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Profile Completion Fields and our new security update


stratasfan
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stratasfan

The software just had a big update yesterday, following a massive update a couple of weeks ago. The software provider released security updates and they are hopefully fixing some registration issues that have been going on and causing me to have to spend hours working on registration over the past couple of weeks. So, no worries. It isn't your account or you! It will just be the update!  This is a really good thing all around, as we really needed the update! 

 

Over the past couple of months, We've added a few fields for new registrations, as it cuts out a lot of spam.  This is just security measures that the software recommends and have come with the update. Just helping to keep the forum safe and secure as possible! With the update, it just kicked the new registration fields into action on all accounts. Nothing big! 

 

Don't want anyone upset, and I've been watching comment boards like a hawk, but nobody has asked about anything. Since we had our profiles totally filled out, we didn't see them, until someone asked what happened, so then I had to look for what it was. 

 

If anyone is bothered, the system doesn't know what you typed . . . just that you have typed something in the field. You could have put a 'period' or anything, really. It really helps the human element when going through registrations and accounts to find spam accounts, and also, having to fill out those added lines knocks out robots! Robots can't fill out the added fields. So, it has to be a person. So far, the added fields (which have been on new registrations for a month or more) have saved me hours a week working on registrations and getting rid of spammer accounts. 

 

The multiple fields are to help sort out spamming accounts.  Let me explain each here, and maybe you'll understand why these are included! 

 

(Of course, the answers have to be real to really help, but there are always ways to get around this. You can type a period in each field and it wouldn't know the difference. However, that would raise flags when looking at an account, as that would be very spammy looking and feeling when evaluating an account!)

 

Location - This not only helps with spamming but is also very nice for members, as they can know when a member is in a different country (may speak a different language) and may be in a different time zone. I personally think Location is the one field that should be required and legit.

 

Interests - This is meant for the realm of militaria/military, but could be other things, too. This is so that members would easily know another member's basic interests. So, you type in USMC or USAF or Wings or Medals or China Marines, etc. (or multiple things . . . no limit!). In the old software and when the forum was smaller, the member 'signatures' was where most members listed their interests, and when signatures disappeared, we added the Interests field to replace this. If this seems too much, look at it this way - it means if you post in USMC boards . . . guests can read everything you say. The purpose of the forum is a reference site and a place for free information. So, when you hit that "Interests" field . . . type in USMC or WWII Army or Knives or Wings, etc. Doesn't have to be a thesis, actually it is really made for more of a small list. 

 

Name - This helps with spam, and the name is only viewable to Admins. There are multiple reasons why it is good to have a basic name, and  most spam registrations won't put a name. 
 

About Me - This being required is greatly for knocking out Spam accounts. A robot won't fill out "About Me". If a legitimate member can't fill something out, then it looks fishy. It can be as long or as short as you want. This is really the place to put why or how your started collecting, if you collect or deal, what you enjoy about the hobby, anything like that. Again, when sarcastic or silly comments come through, that alerts you to start looking for spam. This was also started to help when signatures disappeared, as a lot of members wanted a place to put why they started collecting or what made them interested in history, etc. 

 

And it may sound like we get a lot of Spam registrations, but you would be surprised! I spend time every day having to go through all the new registrations and validate accounts. Or get rid of spam accounts. Spammers are VERY busy on forums!  So, these fields are all to try and make the Admin's job easier and faster and some of them are to give a spot where members can share some basic info so that other members might connect! It's always fun to see what interests others and to find someone who is interested in something you are interested in, too! 

 

Well, that was a bit long-winded, but hope this helps! I think I've managed to make the "Name" not required, by removing it as required form new registrations. This is just to help out older members. All of this is to help with new registrations, The owlrd has changed a lot in 15 years. Cyber world has changed even more. We are constantly working to help the forum change as little as possible, but continue to work well and be a safe and nice place for members to use. So, thanks for your cooperation and understanding as we try and make as little change as possible, but still flow with modern technology! As you pull out your mobiles . . . just think of what it takes to make them work at all! 

 

If anyone would like to further discuss this, feel free to message me and I'll be more than willing to discuss and explain things and try and work through it with you!

Elizabeth

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