Warning: The author of this contribution does not provide support for it anymore.

Advanced Block MOD

Frequently Asked Questions

The alternative phpBB3 Anti SPAM Guide

This is an unofficially alternative or at least an unofficially addition for Preventing Spam in phpBB3.

What is forum spam?
  1. spam account user regsitrations
  2. spam guest postings
  3. other possible things added by MODs and which are allowed to be used by guests (ANONYMOUS) - e.g. contact form
How are spammers working?
  • They are using programs called spambots which are spamming automatically.
  • They are spamming manually by visiting each website/board manually. -> human spammers
CAPTCHAs can prevent spambots only:
  • Visual CAPTCHAs can been cracked. Most of Visual CAPTCHAs are cracked.
  • Q&A CAPTCHAs can prevent spambots if the questions are not default questions or if they are unique enough. The Q&A strategy is a new strategy for phpBB3. We will see next months if the spammers will use databases with questions and answers effective enough or not.
  • Other CAPTCHA plugins like the semi-commercial KeyCAPTCHA seem not to be suitable to be cracked. But for me they are looking more like online games. Are they looking professional or serious? What's the matter with blind, young, old or disabled users?
How to prevent human spammers?
  • Admin Activation - not usefull for larger boards - Double Activation would make it much more usefull. But it's not working automatically.
  • Use blacklists or other databases e.g. with Advanced Block MOD.
I don't know other features to prevent human spammers.

Do following steps if you are not happy with Visual CAPTCHAs and Q&A CAPTCHAs:
  1. Email have to work on your board. If you have problems with sending emails look here: http://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/mod/m ... /faq/f_385
  2. Set Account Activation to User or to User+Admin.
    ACP -> BOARD CONFIGURATION -> User registration settings -> General settings -> for Account Activation select User or User+Admin
  3. Install Advanced Block MOD
  4. Disable all Visual and Q&A CAPTCHAs.
    ACP -> BOARD CONFIGURATION -> User registration settings -> General options -> set Enable spambot countermeasures for registrations to No.
    ACP -> BOARD CONFIGURATION -> Post settings -> General options set Enable spambot countermeasures for guest postings to No.

This whitepaper should make you happy. You just will have some spammers at your Inactive users list. These accounts are not activated. So they will not spam and they are not displayed at the member list.
If you want to have more features for User registration and for User management you can install the Advanced Double Activation Pack, too. Then you will have an administrator friendly and user friendly dreamteam.