There are a lot of different settings you can adjust to restrict access to your forum here at Aimoo, and I'm sure you'll discover most of them as you learn how things work. Most can be switched on, off, or set to allow partial access to things, depending on how much access you wish to allow visitors.
If you want to completely lock out anyone who isn't a member of your forum though (without making your forum password protected) you will need to do ALL of the following:
Please note, these instructions apply to both Classic and Trendy forum styles. In some cases though, the setting # is slightly different for Trendy, so where this is the case it will be noted in brackets.
Got to your Aimoo Control Panel, select Preferences;
Remove the tick from #4 (#3 for Trendy). This will turn off the RSS feed for your site, preventing anyone from accessing your boards through that route.
Remove the tick against #10 (#9 for Trendy). This will hide your members list so anyone just visiting can't see who your members are.
Remove the tick from #12 (#11 for Trendy). This will prevent users IP addresses being visable in the Who's On list, although as owner you will still see them.
Set #1 to "only normal members and advanced members can chat", This will lock your chat room.
Set #2 to "anonymous users cannot view any posts". This will prevent anyone who isn't logged in to aimoo from viewing your boards. (There are additional settings about this in the Permissions section, which is mentioned below).
Set #3 to either "They need to get approval before joining". This will set it so that you receive a message if anyone tries to join your group, meaning you can then choose whether to accept them or not.
OR set #3 to "they need to leave messages and get approval before joining". This option allows them to include a message in their request to join.
Put a tick in #4. This means if anyone asks to upgrade to an advanced member status you get a message to approve or decline.
Once you've adjusted all the above, click the Submit button at the bottom of the page to save the changes you've made.
Next, go to the Permissions section.
Here you need to click on the Set Permissions button for each board in turn and remove the ticks from ALL the options against Anonymous Users AND against Aimoo Members if you want to lock them out too.
Don't worry if you have multiple sub-catagories as when you do this for each main category there is an option to change each of the subs to matching settings, as you can see below. Ensure you do ALL the main categories AND all the subs though, or some areas may still show. (Remember to repeat this step if you create any new catagories or sub-catagories at a later date).
Remember to click the Update button after changing the settings for each user level, to ensure your changes take effect.
Next go to the section headed Security and click on Search Settings. Remove the tick against Make My Private Pages Searchable. This stops search engines such as Google from seeing your private areas. (If yours is a Diamond Forum you may also want to remove the tick by Make My Forum Searchable as this will hide you completely from all search engines. Please note though that this will also hide your site from your members too if they were to try to find you this way).
Once all this is done your forum is essentially locked for all but your members. Your Who's On list will still show "guest" from time to time if anyone tries to view your boards, but be assured, they wont be able to actually access anything on them.
There is also a "sharing" feature, which allows you and your members to share links to threads within your forum with sites such as Facebook. Anyone who is not a member of your forum will still not be able to view the thread concerned should they follow a link shared this way, if you have your forum locked using the settings mentioned above. If you prefer though, you can turn off this feature.
Go to Main Setting - Default Setting and scroll to the bottom where you'll see the option for turning this feature on/off. Select whichever you prefer and click Update to save the change.
*Please note, your MSN archive, if you have one, cannot be locked using the above options and will remain fully public, but if this is an issue for you it can be deleted.
Go to your forum control panel and look in the General Settings Section. Here you'll find MSN Group Info and there is an option here to delete your archive. Remember though that if you do decide to do this, there is no way to get it back later.