present is:

    1. to have these plugins and to pay for the annual licenses
    2. to let them block, but have messages displayed inviting legit users to email the admin address to let us know
    3. to amend the filters accordingly where we can
    4. if it becomes a major problem, we will contact the plugin makers asking for help and consider switching to another provider

    Anyone with suggestions on this topic, please reply to this topic. This website is run by its users!