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NC for Hire
How much do you really know about Online Hackers and Scams? This is an amazing phenomenon and open door of opportunities for Criminals. Educate yourself. Educate your family, friends, and members of your Social Community.

As part of a series of educational videos about Hackers and Scams, I will be adding a new Video Episode each week, for the next month+ to the Creators site and JenSocial.

Episode #1 - Stop Hacker Commerce:

Episode #2 - The Trap Is Set:

Episode #3 - Caught In The Web:

Find out more about the report of all Scams - - Offline and Online. Find out if they are myth or fact. Scam Report
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

How To Prevent Spammers on Ning Networks

There are 5 features offered on a Ning Network that help prevent Sign-Up Spammers. To set your options, access the features via: My Network/Members/Controls

You can approve all new Members. This definitely helps in the prevention of Sign-Up spammers joining your Ning Network. You may not catch all of them, but most will give you good indicators that they are spammers. If you see repeated words like "i tell you later, i tell you later", or "i'm a good girl looking for love", etc... you can bet your bottom dollar, these are spammers. And of course goes without saying, Do not approve these accounts.

If you do not want to "Approve Members", there are 4 other features that will help prevent Sign-Up Spammers:

  • Require new members to verify their email address - I advise turning on this feature for all Networks.
  • Fill out a captcha
    • An image containing words that users must correctly identify.
    • I advise turning on this feature, due to most auto-spambots cannot enter a captcha correctly, since it is a never changing "image".
  • Answer the sign-up quiz
    • Create a quiz question that new members must answer correctly to join.
    • You can really get clever on the sign-up quiz question. I saw one where a Network Creator asked "Are you a real person?" and he set the default answer to "No". This will catch a lot of spambots, no doubt.
    • Definition: A spambot is an automated computer program, or, more rarely, a script, designed to assist in the sending of spam - - and joining Networks for the same purpose in mind, including dropping links to illegal sites.
    • Another great way to utilize this feature: add a question that only applies to your type network. Add a question that members of your site should know, if they are interested in joining your Network. A great example: A Ning Network for Golf may ask a question like this, "Would you rather have a Birdie or a Bogey?"
  • Spam Prevention - Automatically suspend suspected spammers
    • I'm not sure what algorithm or criteria is in place for suspending suspected spammers.
    • Please let us know your experience, if you know more about this feature.

Here's a screen shot of your "Prevent Spammer" Controls:

Perfect Example - - Just had this spammer join JenSocial (August 10, 2010), and about the 7th one today. BTW, I have not set a question for the Sign-Up Quiz yet. I will very soon!

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  • Hi, I'm getting a wave of spam emails now that are being received by everyone who has typed in their email address somewhere on the site. It seems to be affecting email addresses entered into Events, Pages, Discussions, Blogs, Photos, everything.

    Any tips for how to stop this (aside from the obvious, not typing in email addresses in the first place)?

  • I used to run a website that I could block by IP Address or a range of IP Addresses to prevent this. Is this possible to do on NING Networks? This features works like a charm the only drawback is that IPs may be blocked from users you do not want block. But I have found out that most spammers come from countries like Nigeria (Spam Capitol of the world).
  • I've used the approval method with great success.
  • Some questions I'm considering using are "what is the name of this website?" or "what is the first word of this sentence?"

    I'm just hoping that those will be simple enough for everyone. :P
  • Hi Claude, I absolutely agree with you. I just had an experience with a user using screen reader and they cannot even locate the speaker icon.

    At the moment I'm doing a manual update of a simple maths problem, such as "What is 6+2?" and allow for both numbers and words input. Hope it's a bit better.

  • NC for Hire
    Hi Janettee,
    That's interesting, for sure. And why I'm thinking a combination of preventative measures are needed.
  • NC for Hire
    Hi Claude,
    Yeah, I agree that Captcha is not a perfect solution, but unfortunately has become a standard online. Hopefully some genius out there will find a way to improve it in the future.

    On the quiz, just a random pull the rabbit out of the hat question, as an example.

  • I'd like to point out that I did the sign-up quiz on a network I was trying to join, and it had an answer set... It kept telling me I had the wrong answer. I just picked answers until I got the right one lol. It let me in to the site to await member moderation. It's really not foolproof, all you have to do is continue to select answers until you get them right.
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