Kreg Owners' Community

Just so everyone knows, we've been having a bit of a problem with SPAMMERS creating profiles on the Kreg Jig Owners' Community and then posting blog entries about buying prescription pills, etc.  Please know that these are not valid offers and are being removed by myself as quickly as possible.  If you see additional SPAM on the community, please do not hesitate to send me a Private Message through the community 'Messages/Inbox' function, along with a link to the SPAM post if possible.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to work to keep these spammers out of our fine community!  Much obliged!

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I guess you are official now.. You get spam... Great Job on getting them cleaned up. I haven't seen any. :)
Thanks for the support, guys! With your help, we'll keep it cleaned up!
Ye s I went to a site this morning and was looking at pills haha I wonder if they think it is funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
Talking about Spam I was going to order some more 4 inch hose for my dust collector from HF and the number was busy so they said ti try the other number so I did and guess what I ended up on a SEX line no hose there HaHa Lucky I don't ever pay for long distant phone calls with M Jack so I wrote it off.
I hope it doesn't become a problem that dominates your time! Good job cleaning it up. I saw it and my heart sank. As most online communities grow it becomes a problem... in some strange way I guess congrats are in order. LOL Add "forum moderator" to your job description!!
Kim C said:
I hope it doesn't become a problem that dominates your time! Good job cleaning it up. I saw it and my heart sank. As most online communities grow it becomes a problem... in some strange way I guess congrats are in order. LOL Add "forum moderator" to your job description!!

Deleted 3 more spambots this morning... so yeah, I guess we've 'arrived'. Thanks to everyone who has been letting me know when the SPAM gets posted so we can jump on it right away.
Mr Spam is on again

First of all, thank you for the thoughtful and thorough responses.  I can tell you truly care about this situation.  We're incredibly pleased that we have community members that value the community enough to make these types of observations and suggestions for improvement.  There are a few issues we're dealing with...

 

Amount of SPAM:

The first and only major spam attack on the site occurred a month or so ago.  During this attack  hundreds of community members received spam messages on their profile page, resulting as well in them receiving email notifications from Ning letting them know they had received a message and summarizing the message received resulting in the misunderstanding by many that we had sold their email addresses or that our security had been breached in some way.  This was not the case and we did our best to ensure everyone knew this.  Since this attack, the amount of spam on the site has been almost negligible.  Around one spammer per week has been found and removed.  While no amount of spam is desirable, we do find this to be an acceptable level relative to spam found on other sites.  We will continue to delete it and the users responsible immediately after they've been reported.

 

Targeted:

The reason we get occasional spam is due to several factors.  One, we're a big community.  spammers are drawn to large audiences.  Two, we use a popular community platform which is big in and of itself which also draws in spammers.  Three, (probably the most important reason) is that spammers are everywhere on the web, especially community sites, and they can never be completely eliminated.

 

Closed or Open:

The 'qualification' I referenced in the previous post was in regards to qualifying the new profile as a human-being and not a spamming computer.  Our sign-up process has eliminated computers from creating profile through the CAPTCHA and the real-person identification question directly following it.  However, as you point out if the spammers want in badly enough they can definitely pay someone enough money to continually create accounts and there isn't much we can do about it other than delete them as soon as they've been reported as a spammer.  We want to be an 'open' community, not a 'closed' one wherever possible.  Personally, I am not aware of a more efficient way to keep the spammers out while at the same time not making the process overly difficult or time-consuming for real first-time community members.  Any specific suggestions in this regard would be welcomed, although realize that we are somewhat limited with the software utilized and manpower to monitor every post.

 

Thank you again for your very helpful posts and for clearly laying out your position.  I think together we can ensure that this community continues to be the great place it is for Kreg Jig owners of all levels to learn, share, discuss with each other.  As spam issues arise in the future, we'll continue to adjust our practices and will continue to rely on members to report issues they see around the site.  Thanks for all of your help thusfar and in the future!  Without you, the community is nothing.  

You said "Three, (probably the most important reason) is that spammers are everywhere on the web, especially community sites, and they can never be completely eliminated" This is 100% untrue. Also the CAPCHA word verification system was broken and hacked over a year ago. It is useless.

I know I am new to the site and to the forum here, and I am not here to start any trouble, or hassle you. I have been an ADMIN on several forums - none of them were NING, they were all either VBulletin, or BBS. I do not know what type of control an ADMIN of a NING site has, but I know as an ADMIN of normal forum sites, I was easily able to prevent and weed out spammers before they infected the board as these last have done.

As I understand it, you are the only person behind the scenes of this forum. You need Moderators. You need to set the site so that you have the CAPCHA, then email verification, then approval of the first 5-10 posts or entries to the site, be them comments or threads, or whatever, and they should not be able to get into the chat while they are in the "probationary" membership category.

You could take it a step farther and make it so that every new member has to be manually approved by you. If you are truly the only person running this site, you need help, and if there are more then one but you all have to adhere to Kreg rules of operation and are not actually administrators of the forum, then you need to appeal to whomever is realy in charge and get them to appoint complete control over to one or two people (co-admins) who can then recruit moderatord from the member base and run this site the way it needs to be security wise.

I had my computer guy come over and check things out.
He plugged into my computer and ran some program that found over 800 malwarebytes, 2 viruses, and a dozen different botware hits. He cleane up my whole system. BUT...before he did, he traced most of it back, and it was channeled through Kregs site. Everything came through Kreg except 128 malewarebytes and 1 botware. This ate up 4.5 hours of my Sunday to do all this.

 

This is part of what I just wrote to Jay.  He and I have been discussing it.

Not sure if you (KregRep) fixed my page, or if it happened when my computer was cleaned, but my page DOES come up as it should (customized) when I log in now.

Thanks!

John


Mike Kahle said:

You need Moderators. You need to set the site so that you have the CAPCHA, then email verification, then approval of the first 5-10 posts or entries to the site, be them comments or threads, or whatever, and they should not be able to get into the chat while they are in the "probationary" membership category.

 

 

Mike, Implementing moderators is something we will be researching in the near future.  Approval of the first 5-10 posts is not something that is possible with Ning.

 

 

John Harrison said:

I had my computer guy come over and check things out.
He plugged into my computer and ran some program that found over 800 malwarebytes, 2 viruses, and a dozen different botware hits. He cleane up my whole system. BUT...before he did, he traced most of it back, and it was channeled through Kregs site. Everything came through Kreg except 128 malewarebytes and 1 botware. This ate up 4.5 hours of my Sunday to do all this.

 

This is part of what I just wrote to Jay.  He and I have been discussing it.

Not sure if you (KregRep) fixed my page, or if it happened when my computer was cleaned, but my page DOES come up as it should (customized) when I log in now.

Thanks!

John

 

 

John, it's important to realize that if you have malware on your computer, that this is the result of you CLICKING on nefarious content.  Spammers can post all the ads they want, but unless you click on them you can't be infected with their software.  It's always a good rule-of-thumb to only click on links where you know the site they'll be taking you to, and from companies/individuals that you trust.  As Spam can never be completely eliminated, you have to practice restraint on clicking and stick to clicking on content you trust 100%.  

 

As far as your 'page' being 'cleaned'. it's most likely due to the spammers content being deleted when their account gets deleted.  Good luck, I'm sorry you've been having troubles with malware, that can be very frustrating indeed.

 

But you can set it to where all new comments are moderated. Its a matter of common sense from then, if someone posts legit comments, they are more than likely not a bot or spammer. You approve the post and then change that members status to non moderated. If they post spam, you delete it and them. Just a little more work for you, but well worth it to the community. Thats why any and all communities like this should have a staff of moderators. It is very hard for just one person to run a community this size. I am surprised you havent already started to pull your hair out by the roots.

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