Help: Posting options

Message length

Set the maximum length of messages posted to your Cbox, in characters. Depending on how your Cbox is used, you may want to limit messages to a particular length.

Chat options

Display users online

When you enable this, Cbox will show the number of users online. When you click the "x users online" link, a popup will enumerate their names according to whether they are viewing (idle) or actively engaged in chatting.

You can also enable typing notifications, which shows a status message whenever someone is currently entering a message in your Cbox.

Sound notification

Choose a sound effect that will be played each time a new message is received.

If you choose Custom, you will be able to use any audio file you have permission to use. Upload both .mp3 and .ogg versions of the same sound effect, and provide just the base URL, excluding extension. For example, enter www.mysite.com/assets/cboxsound, and Cbox will request www.mysite.com/assets/cboxsound.ogg or www.mysite.com/assets/cboxsound.mp3, depending on the browser's capabilities. For the best user experience, ensure the files are small (ideally, less than 10 KB), and of short duration – less than a second.

Private messaging

With PM enabled, mods and admins will see a [pm] link next to the names of registered users, and registered users will see the same link next to the names of mods and admins. Click any [pm] link, and you can enter and send a message to that person. Private messages are sent out-of-band and are not stored in your Cbox. Read more here.

Moderated chat

A Moderated Cbox requires that messages are approved before they are published.

Normally, all users can post to your public Cbox, and everyone can see their messages. But if you enable Moderation for your Cbox, then only voiced users can post directly. Unvoiced users can still post, but their messages are not immediately made public.

Note that when you enable this, any existing registered users who do not have voice will no longer be able to chat. You can give them voice within your Cbox or at the Registered users page. Read more here.

Message options

Linkable names

Users can provide a URL to a profile page or similar in the email / url input in your Cbox. This makes their name clickable on every message they post. Disable this option as well as the "allow avatars" option to remove the email / url input entirely.

boxCode

boxcode is a safe way to enable users to mark up their messages, for example by making text bold or adding colour. See this support article for reference.

Allow avatars

Avatars are images or profile pictures that appear next to user names. To use this feature, your users will need to upload their images so that they have a URL that they can enter in the email / url input box of your Cbox. Any .gif, .jpg or .png file will work, and will be resized if necessary. To control image dimensions and presentation you can edit the .pic selector on the CSS Edit page of your control panel.

Autolinking

If enabled, Cbox will automatically link URLs so they can be clicked. You can choose to display the full URL, or a more compact [link] indicator instead. If autolinking is disabled, it is still possible to post clickable links using boxCode, if that option is enabled. To disable links entirely, you would need to filter them.

Abuse mitigation

Auto-ban on flood

With this option enabled your Cbox will automatically apply a temporary ban to users who flood your Cbox with messages. The system attempts to be lenient towards fast-paced but legitimate chat. Bans generated by this system will appear on your Blocked Users list with the memo "Cbox anti-spam", and they can be released or extended like normal bans.

Auto-ban proxies

Cbox can detect some kinds of proxy that are likely to be abused by users attempting to circumvent ordinary bans. These include open proxies, VPNs and Tor exit nodes. This option automatically bans users of such proxies as soon as they are detected. Bans generated by this system will appear on your Blocked Users list with the memo "Cbox anti-proxy", and they can be released or extended like normal bans.

Strong bans

This option increases the strength of all bans that are applied while the setting is in force, including automated bans (see above). It helps to prevent bans from being circumvented, especially by persistent attackers. Enable it only when necessary, because strong bans carry some risk of affecting other (legitimate) users.

CAPTCHA policy

A CAPTCHA is a scrambled image that is presented as a challenge to be solved before a user can proceed to post a message or register their name. CAPTCHAs are intended to be easy for humans to read but difficult for computers, and so can be effective at preventing automated spam (bots). Cbox lets you choose a CAPTCHA policy that suits you:

  • Disabled — disables CAPTCHA entirely. Not recommended, but if access to your Cbox is carefully controlled, and/or you use automated posting extensively on your Cbox, this may be the best setting.
  • Heuristic (default) — in this mode, Cbox uses machine analysis to determine whether a user is likely to be a spam bot, and presents the challenge only when spam is suspected. This means human users should never have to solve a CAPTCHA. The heuristic is not perfect, so it is possible that your Cbox will allow some spam on this policy. Conversely, it is also possible that some users will have to solve a CAPTCHA.
  • On registration — requires a CAPTCHA when users password-protect their names in your Cbox, but not when they post. This policy is recommended only if registration is mandatory on your Cbox (as configured at your Users page) and you have trouble with automated registrations.
  • Strict — requires that all users solve a CAPTCHA before they can post or register. This is useful if your Cbox is open to guest posting (registration is not required) and you have problems with spam bots. After successfully completing the challenge, a user will not be challenged again for some time, but this policy is still burdensome on legitimate users and therefore not recommended unless required.

    ASCII-only names

    By default, Cbox supports Unicode for both names and messages. However, this freedom can create opportunities for abuse. There are many thousands of glyphs available in Unicode, and some of them may be visually similar or identical to others. Users are able therefore to engineer their names to appear visually identical to names that may be registered to other users, or banned. Cbox is unable to recognize the visual identity.

    This setting solves that problem by restricting the characters available for names to the 95 printable ASCII code points (essentially, the letters and numbers that appear on a U.S. keyboard). Messages are unaffected. Note that any users who registered Unicode names while this option was disabled will be able to continue using their names unless they are deleted at the Registered users page of your control panel.