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Why New Members Can't Post Right Away


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#1 OFFLINE   Scot

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 10:44 AM

I spent some time a couple of days ago modifying the screens and emails that get sent to people who are going through the new-member registration process. The goal of this work was to make it more clear to everyone that registration to Scot's Newsletter Forums is not automatic. It takes a few days, on average, to have your membership confirmed. So the new wordings in the screens and the confirmation email should make it more apparent what the next steps will be and also that the registration process doesn't result in the ability to post right away.In a nutshell, these are the steps:1. Go through the registration process, creating login information, performing the Real Person check (remember, Number and Letter after the colon), the captcha, and I highly recommend that you enter information about your PC or Mac in those optional fields. This will speed your registration process because bots do not enter that info ever.2. Almost immediately, you should receive a confirmation email to the email address you used in the first step. You must receive that message and click the "activation link" in it. This proves that YOU initiated the registration, and meant to initiate this registration. It also verifies your email address. You must have a valid email address to register to Scot's Newsletter Forums. You will not get spam from us. Your email privacy is absolutely protected.3. Once the activation link is clicked, your steps are complete, and the next step is to be patient and wait for our Admins to approve you. It could take up to a week or two if people are on vacation or busy. Please remember, all moderators and forum admins at SNF donate their time. We realize that if you're registering, you probably have something you want to say right away. We regret the inconvenience, but this level of protection has been working for three years. And the security of everyone visiting this forums is the most important thing. You will be emailed when your registration is complete.Why We Do ThisOver the years, we've had to make this process more and more difficult to protect the forums from malicious bots. We are under siege at all times from bots attempting to register here and gain access to the forums. That happened to us in mid 2006, with disastrous results. The attack was a very simple one, but it placed every single visitor to the site in peril of getting a series of malware apps installed on their systems. The problem was evident for 18 hours before I was made aware of it. I was able to disable the problem pretty quickly, but we were also lucky. Since that time, bot attacks have been more sophisticated.To combat that, we've added several "real person" checks -- and our Forum Admins perform a personal check of every new member before they're given membership. The process takes some time, but in the long run, it's worth it. Please be patient. Thanks.-- Scot
Scot Finnie, Editor-in-Chief, Computerworld.com




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