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The Undernet is a large IRC network. It’s a digital nation of sorts. You can find people from all walks of life. This diversity is the very reason that Undernet continues to thrive in a world dominated by social media. However, like any nation, we too, have unscrupulous users who seek to cause chaos and harm. Much like the real world, you can protect yourself from these few users. In this article we’ll teach you how you can do just that.
Before we embark on this guide of protection, its worth noting that the channels you chat in typically dictate the type of people you will encounter. For example, if you’re chatting in #USA, you’ll find there are rules and ops who enforce them. But if you’re chatting in a channel that discusses illegal activities, you’ll probably find there are no rules, and users who take full advantage of that.
So, bottom line: choose your channels wisely. It makes all the difference.
This is something you probably heard as a teenager. We won’t go into details on why you heard that since you probably already know. But nonetheless, that holds true on Undernet too. Undernet offers free usernames which can protect you from most attacks.
When you log into your username and set mode +x, your IP address becomes hidden. Hiding your IP address makes it a thousand times harder for attackers to attack your connection, and protecting yourself takes only a few seconds.
Another major form of protection on Undernet? Diplomacy! Most attacks stem from two egos clashing. Think about it, isn’t this why most fights break out? Two people who think they’re right, disagree with the other, thus it eventually breaks into a full-fledged fight!
If you’re open-minded and willing to accept that people might sometimes (more often than not) have a different view than your own on a particular subject, then you can avoid 90% of the “fights” that take place on IRC. Things will be less dramatic, and you can keep on chatting.
Topics that usually start fights include:
Now, that doesn’t mean these topics should be totally avoided like the plague. It just means if you’re looking to talk about one of these topics, be aware that you might encounter someone who disagrees with your views. Someone might think Windows is better than Linux, while you might think Macs are better than Windows PCs.
Just keep an open mind, and you’ll probably never have an issue. (Also, it’s worth mentioning, political and religious topics are not permitted in some channels, like #USA)
Sometimes, the basic morons will try to harass you, even as you try to avoid the unwanted attention. Luckily, you can ignore them. Just type: /ignore <nick> and you’ll stop receiving messages from them. Keep in mind, this only makes your IRC client stop showing you the messages. The server still sends them to you, and thus you can be flooded off from the network, even if you’ve ignored the user.
Despite our best efforts, sometimes there are true morons who are still hell-bent on causing chaos. That leads us to a special command designed specifically to handle the morons.
The above command is known as the Silence command. When used, it instructs the Undernet Servers to drop all messages before they make it to your client. In the specially crafted silence command you see above, the servers will be instructed to drop all messages from everyone on the network unless they are a network service bot (like C or X), a user logged into X, or an IRC Operator or other network official.
To unset the silence command you can either disconnect from the server or type:
/silence -*!*@* and the silence will be removed.
If you need to exempt a friend from the silence command, type this:
/silence +~*!*@their_ip_address and the server will allow any user with that IP address to message you.
Individual users can be silenced if you prefer to not silence the entire network. Using the same syntax, just type:
/silence +*!*@bad_user_ip_address and anyone matching that address will be silenced.
Silence is applied at the server side. This means your client wont receive any messages from the server, unlike when /ignore is used. If you’re using an IRC bouncer program like psybnc or ZNC, you’ll find that adding a user to /silence will block that user from being able to communicate with you on all of the clients attached to your bouncer, unlike when ignore is used.