Thursday, June 27, 2013

ParaChat Software Update Focuses on Administration, Part 2

The last ParaChat software update focused on improved security through new administrative functions.  Specifically highlighted was the ability to gag a user by IP address so the gag is maintained over time (until removed) instead of just being session-based.  As we prepare to roll out our next software update, which will largely focus on security and usability improvements via new anti-spam and anti-flood control mechanisms, we'd like to highlight additional features from the last update.

Log-in History List in Admin Console
Administrators now have a clear and concise window into logged in user information called Log-In History.  Included in the list view are the user's IP address, user name, access date, access type, room joined, client type, and much more.  Administrators can export tab-delimited log-in history data to their local computer, and configure the list to display both the original room a user accessed as well as rooms to which a user may have navigated (Show Roam).

The Log-in History is located in the chat room's Admin Console under the Users tab.  Administrators can sort the list by clicking any of the column headings.

Block Repeating Text Filter
Automatically prevent spammers from clogging the chat room with unwanted repeat messages.  When enabled, the "Block Repeating Text Filter" automatically expels a user who submits the same chat message 3 times in a row.  

This feature is located in the service administration area under "My Site > Security Settings > Message Filters".  The next release of our software will further build on this feature with additional tools and methods to prevent chat room spamming and flooding.

Block Multiple Lines of Text
Abusive flooders who wish to disrupt public chat may use multiple lines of text to flood the chat window.  This new feature lets administrators configure their ParaChat service to disallow multiple lines of text.

When set to "Disallow Multiple Lines", line breaks and paragraph marks inserted by flooders into their message are blocked.  This new feature is located in the service administration area under "My Site > Security Settings > Spam & Flood Controls".

Display User IP to Admins in Join Message
Administrators have long been able to view a user's full IP address when a users logs out, or changes rooms.  A user's full IP address is now displayed to administrators in a user's "join" message as well.

If you don't want administrators to see a user's full IP address, that's no problem.  Just create an operator-level user name, and configure operator permissions not to allow viewing of user IP addresses.

Right-Click Quick Administration
No time to load the Admin Console, click the Users tab, scroll through the User List, highlight a user name, and click the Expel button to rid your ParaChat room of an unwanted visitor?  Administrators now have that functionality right from the chat room's User List.


Administrators simply right-click on a user name to display a new right-click menu, and quickly choose the admin function they wish to execute.  Functions include Expel, Expel/Ban IP, Ban User Name, Gag User, Gag User & IP.

Please keep in mind that administrators are exempt from the impacts of these anti-spam and anti-flood controls.  So when testing, log in as a regular user!

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