What are your best practices, tips, tricks regarding validation/approval of new members?

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ABCD in Action
@abcd-in-action
last year
61 posts
My question is... which validation process do you use? How do you ensure that the evil ones aren't getting through. What trips or tricks do you recommend to minimize the evil ones getting through.

About two weeks ago, we switched from admin validation to email validation for new members who want to sign up for our site. (We weren't quick enough to approval them when we we had admin validation). Today I just discovered our first spammer had signed up. There appears to be a couple of issues with our sign up questions not doing what we thought they would, so I definitely need to address those...

Thanks!
Deb

FYI....
Instant Validation - The new user account and profile are activated on signup.
Email Validation - An activation email is sent on signup to activate the new account.
Admin Validation - New users will be put into the PENDING tab of the dashboard for an admin user to approve.
updated by @abcd-in-action: 11 Oct 2021 07:25:29AM
michael
@michael
last year
7,550 posts
Here on jamroom.net we use email validation along with the 'Spam Blocker' module. Whenever a new user signs up and posts anything that contains a link outside the site all admins get notified.

When we check it if it looks like spam we go to:
* Dashboard -> whos online
locate the spammer and click LOG OFF, then BAN IP, then
* DASHBOARD -> USER BROWSER -> BLOCK
* DASHBOARD -> USER BROWSER -> DELETE (choose user account and profile)
That will delete their account and all posts they have made.

If the link is to somewhere I often paste that users credentials in that sites "contact us" box along with a message something like
Quote: You've hired a spammer to do your SEO for you. Fire them immediately. They're spamming your links around the internet, this will get your site added to spammer blacklists which will make it harder for you to appear in search engine rankings. Fire them immediately

To let the owners know. A lot of the time they've hired an "SEO expert" who's trying to use your site as link validation to improve their rankings.

There's no other reason they'd post stuff like "Hey I love this article, (link to essay writing site)".
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
last year
3,601 posts
ABCD in Action:There appears to be a couple of issues with our sign up questions not doing what we thought they would, so I definitely need to address those...
Can you elaborate a bit on what those issues might be that are making your signup questions ineffectual? Like a couple examples maybe? Maybe i can suggest improvements, because mine work pretty well in discouraging spammers.

...a couple of ideas I use here: https://www.jamroom.net/the-jamroom-network/forum/my_posts/39195/how-to-deal-with-human-spammers/search_string=signup+questions


--
...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015
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ABCD in Action
@abcd-in-action
last year
61 posts
Thanks Michael and Strumelia - Michaela, I'm going to dive into the spam blocker module and learn more about it. I was interested in this statement by you: "Whenever a new user signs up and posts anything that contains a link outside the site all admins get notified." Is that automatically set up for admins? we're setting up a Welcome Team of folks and I'm thinking about asking them if they'd be willing to keep an eye on posts. Right now, members can post in the forum, events, photos, videos without approval, private notes. Blogs need to be approved and New groups need to be approved.


Strumelia, we've been using Admin Validation... I've had a complaint from someone on our leadership team that we don't approve new members fast enough, that we should use Email validation since that allows people immediate access to posting (once they receive the email and validate it). I'm fine with that, since our team member was right... I had been operating the way you described in your link (in fact, that might be where I first got my ideas for Admin validation - thank you!). But there's only me approving new people and I don't make myself available 24/7, so people were waiting to get approved sometimes. That wasn't an issue pre-covid but now we are getting more people wanting to join.

So I want to make it as spammer-proof as possible, while not making people wait to join, and not increasing my crazy workload on this site. LOL So any/all suggestions are welcome!

I'm attaching a screenshot of the questions we use. I'm not sure how helpful the Human Check is. And the last question is of no use whatsoever given that we are trying to use Email validation. Two of the other questions - Why do you want to join and what are your gifts and talents - are there because of the focus of our site - community building by focusing on the assets of a community rather than the deficits (asset-based community development = ABCD) but we're thinking of changing those to something that ties even better into the focus of the site AND gives us something we can use to help people get more connected. (e.g., what question do you have about putting ABCD into practice? That answer will give our Welcome team members info that will help new members get more connected.)

Thank you for any and all suggestions.... I'm not that worried about our present process, unless of course we start getting more spammers... ;-)

Deb
michael
@michael
last year
7,550 posts
Yeah, its just a setting in the module.

Be mercyless on new users. If it even smells like spam, delete the profile. In the email from the spam module you get their user name and their email address and their location so if you see:
username: "Derrick_Jones"
email: fongduckdong123@gmail.com
location: vietnam

its suspicious because the name and the other details don't seem congruent, keep an eye on them. Others we see are
username: "EasyEssayWriting"
email: your-essays-cheap123@gmail.com
location: india

You just KNOW they're going to spam you.
spam.jpg
spam.jpg  •  807KB

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ABCD in Action
@abcd-in-action
last year
61 posts
michael:
Yeah, its just a setting in the module.

Be mercyless on new users. If it even smells like spam, delete the profile. In the email from the spam module you get their user name and their email address and their location so if you see:
username: "Derrick_Jones"
email: fongduckdong123@gmail.com
location: vietnam

its suspicious because the name and the other details don't seem congruent, keep an eye on them. Others we see are
username: "EasyEssayWriting"
email: your-essays-cheap123@gmail.com
location: india

You just KNOW they're going to spam you.

Yeah, I've had some pretty funny emails attached to some users - I can't even type them here since they are so obviously rude!

Deb