I have googled this, and found nothing helpful. I have searched here, and seen nothing terribly relevant. I hope someone has something to say here.
I have been using wordpress on my domain for a few years. It's hard to say exactly how many, but let's go with 3 to 7ish.
Since putting the site up, I had managed to gather, up to a month or so ago, maybe 150 to 200 users who took the time to register. (To what end I have yet to figure out.) In an average week I would see one new user as often as zero, then late last year that picked up a bit, and I was kind of excited to see 2 to 3 a week, from time to time.
Then a few weeks ago this started changing, and I have seen a relatively enormous influx of users, about 500 new in that period at last count.
I suppose I should be pleased by this, but I can't help feel a bit anxious about the uptick.
There tend to be 3 primary domains that the emails they use are from, hotmail.com, outlook.com and 126.com. So, if you are familiar with web history, I presume you begin to see the outlines of the source of my nervousness here.
Hotmail has been a source for huge quantities of spam and other abusive behaviours, dating way back. I am not clear on whether this is still the case, or I'd have probably banished all these users already. Outlook.com seems likely to be related to hotmail, since they are both Microsoft Corp. iirc.
I am preparing to basically reformat my site, replacing everything that exists on the remote server with a fresh copy of basically the same content, albeit with - (possibly, depending on my free time and energy levels between now and when the new semester starts, or I get a freaking job) - a new look and possibly a bit of new content, and an entirely rebuilt file structure.
Should I de-register all of these new users? Anyone with an email from one of these domains? Suck it up and hope for the best? Blog about it on the site and make some sort of attempt at weeding out the bots, a la "If you post a coherent or readable comment, I won't delete you"? or something similar?
Thanks. I am flummoxed. Looking forward to ideas, when/if anyone has time/inclination to respond.