August update – It truly is the dog days of summer.
At least we have the Olympics as a nice diversion from the heat and humidity. A few items I want to discuss:
URNA Chat Rules
Since 2006, URNA Chat rules have required a “Profile” to use Chat. To make it clear, this means a VISIBLE Profile. This does not mean a profile with a picture, but it does mean you have to take the time to enter enough information about yourself so that the other chatters and chat moderators (people with Gold lettered names) can see your age.
In general, you will likely need to enter your zip code and country to “flip” your profile to visible. If you are uncomfortable giving your exact zip code, pick one from a large city nearby. If you are still having problems, send me an support request.
A member recently asked about the security of personal information. First, we do not have addresses, phone numbers, or other typical personal information in our database. We do use an email address as the username. I suggest that if someone is concerned that they set up an email address just for URNA. We do ask that you provide some general location information, zip code, city, state, etc. This information is used in our search algorithm to help find people nearby. It is also required by a different algorithm to make your profile visible.
Again, if someone is nervous about disclosure, I suggest you use a large city in your state or if you are in the largest city, then another another major city.
To enhance security, the website runs on our main server. This server has typical firewalls, AV, etc. We also restrict admin level address with a white list and a blacklist of suspected hack sites. The database with all information is on a second server. This database server can only by accessed by the main server and is password protected and IP restricted. Any system can be hack, but in our case, they would need to hack two separate servers, spoof the main server IP, hack both passwords. Not impossible, but what they would gain is member email addresses and general location information. Photos are already visible in profiles.
We are also looking at additional security measures, but requires an update to our OS and the website.
For Gold members which is subscription, payment information is maintained on our payment processor (ccBill) server. They have their own separate set of firewalls and anti intrusion processes. The URNA member name is not associated with the Gold membership, which is why we have a double log in. It is an additional step, but puts another barrier between payment data (cc numbers, address, phone numbers, etc.) and the URNA site.
Profiles – This is a related subject. Why fill out a profile? People use URNA for many reasons – to find friends, they need support or have questions, and sometimes romantic connections. You will get much more from being a member if you take the time to fill in your profile. There are several search features that can help to narrow down interesting members.
Finally, you can turn off your profile so that it is not visible. Go to your profile after your have loged in, under My Profile, select false for “Visible”. Your profile will show that it is disabled. None of your information or pictures will be visible. You can turn it back on whenever you want. This is a much simpler way to go “dark” rather than deleting your profile and reentering everything later.
Stay Cool, be Cool!