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Hi guys n gals,

 Something that just hit me in responding to another member's spam woes. If you go to your dashboard, and under Settings  go to Email,  you have a couple options there that are easily overlooked as being able to help you prevent your members from receiving spam. 

Tip #1

Send no text with member communications.

 Many times, a spammer attacks your site, posts comments on 100 people's wall nearly instantly, and leaves. You then, later, come onto your network, see a new member joined, and say "HEY! gotta new member! awesome!" and you go to look at their page to welcome them with a note on their wall or a message, only to see they answered the questions with "XXXXX" or "I'll tell you later" or something that basically is not an answer to your profile questions. You immediately know it's a spammer, but alas, IT'S TOO LATE! they've already hit a bunch of your members with comments on their wall, that more than likely TRANSFERRED TO THEIR EMAIL in a notification. You delete the spammer, and all of their content, but YOU CAN'T DELETE THE EMAIL YOUR MEMBERS GOT! It's then the sometimes nasty messages start hitting you from your members, who think this spammer got their email, because there is no comment on their wall or network inbox from the spammer, since you deleted it along with the content they posted.

 If you set Member Communications to No Text, all your member will see in their email notification is "so and so put a comment on your wall, click (the link) to see it", and nothing will be there to make them worry. They may wonder what happened to the comment, and who the heck "so and so" was, but it's easier to explain that it was a spammer and you banned them, then try to explain that the person did not get their email address, that it was a notification of a comment on your wall that has been since removed. Also, I recommend having your activity feed show posts to your members' pages. This I use for a quick-warn feature, as I will see these posts inside the activity feed, and can immediately act much sooner than going to member pages and policing them. This is one heck of a time saver, and will give you alot more peace of mind that you will catch them almost immediately. Ideally, NC's should have a network activity feed in their dashboard that we can set to feed the areas that spam typically happens-blogs, forums, and member page comment walls. Having this would free up the activity feed from the need to have so much in it and making it run in a more timely, effective manner that best benefits the MEMBERS.


Tip #2

As a last resort, or to be 99% out of the loop on members being aware a spammer was ever there at all, uncheck the Send an email when members receive My Page Comments.

This will prevent them from getting any comment wall notifications altogether, which is the back-door method spammers use to place messages into your valuable members' email inboxes, since, a member must be "friends" with another member to send individual private messages to them. As stated above, I would do this as a last resort, as it may hurt some of your member engagement, especially on networks where commenting on each other's wall is a regular occurance, and is an important part of engagement between your members.


I hope you all find these tips as useful as I see them, and it helps you keep spam out of your members email inboxes! Have a great day everyone!



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  • Great tip to choose "no text" on members communications. Makes a lot of sense to me. Thanks.
    • yep, because hopefully you caught the spammer before they check the email to click the link to see the comment, and nothing will be there, they (the true member) will be none the wiser. they may ask who/what it was, you can say it was a spammer and i got rid of them, and you look like a friggin genius. If, by chance they DO see it before you can get to suspending them, they (true member) doesn't have a feeling like their email is compromised and the address is in the hands of a spammer/hacker, that it's just an on-network issue you have to (and will swiftly and handily) deal with.

       THIS WILL ALSO HELP in alleviating true members turning off email notifications, that we desperately NEED for them to have ON!

  • Tip #1 is really good.

    Another thing to try is if you target specific community, replace the captcha with a question people outside your community would likely not be able to answer. Won't work for everyone, but works for me.

    And, of course, use cloud flare.
    • thank you, Arnold, glad you like it!
    • We have two additional filter questions specific to our community IN ADDITION TO email verification and captcha. We have introduced the filter questions only recently, so are waiting to see how effective it will be.

      Thanks Arnold for suggesting CloudFlare. We're investigating it as a solution, but I found that they have had some infrastructure problem that put some of their clients' sites offline for a few hours... What kind of experience have you had with CloudFlare?

  • These are great tips. However, as I have mentioned numerous times in these forums, I have never had a spammer on my network. Over 400 members and three years, not once did I have that problem, basically because they were never permitted to join my network. This was long before Ning had all of these fantastic spam prevention controls. Aside from network creators leaving their networks wide open for anyone to join without moderation, I am unable to fathom how so many networks are getting spammed.
    • Thunder,

       Long time no see! how you been, man? Different networks have different tastes and needs that can completely go from one end of the spectrum to the other. For example, say you have an adult dating social network vs an NFL Football network. It's completely understandable and should be expected by registering members of the adult dating network to have go through a verification or account approval process of some sort, whereas, someone wanting to join an NFL fans social network might not understand "why all the privacy and verification". Some people want to grow swiftly and large, where others don't have as much of a need or desire to do so. Just the fact that the wide array of network topics is so broad, it's sometimes not simple to understand why someone would do things on their network you would NEVER do. For instance, I have a NASCAR fans social network. I used to have it public/show only main page, and a member could just sign up without waiting on approval. Over time, I realized that I kinda have this BACKWARDS. I'm not getting nearly the member count i wanted, AND I was getting spammers. After researching monetization in depth, I realized I need to make my site totally public, and gain PAGEVIEWS. you HAVE to at least get pages viewed before you can get ads clicked, and some ads pay a small amount just for rendering on someone's screen. I then started getting more spammers, and was TOTALLY AGAINST going to an approval basis. I didn't want to lose one member who wanted to join, but didn't feel they should wait to be approved. Well, went on a streak of about 3 days where i had some 20 spammers join, and cause me all kinds of woes. I changed that thinking really fast. So, what i now have is a totally open and viewable website anyone can visit and read, and if you want to register, it's free, you'll just have to get approved, which isn't a hard process by any means.....just give logical answers to the few questions instead of "XXXXXX" or "I'll tell you later".....At any rate, for some NC's efforts going to an approval only process can hinder their ability to grow or operate in the way they see fit....

      • I've been good, thanks. How have you been?


        Well, I was referring to people who (supposedly) have all the safeguards in place, but seem to get fooled. I've seen some clever spammers attempt to join, but they all slip up when it comes to the questions.

        • this is true, especially here very recently....they are getting conveniently crafty
          • Really? Here on Creators??? 


            Well, this network where I am an admin had the same problem last night. I check my email box from my cell early this morning to find my inbox flooded with spam! I told him his security sucks, but he won't listen. Maybe he will now.

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