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#1 johnfwd

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 07:01 AM

Today, for the first time, I saw two unsolicited messages from the Forum on my personal e-mail account.  The messages were not replies to anything I said on the Forum and were not from its private communications mode.  I'm certainly not being critical of the Forum, but I am concerned about a "breach" of my real identify. [I don't know if it's something I did technically on the Internet to cause this...the source of the messages are two new postings about the bullet train on the Transportation thread].  Some here have chosen to reveal their real identities, and that's their choice.  I prefer keeping mine to myself for now, unless it's been compromised.  No corrective action being sought, just wanting to mention it.



#2 Volare

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 07:34 AM

I'm confused. Did the forum send you a notice of replies to a topic you have subscribed to?



#3 John T Roberts

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 09:15 AM

There is a setting to receive personal e-mail regarding a subject you have replied.  I also think you can "subscribe" to a thread or a forum without actually replying.  All of these items are done by checking a box.  This forum has been hacked several times, so I'm not saying that it can't or won't happen, but this sounds like you have accidentally checked a box and that is why you are receiving these messages.  I can take a look tonight to see if that is the case.



#4 johnfwd

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 11:08 AM

Thanks.  Not wanting to make a big issue of this, was just a bit surprised to get an e-mail message from the Forum, first time since I became a member in 2010.

 

FYI, the e-mail message was from the "Fort Worth Forum" addressed to my personal e-mail, and the message below:

 

johnfwd,

RD Milhollin (http://www.fortworth...php?showuser=30) has just posted a reply to a topic that you have subscribed to titled "Texas Central Railway - Proposed Bullet Train".

----------------------------------------------------------------------
HUGE STEP BACKWARDS! Texas rural legislators looking to block TCR:

http://www.star-tele...le18623106.html
----------------------------------------------------------------------

The topic can be found here: http://www.fortworth...view=getnewpost

If you have configured in your control panel to receive immediate topic reply notifications, you may receive an
email for each reply made to this topic.  Otherwise, only 1 email is sent per board visit for each subscribed topic.
This is to limit the amount of mail that is sent to your inbox.

You can unsubscribe at any time here: http://www.fortworth...Y2dsb2JhbC5uZXQ,



#5 Volare

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 11:43 AM

Go to that topic and towards the top you should find a button that says "Unfollow this Topic"

 

That should stop them. Maybe you followed it by accident.



#6 John T Roberts

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 12:35 PM

Johnfwd, the message you posted looks like a typical automatic message from the forum.  I'm sure you accidentally clicked a button that created the request for the forum to send you that message.  The others have posted the proper instruction to stop the messages from coming.



#7 johnfwd

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 12:50 PM

Quite simple.  Thank you.



#8 Dismuke

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 11:02 AM

I had a message board for many years powered by the same software as this one.  There have been many updates to the software since then - so there might be some changes I am not aware of.  But here are a few security suggestions for anybody who uses a message board  - either powered by the one that powers this one or one of the others that are out there.

 

Password -   Make darned sure that the password you use for your message board login is not the same password that you use for anything important - for example, your email account or your banking accounts.   The password you have selected for this message board IS encrypted - which means that John or anyone else he has who does administration work on it is NOT able to view your password.   All they will be able to see is a string of random looking characters.  But, has John has mentioned, message boards can and do get hacked - and it is conceivable that a determined hacker might have a program that can attempt to figure out the encryption.   Perhaps the encryption is stronger than I suspect and this is not that much of a threat.  Also, most people who hack these message boards do so for no other purpose than to vandalize them - they think doing so is somehow funny.  Regardless, it is always a good practice to use different passwords for different accounts

 

Private Messages -  Everyone should be aware that there are limitations to the privacy of the messages that board members can choose to send to other members through the message board.  Your message inbox and the inbox of any other member you communicate with through the program is stored in the same sql database that all of the other data associated with the message board is stored.   That means that any messages that board members send to each other privately through the program can be looked at by anyone who has access to the sql database and knows where to look.   My guess is most message board administrators probably would not know where to look - but, unless the various message boards have added encryption since I was last actively administering a board, that information is there.   And the sql database that powers boards such as this one is usually not something that resides only on a server in a datacenter somewhere.   Because hacking and server crashes are always possible, most administrators download a backup of the database just in case they ever need to restore the board for whatever reason.   Thus anybody who has access to the computer or thumb drive that the administrator downloads the backup to could conceivably go through and read the contents of the database.

This is NOT to suggest that there is some sort of security risk in using the private messaging system on discussion boards.  It is just a caution not to say anything in such message that would make you in any way uncomfortable if some random person were to come along and access to the message.   But this is just good practice for ANY form of online communication.  You might not think anything about sending an email with your most private and confidential thoughts to your best friend.   But best friends have sometimes been known to turn on people - and you never know what boyfriends/girlfriends/roommates/spouses/family members will be in a position to access your friend's email account in the years going forward.


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