The below guidelines aren't run by rules, per se. Rather, they are moderated by a tight-knit group of moderators who have volunteered to put themselves in the position of making difficult judgment calls. Most of these Guidelines are geared towards just improving the state of the forum and comments through smart tips (using good subject lines is just wise, ya know). Some of these Guidelines are more prohibitive, however, and they function as rules.

A. General Forum Rules:

  1. No multiple accounts and disposable emails

    • We don't allow multiple accounts per user.
    • Using a disposable email address, or registering with a VPN/Proxy, signals to us that you might not be here for the right reasons.
    • You also may not create accounts designed to impersonate another person.
  2. Your post should be meaningful and without excessive formatting

    • Your posts should be relevant to the thread subject.
    • All the forums are categorized by topics. Please post your questions or messages in the appropriate forum.
    • Use descriptive subject lines and research your post. This reduces the chances of double-posting, and it also makes it easier for people to see what they do/don't want to read. Also, scan the subjects of the last several days' posts to make sure you aren't duplicating posts.
    • Don't post just to increase your number of posts. Avoid short sentences or single word posts. If you have nothing relevant to say on a certain matter then don't post.
    • Do not bother making posts with only one or two words (e.g., "cool" or LOL) or a smile, or post simply to have the first reply in a thread. Such posts waste everyone's time and will be deleted. Posts saying "I agree", "1", "this", "me too", or the equivalent are also routinely removed, so don't post them. If you aren't interested in a thread, skip the thread; don't post to tell us you aren't interested.
    • Excessive text formatting (bold, caps, font size) is not allowed. Use text formatting to highlight short passages only.

  3. No inappropriate content

    • No commercial advertising and spamming. This includes using the forum, email and private message systems to spam other members.
    • No warez, cracks, serials or illegally obtained copyrighted content is allowed.
    • Encouraging the use of illegally obtained content is not allowed.
    • We do not allow posts or links to sites that are sexual in nature.
    • We do not allow political or religion threads as the may escalate into flaming and rudeness against MalwareTips, its staff, other forum members or any other party. MalwareTips is truly global and so are its forum members. Cultures, opinions and traditions differ, and MalwareTips forums are a place for cooperation, not clashes.
    • We do not allow discussions involving Code for Hacking, Cracking, Bypassing, Exploiting or other forms of malware.
    • As we are a Security and Technology based Forum, if we see any of the above, we reserve the right to remove or moderate such topics.
    • No Drama - Leave the drama at the door. Posts like “I'm leaving because..." or "Should I leave?"- are considered drama.

  4. Watch your language

    • All posts must be made in English with proper spelling and punctuation.
    • Foul language is not tolerated. Do not try and avoid moderation by replacing letters, i.e with a *.
    • Be nice to each other. Profanity, insults, personal attacks or purposeless inflammatory posts will not be tolerated. Note: Some appellative may be seen as offensive and you should not use them. Examples: fanboy, troll, spammer, etc.
    • No blatantly juvenile toilet humor. Simple rule. Moderator's judgment applies here. Talk about what you do to relieve yourself, although popular (for some odd reason) is not needed here.
    • No Armchair Moderating. If you’re not a moderator on this site, do not post attempts at moderation, suggestions for moderation actions, or complaints about moderation. All concerns about moderation should be sent via private messages to the staff team.
    • Finally, remember that we're not the ratings board here. We're not going to give you a PG for four swears and a gunshot, but R for five swears and splattering brains. Not making any hard and fast rules means that the moderators can use their good judgment in moderation, and we think the results speak for themselves. Bottom line: we almost always give warnings. But we don't care to give them twice to the same person.

B. Code of Conduct

Here are things that will get your comment or forum post removed and quite possibly get you banned. Note that this is not a comprehensive list. Our moderators reserve the right to remove anything we deem inappropriate.

  • Spam

    Zero tolerance, of course! If it comes from a human or a robot, spam will be deleted. This includes self-promotion. Generally speaking, promoting your projects here will be treated like any other spam.

  • Personal attacks

    Don't attack or insult another user. It's not helpful and it doesn't make MalwareTips a friendly place. This includes calling other members trolls.

  • Illegal activities

    Posting links to illegal downloads, ways to steal service, and other nefarious activity is not OK here.

  • NSFW material

    Nope, not allowed. Even images or links that could be considered borderline are not acceptable. A good rule of thumb is that anything beyond PG-13 will get you in trouble, but we reserve the right to remove any post we deem offensive. This goes for pornographic material, vile language, gore and generally gross stuff.

  • Racism, sexism, and other discrimination

    Attacking entire classes of people is just like attacking a single person: we'll ban you for it.

  • Trolling

    "Trolling" is a big, messy term, but we know what trolls are and we won't tolerate it. If you're abusing the good conversations here at MalwareTips, we will take your comments and posts down. This includes taking a thread off-topic, by the way.

  • Cross posting:

    Don’t make duplicate posts across different forums — it clogs things up and fractures the conversation.

Above all, our team of moderators works to keep conversation here friendly, engaging, helpful, and productive. If we feel a comment or forum post is harming that endeavor, we’ll take action.

C. Signature and avatar guidelines:

  • Avatars must be in good taste. This means no vulgar or violent images, pornography, or profanity. Avatars that are found to be inappropriate will be removed at the discretion of the staff.
  • Do not use your signature for advertising or other commercial purposes.
  • Animation should be kept to a minimum and both your signature and avatar shouldn't be too distracting.
  • Try not to use more than two images in your signature.
  • Do not include spam or harassing links in your signature.

D. Content from external sources:

  • Don't copy someone else's work and present it as your own.
  • Content posted from an external source must be referenced properly with a link.
  • Even when you provide a link, do not copy and paste entire articles or web pages. See definition of plagiarism on Wikipedia.

E. Moderation and helping us:

  • Isn’t this censorship?

    Well, no and yes. We’re trying to foster great conversation and we will remove comments that harm that endeavor. You’re free to say whatever you like other places, but not here. At MalwareTips we have a different standard, working very hard to keep the conversation informative and fun. The bottom line is that the admins and moderators have the final say on whether it fits within our community guidelines.

  • Questions about moderation

    We're happy to have a discussion with you about it — in private. We've found from long and hard experience that public complaints about moderation just leads to people trying to “game” the system. If you have a question about moderation, hit us up on our contact form and we'll have a talk.

  • Helping out our moderators

    Moderators work very, very hard with your best interests at heart. Please help them out by flagging inappropriate comments and take heed when they ask you to change your behavior. Note that most of our moderators are volunteers freely dedicating their time to help make things better. They don’t speak for the site, but still deserve your gratitude.

  • Becoming a staff member on MalwareTips forums

    We don’t have an application process, we select from the best members of our community. If you want to be a mod, our advice to you is to be awesome: help users when they have questions, flag inappropriate comments with good explanations of why, help users relax when threads start to look like flamewars, and generally just show us that you're a helpful and real human being. When the time comes, we may tap you on the shoulder and ask if you're interested.

F. Frequently asked questions

  • I've looked around the forums, but I am still not sure where I should place my post. What should I do?

    Don't worry, place your post where you think it fits best. A member of our staff might move it to the appropriate section. As long as you don't do it often, it shouldn't be a problem.

  • I see a post that breaks the rules. What should I do? You can use the Report this post button and let the forum staff handle the issue. You should not reply to the poster to warn him about breaking the rules.

  • A member of the community is harassing me using private messages. What can I do?

    Send a private message to one of our staff members and state your issue. You can find a list with our staff members here.

G. Final notes

Please take all the above rules seriously and take them to heart. Don't try to look for loopholes or try to lawyer your way around them—just understand them and try to respect the spirit in which they were created. Violations of the Terms of Use may result in a warning notification or termination of your account. If your account is terminated you are prohibited from creating any new accounts.

If at any time you would like to communicate with us about these community guidelines, please contact us by using this feedback form.