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I've had a few run-ins with that spam attack that is often used against Exp Eng sites which creates endless member accounts for the sole purpose of adding links back to whatever the spammers are trying to promote. The Member's URL in the member profile is used for this.

I'm working on a site that basically locks down everything so that comments and other content are only available to logged in members. Since search engines would not be logged in they wouldn't see any comments and wouldn't see any spam link backs in the comments. Not that this would really dissuade spammers.

I wanted to do the same for Member Profiles so that they can only be seen by other members who are logged in. As far as I know there doesn't seem to be a preference for this. Any ideas on preventing public access to member profile pages?

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You can edit the member-profile templates so that they contain all the actual page content in the conditional if logged_in tag. You can either put the opening if logged_in tag right before the DOCTYPE tag, and the closing one after the /HTML tag; or you can put it further down. (Or - if you want to let people see your member profiles but NOT the site URLs, contact methods, or the member bios, you could tag just those table cells so that the contents are only displayed when someone is logged in.

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  • Yes, as both have mentioned so far I can use the if logged_in conditional and I am using it extensively already in other templates. And I'm also using a cloned and customized version of the member profile templates. But changes to the member profile templates always feel like a bit of a hack as they are not well organized, in my opinion. But I may just have to go that route. I do feel this should be a preference within the Exp Eng control panel, that turning off access to member profiles is a necessary function in the current Web environment. – Bob Foster Sep 11 '13 at 21:32
  • It would be kind of nice. Along with a template edit window that wraps the text, and other features to make it easier even for power-users. Hopefully we'll see those before EE 2.10..? (And I've also noticed that the member templates seem a bit...disorganized. Maybe they'll fix it at some point? I'd like to see an accordion-ized version of the member control panel, rather than having all the separate pages.) – user800 Sep 11 '13 at 21:39
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You may wish to consider applying the best practice recommendations that Ellislab include in the documentation, there's a great tip at the bottom by a user about renaming the 'Members' trigger word term spammers target:

Installation Best Practices

I normally duplicate and rename a copy of the >themes>profile_themes>default folder and run through selectively wrapping what information I want disclosed with the {if logged_in} conditional tags.

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    Thanks, Lee. Actually, that comment in the Exp Eng documentation was written and added by myself. :-) I'm glad you found it helpful. – Bob Foster Sep 11 '13 at 21:25

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