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Condolences and CAPTCHA Security Code

October 17
We love allowing visitors the opportunity to express their condolences to a family directly to your obituary pages. However, in order to do this, we have to implement security measures to ensure you don't get any unwanted messages posted to your pages.

Here's the challenge: There are thousands upon thousands of "spambots" that infiltrate web forums and online forms daily. These spambots attempt to leave links (most often inappropriate ones, such as "Come to www.GetVIAGRAX.com!!") These spambots serve no purpose other than leave millions of links out there in cyberspace that go to some unscrupulous marketer's merchant account; in the hopes that even a fraction of a percent of visitors will click through)

CAPTCHA is the device most commonly used to protect from these spam postings. Another method, such as one YouTube employs, is to allow the average visitor to mark certain messages left in their comment section as Spam and then, if any posting is marked as such by enough visitors, the post gets buried or hidden from view.

We chose CAPTCHA, as it's effective in differentiating between a Human and a Computer Spambot, but this is a balancing act and it does create failures a small percentage of the time. In most cases, a human may enter the CAPTCHA code incorrectly. If this happens, the page refreshes with the condolence they entered in the form fields retained, but the message is not yet posted to the obituary page. The visitor may then attempt to re-enter the code until they are successful.

On other occasions, a visitor is always unsuccessful trying to enter the code and here's the most common reason why: their security settings on their web browser (such as Internet Explorer) is set to not allow cookies or sessions or they may have an AntiVirus utility (such as Norton or AVG) that prevents the use of cookies. This aids in preventing malware from infecting a computer, but it also limits what a web user can do. In our case, posting condolences.

One solution you can do is to add a line at the end of your obituary posting, such as "Online condolences may be expressed at MyWebsite.com or myemailaddress@xyz.com. This way, visitors could at least email a condolence to you personally that you could either post for them or print and deliver to the family.

We are continually seeking ways to make your visitors' experience easy and pleasant. We will continue to develop better methods, while making sure you don't have any inappropriate messages left on your obituary pages!

ginny young - October 27

I was so sad to hear of willies passing. I worked with willie at the Islands for a while.  He was always very nice to me and was a hard worker.  And dave, how very kind of you to do this for Willie.  I hope you and your family are well.    my deepest sympathy.                                ginny young (sanders)                 

Mark D. Powers - September 20

Sorry to hear of Mark's passing. Will keep you and yours in our prayers. Chris Murphy

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