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Forum How To: Account Safety and Account Privacy Features

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Shawn Gossman

Skywarn Forum Owner
Staff member
Thread starter #1
Welcome to our first 'Forum How To" tip!

These tip topics will be posted periodically to help you make the best of your membership on Skywarn Storm Spotter Forum. Today's Forum How To tip is all about account security and account privacy settings! Yay for security and privacy, right? Right! Because we care about your security and privacy while you use this forum. So let's just get into it!

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure or HTTPS
We don't need to get too technical here but you will notice in the address bar that this forum starts with https rather than the normal http. This simply means that we are using a secure version of Hyper Text Transfer Protocol or HTTP. Now this is related to safety and privacy because with HTTPS, we are encrypting data sent your browser and this website which helps to retain your privacy and security while you use this forum. This isn't anything new. Most website are going to it and they should, because there is some crazy stuff on the internet these days and user security is very important. By the way, we use Let's Encrypt as our SSL provider because we believe in a free and open internet here on Skywarn Storm Spotter Forum.

Privacy Options out of the Box
By default, when installing this forum software, the software allows all users (including those who are not registered members) to view you profile, member new feed and other information to pertains to you that is considered public. This doesn't include your date of birth, email, password or anything like that, though, so don't worry about that! However, we changed this to make member information only view-able to members and not guests. So by default, your information is protected from those who are not logged in. You can change these settings at any time, too!

Password and Security Options
First, let's go to the page on your account area called Password and Security Options so that you can review and edit these settings if necessary. By default, we disable Two-Step Verification. If you are allowed to enable this, be warned, it can be a hassle at times especially if you routinely delete temporary files, cache and cookies from your browser. Two-Step Verification requires you to successfully complete two different steps before you may successfully login. Next you will see an option to change your password. We recommend changing it as every now and then, the more the better. You will need to provide your current active password in order to change these settings, though. When choosing a secure password, never use an actual work or combination of letters than can relate back to you. Use a random combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. A good password might look like this r$4QT9hFd@ZpOQw7 but don't use that example password as your own password!!!

Privacy Options
Now let's head over to the Privacy Options page to review what options you have to adjust the privacy of your account on this forum. There, you may be able to show or hide your online status as well as what you are currently doing on the forum. This isn't anything much to worry about unless you don't want people to know you are on the forum... But take note, forum staff team members can see you actively on the forum and whatever activity you are up to regardless of what option you choose. ;) You can also show or hide your date of birth. You are required to input your real date of birth, keep that in mind. Obvious fake birthdays will likely result in an automated spammer ban. And finally, you can choose what you allow users to do or see based on your account settings.

Final Notes
  • Never give your password out to anyone, not even our staff team members. No one will ever need your password to help fix your account. Staff members can access your account without your password.
  • Make sure you are using a secure password!!!!!!!!!!
  • And take your privacy, seriously! It is the internet!
Thanks for reading this week's Forum How To tip. Look for more tips to be posted in the following weeks! :)
 
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