I like your idea for protection. As of locking down the forum to only current users, I always liked it as a slowly growing community and if we were to just lock it down randomly then it wouldn't be growing at all. There are other releases on this forum but this is a decision I can not make as Mexi is the owner that also includes your status, Mexi has not given me permission to change anyone's status on here so you'll have to wait for him and if he feels you have contributed (I have the ability to but I feel that I shouldn't be making decisions like that because I'm not the owner and that would be like me running into my house and be like, "OK! THE NEIGHBORS NOW LIVE IN THIS HOUSE TROLOLOLOLOL xD"). (There actually called Special Users/User Groups, even banned users get to be special XD.) I don't think we have a contribution group anyway.
[EDIT] There is the Revamped Contributors Group. A couple people have been pending to join that group for like ever now. Laugh out loud Censor breaks the emotes D: :Laugh out loud!: