YOU ONLY NEED TO TAKE ACTION IF YOU CHECK YOUR SITE AND SEE A MESSAGE LIKE THE ONE ABOVE. IF YOU DON’T SEE THE MESSAGE YOU ARE UNAFFECTED.
It seems that Google have withdrawn Google Recaptcha Version 1 function that is used on some contact forms wef 31/03/2018. Please check your contact form now and see if this has happened to you. It was withdrawn yesterday. If you have this problem on your site nobody can send you a message so it is important to resolve it quickly.
This is what you need to do:
Login to the site go to Forms in the sidebar menu and select it.
This for most people will show a single form or multiple forms. Select a form and open it in the editor and check to see if the bottom most item says New reCAPTCHA.
If you have that on your form, delete it. Then save the form.
Check ALL of the forms on your site if you have more than one. Save each one.
On completion go into your site as a user would, and locate each form and send a message to confirm it is working. Check the form still makes sense as well.
This has removed the Spam Protection mechanism used in this form. So your spam count may go up as a result of making this change. However your visitors can still send you a message.
This particular form plugin is no longer supported by the author, so we should probably find an alternative form. Check back on this site later for a solution that uses the new or an alternative Google ReCaptcha function.
If you immediately start getting hit by an increase of Spam let me know please.
Some of the websites I have built use a plugin called Fast Secure Contact Form. It was a very popular form handler highly regarded by users written by Mike Challis. The plugin was sold to a third party in June of this year and the new owner attempted to manipulate the code in the plugin to set up adverts.
Please check ASAP whether the version that is currently in use on your website is version 4.0.56. You can do that by logging in, and going to the Plugins page and look down the list. You will see an entry similar to the one below which includes the version number.
If you have version 4.0.56 you are OK! Don’t panic.
If your site is at an earlier version contact me immediately and I will sort out updating it.
(update: 6:00am 27/9/17 Nobody has reported a problem so far, all sites have upgraded automatically. That was to be expected. If you cannot find Fast Secure Contact form another method is used for forms on your website. Probably Form Manager. You are not affected by this notice.)
Why is this important?
Continue reading Fast Secure Contact Form
I have come across two scams this week targeting small regional charities, one about domain registration, I came across several years ago, but it looks like it is still going on. The first is encouraging you to call a premium rate number.
Scam #1 Contact me message
You all have forms on your websites, and you usually get legitimate enquiries on these forms. Do however check the contents in a message and if the only way you can contact someone is via a premium rate number then don’t bother calling. If the content is virtually non existent like this one below, it is encouraging you to call a premium rate number. In this particular case I checked the number through a web search. This individual is sending messages to websites through contact forms. So if 10 people call back then that is £1+ they have made depending on how long they keep you on the phone, you would not know what their premium rate is prior to calling.
If you are not sure, type in the following into a Google Search form: who called me 08712771062 (Obviously substitute the number you wish to check. In this particular case it took me to this page: http://who-called.co.uk/Number/08712771062 if you read the reported cases there, you can see the depth of the scam and other people’s comments.
Normally anyone contacting your organisation will provide more information in the form for you to process and not leave a short message like this.
Scam #2 About your domain name
In many cases I am looking after your domain names, so if you get anything like this send it to me, it is a bit more subtle than the previous one. In general domain names are registered to organisations and that registered information can be located on the internet. So a determined third party can find it and then contact you. This is how the domain scam works: Continue reading Two Scams to be aware of…..
One of the websites I look after was taking content provided by third parties and adding it into the website. I was working my way through some posts when I came across a strange looking link hidden under an innocent looking title.
The editor in this case had just cut and paste everything, and had not tested it. There were two cases, one went to a newsletter mailing website and then was diverted to the actual site. In this case the actual site was simply a holding page, and the fact that the link went to that site via a third party meant it was logged. Of course we do not know what else happened on the way. The link text contained Yurts for Life, but the link was actually going to here:
Which is not going to Yurts for Life. The behaviour of the link when clicked went somewhere, then to somewhere else.
The link was provided in good faith, however if nobody checks these things it can be simply passed down the chain. In this case it is probably completely innocent, however what if it wasn’t? Would you know; the fact you have put this on your site, exposes it to all of your visitors.
Test it when you publish it
Continue reading Obfuscated links – take care