1. Moderate new registrations
Admin CP -> Setting -> Options -> User Registration Options -> Moderate New Members -> Yes
2. Activate email verification
Admin CP -> Settings -> Options -> User Registration Options -> Verify Email address in Registration
3. Upgrade to at least vBulletin version 3.7 or higher. These versions have several Human Verification Options.
Admin CP -> Settings -> Human Verification Manager ->
This is the same Images Verification Captcha as in older versions of vB, except that this now requires both GD and Freetype 2 to be installed in PHP.
Question and Answer Verification
This allows you to set up a Question and Answer verification during registration. If done correctly it will be almost impossible for bots to enter the correct answer.
This uses the reCaptcha service. You will need to register with them and get both a Public and Private key.
*** Note: As per this announcement, we recommend using the Q&A method with multiple questions. ***
After you have chosen the method you want to use and have set this up, then make sure the correct Human Verification options are set here:
Admin CP -> Settings -> Human Verification Options
And if you have chosen the Image Verification option then you need to choose either GD or ImageMagick here: Admin CP -> Settings -> Options -> Image Settings
You can go back to the Human Verification Manager to make sure the image is showing correctly.
Note: Both are equivalent. These are also required if you use thumbnails for attachments or wish to automatically resize pictures that are too large.
4. Ban 'free' email domains many spammers use.
Admin CP -> Settings -> Options -> User Banning Options -> Banned Email Addresses
See this thread for a list of commonly banned email addresses:
5. Set these options for the Unregistered, Users Awaiting and COPPA usergroups:
Admin CP -> Usergroups -> Usergroup Manager -> Edit ->
Can Use Email to Friend -> No
Can Email Members -> No
Require Human Verification on Configured Actions -> Yes
6. Add a new required question to registration.
Although there is a Q&A option in the Human Verification Manager, at this time these is no way to use this in conjunction with Image Verification or reCaptcha. However there is a workaround for this. You can create a required profile field to add Q&A to the registration process. To do so, follow these instructions: Add an extra question to the registration to prevent bot registrations.
7. Restrict Email to Friend to Registered Users.
Some people have reported that spammers are using the 'Send Email to Friend' function to spam others from your forums. To reduce this make sure that your Unregistered, COPPA and User's Awaiting groups have the 'Can Use Email to Friend' option set to 'No'.
8. Stop bots spamming through the Contact Us link.
Admin CP -> Settings -> Options -> Human Verification Options -> Check 'Contact Us' and 'Register'9. Enabling Spam Management.
vBulletin supports managing spam through the Akismet and Typepad Anti-spam services. Both services require an API key to use. Here is how to obtain those keys.
To obtain an Akismet key, you need to sign up for a Wordpress.com account. This will give you a key to use within vBulletin. After signing up please see this page for instructions on retrieving your key:
Typepad also requires a key to be used. To get one go to this link here:
Once you have your key, you need to enter it into your vBulletin Options under:Admin CP -> Settings -> Options -> vBulletin Options -> Spam Management -> vBulletin Anti-Spam Key Powered by AkismetNote: Either key goes into the same spot. On the same page set 'Anti-Spam Service' to the appropriate service. You can only use one service at a time.