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Managing Users in phpBB

Managing users is essential when running a forum. In spite of phpBB’s many strengths, it is lacking in this area. Deleting a user in the administration panel is quite an involved task and I normally do this through the backend by directly modifying the phpbb_users table in the MySQL database.

While this is not the recommended way of managing users in phpBB, it’s highly effective and easy to use. You just have to make sure that a user has no posts when you delete them or you’ll have records in your databases that don’t link anywhere. Another risk to directly modify tables in the database is that you might corrupt it in other ways making it unusable. If your not familiar with the phpBB database structure, avoid playing with it. 😉

I recently found a utility called PHPBB Admin Toolkit. This is a utility for controlling all of the settings for a user, including deleting users and all of their messages. Before this, when spammers posted their messages, I had to delete each message one a time. After this was done, the spam user was also deleted. I used to spend about a half hour each day cleansing my forums. I think there are better things to do with my time.

The toolkit allows the deletion of multiple users along with their e-mails. If a spammer manages to post a message, I can quickly and easily wipe out their account and messages.

Also, if a hacker manages to login with the admin account and demotes it or changes the password, the toolkit will allow you to access your forum and regain control over it.

A bonus feature that it includes is a security scan which will show if there are any issues that can compromise your forum’s security.

Overall, the PHPBB Admin Toolkit should be a part of every forum webmaster’s utilities. You can download it at starfoxtj.no-ip.com/phpbb/toolkit/.

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