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Community forum back online

security being tightened - image courtesy of freefoto
New measures have been introduced to try to tighten up on security
A number of new security measures have been introduced in order to try to prevent another spam attack on the Brookmans Park Community Forum.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, 9 September, someone registered for the forum and spammed all 670 members with offensive material by using the siteís internal message system.

Indecent images were also posted on the site. These were removed by one of our volunteer moderators, but we were too late to stop the messages being forwarded to users.

The Brookmans Park Newsletter team apologises for the offence caused by that material.

For those who missed the report on the incident you can click here to read the story posted early on Saturday morning, or click here to read the longer Weblog version along with all the comments made by forum users over the weekend.

We have now introduced a number of security measures. We are not going to list them all here, because that could defeat the purpose, but there are a few you should know about, because they affect how you use the site in future.

  1. All new members registering for the forum will now have to be approved before they can post.
  2. The instant message facility will not be available to new members. The function will only appear after they have made a certain number of posts.
  3. Other new members permissions have also been turned off and will only be activated after a certain number of posts.
  4. All automated email notifications for new instant messages have been turned off. If regular users want to turn that option on again you need to click on your profile button (which looks like this) profile image, click on personal message option and check the box to be notified by email when you are sent an IM.
  5. There is a new time limit set between posts. This is because the spammer managed to post six forum entries with images in a few minutes. That will no longer be possible.
These measures will affect your current user experience, but hopefully not too much. We wanted to let you know so that you didn't think there was a fault with your machine.

There are a number of heavier security solutions which we have introduced over the weekend, but we are not going to expand on them here for fear of giving too much away. More security measures will be added in the coming weeks.

The site would like to thank Paul Large of Falcon Media for spending so much of his weekend giving free advice.

We would also like to thank all the other members of the community who pitched in with helpful comments and help, particularly our volunteer moderators.

As with all online communication systems, there is a danger of personal data being abused. I have written to all forum members offering to delete their personal details from the forum. So far only four of the 670 members have requested this. (One person requested this but failed to give their name or username - please email again saying which account you want to have removed).

If anyone would like to be removed, please email the site using the feedback form (click here) and we will do so immediately.

Thanks for all those who sent in messages of support over the weekend, either via email or using the Weblog. Click here to read the entry and all the comments at the bottom.

And itís nice to be able to write again that you can discuss this issue by clicking here and going to the thread that is running in this siteís forum.

The Brookmans Park Newsletter team

10 September 2006


Related News
Apologies to all forum members - 9 September 2006


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