Simple Tips To Stop Forum Spam

October 25th, 2010 | Posted in Spam

Online Forums provide so many benefits to all involved. The site owner is able to earn income and promote other websites through the forum, the moderator can earn experience and act as arbitrator of an online community and of course the members, who get to share ideas and experiences, receive practical advice and even gain some exposure.

Unfortunately, spammers and trolls destroy these experiences. Spammers and spam bots are a grave concern to any forum owner. Left unmonitored, spam can really devastate an online forum community. Fortunately, there are some tricks and tools available to help ease the problem.

1. Image Verification for Online Forums

More commonly known as captcha, image verification is one of the best ways to stop many of the the spam bots attempting automated registration. The captcha tool produces a test in the form of a distorted image, words, digits, an equation or a simple question for the user to retype or answer. Anyone entering the correct solution is presumed by the server to be human. It filters out automated spammers because other computers or servers cannot read or solve the captcha.

Online forum software should already have this feature incorporated. If not, find one of the many free CAPTCHA image verification tools for download.

2. Block Open Proxy Registrants

Open proxies are publicly available proxy servers, accessible by any internet user. The proxy server is a computer system or application program which acts as an intermediary between the user making the request and the other server. An internet user connects to the proxy server to request some service from another server. This may be a file, connection, a web page or another resource. The purpose of doing this is usually to stay anonymous or for security purposes.

Unfortunately, spammers use open servers to make registration requests on forums. When you receive a registration attempt from proxy servers, they are generally detrimental and malicious. You need to be able to detect open proxy registrations and prevent them. If your forum software doesn’t have this feature, you should download or purchase a mod which blocks open proxy registrants.

3. Configure Member Profile Required Fields

Requiring registrants to manually enter information is another way to help prevent spam on online forums. Don’t ask for too much information which personally identifies your members, such as their birth date and full name. Remember, Forum members like the anonymity offered by online discussions.

Rather, you may look at including a field for as to why the member wishes to join your forum. If you’re not satisfied their answer is legitimate, you can always deny their request.

4. Moderators for Online Forums

Moderators help eradicate spammy posts and users. They have the power to edit and/or delete posts and to deactivate or suspend members. It can be a demanding and stressful task, especially for busy discussion sites. If you’re struggling to moderate, you can either employ moderators or seek some voluntary help.

You will need specific forum rules and perhaps even training guides for your moderators. Make sure they know exactly what’s expected of them. Set up procedures for dealing with spammers. For example, some users may spam unintentionally, without even realizing they’re in breach. You want to weed out the real spammers without alienating unsuspecting members.

Unless the comments or members are clearly and unequivocally spam (you know which ones these include), then your moderators should give the member a chance to remedy their actions. Allowing users to edit or remove their own posts will make them feel more valuable than just deleting them without giving any reason. This will reduce your spam whilst maintaining good relationships with your members.

5. Email Confirmation

Many online forums already incorporate this verification feature. Upon registration, the software automatically sends an email to the address provided by the applicant. Most spammers never actually click the link to verify their email, which eliminates the spammy posts.

You may also disable website signatures. However, this method is not favored by website owners. Link signatures provide contributing members with recognition; an incentive to write meaningful posts.

Other ideas for helping reduce forum spam include IP blocking, swear filters, filtering URLs and site names, enabling flood control to limit the number of posts per user, using mass pruning, reporting spammers’ details to a blacklist websites and ISPs and allowing members to report spam via a link in each post and thread.

Spam detection and prevention is crucial to a thriving online community. Luckily there are ways to combat majority of the spam through mods and other tools available for online forums. Your legitimate members will appreciate your efforts to combat spam.


Stock Spam Can Help You

October 25th, 2010 | Posted in Spam

Most network administrators are apt to here this complaint at least once a week. “I’ve been getting a lot of junk email lately, isn’t there anything you can do to stop it?”.

Well before you might have thought you were lost in the water without spending thousands on some 3rd party software like Symantec Mail Security or some like product. Which most likely doesn’t fit in your budget this quarter. So I’m here to introduce to you a way to nearly eliminate all spam from your organization. As long as you are running Exchange that is.

First so that you have a better understanding how this works I’m going to tell you a little about spammers and how they evade detection. There are actually a couple of methods. Either they are running their own server and just sending spam from it, this is highly unlikely. Or they could be relaying off of some poor system administrator who doesn’t know how to disable his SMTP server from being an open relay, most common. Lastly they could just be using a server on the net that actively allows people to send emails via SMTP anonymously and freely.

Well systems engineers out there have gotten smart and created what today is called Spam blacklists. A list can be found of all the spam blacklists on google directory.Basically if your server has been caught sending spam you will get added to this list. You may not even know it! However, you will soon start to tell when people come up to you “Hey I just tried to send email to John Doe and it wouldn’t go through.” Most likely you are on one of these blacklists. You can search for your email server’s ip address from a spam database lookup like the one found on DNS Stuff.

But now to the fun stuff. Exchange allows you to filter who can connect to your server via SMTP. It’s called connection filtering. And it’s very easy to configure. This can literally cut down on about 98% of your spam.

First thing you need to do is go to the Message Delivery properties in Exchange system manager. Once there go to the connection filtering tab.

The second step in this process is to actually add the servernames of the blacklist providing servers. Once again these can be found in the google directory. I personally only use the top three servers on the list because if you add them all it can be very processor intensive on your server and some of the smaller providers results may not be as accurate. Once you click the add button you will be able to add the servers. This window is very self explanatory. You basically just add the name of the server found on the google blacklist directory. From here you can also type custom messages as to what you want to return to the sending SMTP server for denying the connection. The variables for the custom messages are as follows.

%0 – connecting IP address
%1 – rule name of the Connection Filter
%2 – the RBL provider

Once you setup your custom error codes which are optional you can choose which types of blacklisted servers you want to block. You can do this by clicking on the return status code radio button. If you want to deny all servers listed on the blacklist then you can leave the default radio button selected. Or you can choose which custom blacklisted servers you want to block. Here are the options that you have to choose from.

127.0.0.1 – Blocklist
127.0.0.2 – Known Open Relay
127.0.0.4 – DialUp IP Address

Congratulations you have now successfully configured rules to block message deliver. There is just one last step in the process you must apply these rules to your virutal SMTP server(s) interfaces. So lastly go to the properties of your Default SMTP Virtual Server. Under the general tab click on the advanced radio button. Once here click on the edit radio button. Here check Apply intelligent mail filter and Apply connection filter. Now restart your SMTP service and you are denying connections to viagra, enhancements, and stocks right and left.

To just top off blocking spam out of your network there is one more step you can take. Download service pack 2 for Microsoft Exchange. This service pack contains the intelligent mail filter. This will allow you to block out messages based on their SCL rating(likeliness to be spam). The higher the SCL rating the better chance the message is spam. The settings for this feature can be found once again on the properties of the message delivery. Once in there click on the intelligent mail filter tab.

Personally I like to set my message’s to be rejected if the SCL is higher than 7. If it is between 5 and 7 I just tell Exchange to send it to the junk email folder of the clients. This way if the message turns out to be a false positive the user still gets the message it is just inconveniently placed in their spam folder. You can play around with these settings and adjust them according to what works best for you and your organization.


All about Spam

October 25th, 2010 | Posted in Spam

Spam is the scourge of the Internet. Spam, as everyone knows, is the unsolicited advertisements that clog up email inboxes worldwide. Even occasional users of the Internet will know how annoying and time consuming spam can be – when logging onto the Internet to quickly check your email becomes a time consuming process of sorting through offers of romantic encounters and get rich schemes.

The First Spam

An immigration law firm in Arizona is popularly described as sending the first intentional, mass commercial email firm in Arizona advertising their services over Usenet in 1994. This event is commonly referred to as the ‘Green Card spam’. Since then, the movement of spam over the Internet has exploded.

Why Spam is So Bad

One government study even put the cost of spam to organizations in the United States at $10 billion a year and growing! This number is so high because the cost is not just in lost productivity; money has to be spent to buy more hardware to deal with the influx of email messages, and software and staff assigned specifically to deal with spam. It is clear now that spam accounts for the majority of Internet traffic. Studies have estimated that there are 55 billion spam emails sent every day worldwide – this accounts for 80 to 85 per cent of all income email!

Spam makes our lives harder. Instead of being able to quickly respond to emails and get on with
other more important tasks, Spam makes us waste our time sorting through our inbox to differentiate emails from friends and colleagues from badly worded emails trying to sell us the latest fad medicines. While spam may not seem that bad for you, keep in mind that your ISP tries to block most of the spam that is sent your way before it gets a chance to make it into your inbox (which in turn leads to higher ISP costs).

Making Money With Spam

As horrible as spam is, it must be profitable, or else it would not be so prevalent. Although you would never respond to spam, because it is so cheap to send massive amounts of spam, a very low percentage of recipients have to respond for the advertiser to make money. As opposed to direct mailings, which can costs cents per letter, spam costs a fraction of a fraction of a cent per message. Because it is so cheap to send out, you can send out extremely high volumes of advertisements and only require a very small number of recipients to respond.

A World Without Spam

Never responding to offers in spam is the most obvious way to deal with the problem; if there isn’t a market, then no one will bother to send spam. However, as discussed above, because only a small percentage of people need to respons to spam for it to be profitable, this method will never reasonable deal with the issue of spam. In the absence of any strong regulatory programs by the government, Internet users are left trying to find the best filtering software they can to try to stop the spam before it reaches their inboxes.


Guarantee Online Business Success

October 25th, 2010 | Posted in Internet Marketing

There is one internet marketing tool that people are timid about, and that is article marketing. As an online business person I know you have overheard others discussing the pros and the cons of articles writing. Today, I want to share with you the power of this internet marketing tool known as article writing. The idea of this online marketing tactic is to share content that is related to your website thus add value to your target audiences’ experience.

At this point it is good to note that when writing an article avoid writing promotional content, but rather seek to educate your readers. Articles are best implemented when you use keywords phrases that are commonly searched for by people in your niche. They assist you optimize your web pages thus guaranteeing a high page ranking on search engines.

Articles act as a perfect internet marketing tool in that, as you submit your content in article directories, webmasters can opt to re-post your articles on their websites. Since articles contain a link to your site in the resource box, you will improve your link popularity and also generate targeted traffic. This fact overrides the myth that articles do not help much in online marketing.

There is also a myth that says reprinted articles results in supplemental indexing but that is also not true. For an articles submission to count, it depends on where the article will be submitted. If it is re-posted on high ranking sites, it will get listed on the first pages of major search engines. This goes to show the power of this internet marketing tool in generating free online organic traffic.

I have read some discussions where people say that article marketing brings about duplicate content and that it will result in getting punished by search engines. I refute that claim totally. If that was the case, sites like CNN news, where their content is replicated all over the internet would have by now been banned from the internet. This also brings into play the role of RSS feeds that republish duplicate content on other sites. Therefore, re-posting your articles on different article submitting sites is quite a powerful internet marketing tool.


Online Marketing

October 25th, 2010 | Posted in Internet Marketing

We’ve all seen those web pages claiming to “reveal the secrets” that claim you can make 4, 5, or even 6 figures online each month. And on top of that you’ll be doing it in a matter of days. Right? Well I’ll tell you, there may be methods that might help you in that direction, but there is no one secret anyone can reveal on how you can earn anywhere close to that in the time frame indicated.

Sure, there are many techniques and even software products that will help you to achieve those goals, but there is no one individual method or program that can honestly live up to those kinds of claims. How can I make these statements? Well I’ve tried many of them and while I learned a lot about internet marketing from these products and services, it wasn’t until I realized that there was no magic button that I decided to get serious and basically get an overall education about what it really takes to get into this fascinating business.

I’ve heard so many other individuals say the same thing. Basically, that all of these sites will give you pieces of the puzzle. If you cludge your way through all of these pieces of the puzzle you will get some idea of the big picture, but to actually get to where the “rubber meets the road”, I strongly advise you look at the big picture first.

Forums are a great way to find a ton of content on this subject and for some advanced marketers there are specific threads that are no doubt invaluable, but for the newcomer forums can still be confusion – you must know about information overload.

I said before that what’s needed for the newcomer is an overall education about the process involved in setting up an online marketing business. That should be very obvious to many, but the enticing claims made by many websites keep catching your attention and drawing you into a site that yet again gives you only another piece of the puzzle.

Here is the best advice that I can give a newcomer to this business. Look for a site that basically offers a course on the subject. You’ll likely need to pay a monthly membership fee, because a newcomer simply can’t absorb all that is required to understand this business in a short period of time. Some sites do offer these courses for one-time fees in the 4 figure range, but I would caution newcomers before spending those larger amounts.

First look around at a number of these sites. Good ones will give you a lot of information free before you commit. You can then evaluate the “teacher” to determine if you feel comfortable with the content and methods of his or her course. There are many excellent teaching sites out there, but do your homework in advance and don’t get sidetracked by wild claims of “yet another” method that will be putting 5 figures in your bank account by month-end. With every endeavor knowledge must come before success.


Reverse Cell Phone Services

October 23rd, 2010 | Posted in Telephone Systems

Consequently a lot of people actually desire to discover who called their phone; consequently they rush to the internet for aid. Most of you will come crossways a service that is recognized as a reverse phone lookup.

Even although most people recommend these sites, here are still some things that you should think before you dive into one program. Consequently nowadays, we are going to split with you some things that you should recognize before you sign up.

The primary thing that you desire to create sure that any reverse phone lookup consists of is numbers. These numbers should comprise cell phone numbers, land line numbers, and unlisted numbers. If the service does not contain all of these numbers included, discover a dissimilar one,

The next thing that you desire to seem for in a reverse phone directory is the opening search choice. Some companies create you obtain, without even knowing if the number is included int he record. Consequently be certain that you can do a beginning search primary.

The last object that you desire to perform is making sure that the site is updated. For all time take a look around the site to observe when the last time to site was rationalized.

If you chase these easy guidelines, you will sign up for a service that will not merely discover who called your phone, other than you will be capable to discover correct and reliable information the primary time around.


Mobile Phone Deals

October 23rd, 2010 | Posted in Telephone Systems

This World of telecommunication has completely changed our ways of communication and tour lives in a lot of ways. The mobile phone deals have smartened up the methods of being in touch with the outside world with classy phones. It is easy to avail the latest phones with the help of deals. Mobile phones have are always useful in case of any emergency or whenever we fall in need to get in contact to any individual for what ever reason. The mobile phone deals have made phones easily accessible with various affordable offers. Mobile companies and manufacturers have come together and made these amazing deals as they understand the value of your precious hard earned money. A phone always gives you assurance of safety as you are in contact with all your loved ones all across the world.

The latest phones come with everything you expect from a phone. There are multi utility features that are all compressed in one small gadget that fulfill all your basic requirements. These mobile phones come well equipped with all the hi-tech features like GPS navigation, Wi-Fi connectivity, which give you better connectivity, high resolution cameras, advanced music player, it has a huge memory capacity, in-built applications that help you use social networking sites and many more.

There are a large number of high end phones available with deals that make buying phones exciting, a few deals are Blackberry 8900, HTC Desire, Sony Ericsson Vivaz, HTC Wildfire, and others. You can pick any deal that suits you the best.

The most popular contract phone deals in the market are the contract phones, sim free phones and pay as you go phone deals. These deals are available under all the network connections like Vodafone, Virgin, O2, 3, Orange and others have come together with the top phone sellers which are Nokia, Samsung, Blackberry, Sony Ericsson and Motorola make the best deals for you.


Making Your Phone System At The Office

October 23rd, 2010 | Posted in Telephone Systems

Running a business means being able to react quickly to the needs of your employees and your customers. One of the best ways to make sure you’re always able to help when it’s needed most is to make sure you have an efficient and effective phone system in place. When it comes to business communication, it’s not enough to simply have a landline that offers incoming and outgoing calls as the volume of calls you should be receiving are sure to soon outstrip the capacity. This means that you’ll soon find that you’ll need to implement a suitable phone system if you’re trying to run a successful business.

Choosing the right phone system for your office will be the first step to enjoying smooth communications. First of all, you need to assess the size of your needs and work out the range you’ll need your telephone system to have. For example, this will be very different for a business that has several different offices on a number of floors in comparison to a business with only one central office.

The next thing to think about is the type of features you’re likely to make use of. For example, will you need to communicate internally over the phone? Also, will all of your employees have direct numbers or would you prefer to provide extension numbers and pass all calls through a central receptionist?. Having a good think about which system will work better for your needs can save you a lot of time and headaches in the long term.

Choosing a business phone system with features such as capped call prices can be very beneficial for your business, especially if you spend a lot of time on the phone to clients. This is a feature that can help you keep a handle on your costs – a big advantage to any business. If you are going to be relying heavily on your phone system, it could also be a good idea to think about adding an unlimited calls feature to your package. This will allow you to make those all-important calls without having to constantly worry about the bottom line.

You can also tie your business phone system into a broadband or internet package as a way of integrating your services and saving money. This can be a great choice for businesses hoping to streamline and is ideal for minimising hassle. Whatever system you decide on, you can rest assured that planning ahead is the best way to ensure you are always making the most of your business phone system.


Does That Make Its Popular Satellite Radio

October 23rd, 2010 | Posted in Satellite Radio

The current entertainment world is awash with ways of and goods for using up our free time and at the same time filling our brains with mindless trivia and advertising junk messages. In between the programmes and the music, the message is ‘buy, buy, buy; from me, me, me’. This is one of the reasons why satellite radio has become so popular, but I will expand on that later.

One of the main reasons why people like satellite radio is because if you travel quite long distances, you do not keep going out of range of the station it took you ten minutes to find and search for another one.

Satellite radio stations have a tendency to have a large to very large footprint. In other words, you ought to be able to keep listening to the same station if you want without constantly retuning.

Not only that, but satellite radio is invariably digital in nature which means that the signal will be better and the resulting sound quality will be far better too. This means that the background noise that we have been conventionally used to has practically disappeared.

The sound from a good piece of digital stereo apparatus is second to none. In reality an AF /FM radio cannot hold a candle to a satellite broadcasting station.

The cost of satellite broadcasting gear has dropped dramatically, which has increased its public awareness and uptake, which in turn has increased sales and allowed the price to plummet further. Nowadays, a satellite radio receiver is as cheap as chips.

Not only that, but in the early days, in the Seventies and Eighties, parabolic dishes had to be extremely focused. They had to be focused on the satellite as a satellite TV dish still has to be now, but a radio system does not need to be so accurate anymore, which permits them to be used in cars and boats.

If you get tired of the adverts that constantly drone out of terrestrial radio at you, it can be a good idea to find a satellite broadcasting channel that suits you and subscribe to it. For $10-12 a month, you will get the type of programming that you like without all the ads!. Isn’t that wonderful?

As with all forms of entertainment, at the end of the day it is up to the end user to choose whether the cost of satellite radio is justified, but one thing is for sure, satellite radio increases one’s choices.

If you are fed up with the present range of radio stations in your area then the thousands of extra, frequently world-wide stations available to you on satellite radio may be just the thing that you are looking for, especially if you are looking for a station in a foreign language that is not covered in your neighbourhood.


Technology Satellite Radio

October 23rd, 2010 | Posted in Satellite Radio

Satellite radio technology is the equivalent of cable or satellite television and it is definitely here to stay. There are several reasons for this: the quality of the broadcasts is higher, the quality of the apparatus’s reception is higher and the general coverage of the channel, that is to say the so-called satellite’s footprint is far greater as well.

This has the effect that if you travel long distances, you will be able to stay with the same channel without having to look for a new one every forty or fifty miles as you have to do with AM or FM radio stations.

In order to reach this quality, the recording and playback speed needs to be around the 384 kbps level. The music tracks are catalogued in a comparable way to the MP3 system, which uses names called ID3 tags.

Each station on satellite radio attempts to create its own identity. A music station may try this by playing music only of one type or from only one era or decade. This means that you may get a satellite radio station called 1970’s Punk music or Twentieth Century Classical Music.

On some channels, the music controller or disc jockey will choose, say, fifty minutes worth of music, will listen to it in order to determine that the quality and the order are correct and then let the computer play it over the airwaves. This allows ten minutes every hour for the news and then the sequence can be repeated automatically.

Satellite transmission uses digital recordings and each station is encoded on a different frequency. Similarly, each decoder, say, in your car or your home needs to recognize and decode each channel separately too. This coding and decoding is done extremely quickly, in fact in what is called ‘real time’.

The resulting binary or digital code is then translated into analogue signals so that your speakers can replay it. This process produces sound which is just about of CD quality.

The transmitting satellites are in a geo-static orbit at 23,000 miles above the equator and have a large footprint which is the name given to the area of ground that is capable of receiving their broadcasts.

In America, for instance, the two areas concentrated on at first were the densely populated east and west coasts in order to maximize possible income. One satellite would be incapable of covering the entirety of the United States in that orbit.

In order to receive satellite transmissions, you will have to use a special antenna on your decoder. This antenna must be capable of receiving L-band broadcasts for it to be of use.

These new antennas are a huge improvement on the parabolic dishes (similar to those used for satellite television) that one used to have to have in order to take advantage of satellite radio technology.