Changes To Avatar Use

Started by MountainDon, March 25, 2010, 10:30:50 AM

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Once registered a member may choose to utilize an avatar to personalize the appearance of their postings. A member may simply choose one of the images built into the SMF forum software or use a custom image.

The first method of utilizing a custom avatar is to use a remote image. Web services such as photobucket, picasa and many others may be used to store the remote image. A link is placed in the members profile (see below) that directs the remote image to the computer being used by the viewer. This is the method I have used for years.

The second method of utilizing a custom avatar has been to upload the image to the Country Plans Forum server. This option has been used by many members. Uploading is no longer an option. Any image already uploaded will remain in service until such time that the member selects a different image to be used as an avatar. Once the current uploaded image is deselected it may not be retrieved for use.

The reason for this change is that a person with malevolent intentions can place malicious code within an image. Such code can then wreak havoc on the forum and/or the forum users. In the past few months several forums experienced attacks that destroyed data files. The source of the attacks was traced to code within avatar images as well as other uploaded images. That is something we all wish to avoid. John, Glenn and I apologize in advance for any inconveniences this may cause to any of our valued members.

If you have selected avatars you know how to make these choices. For those who are not yet aware the avatar selection is found in the Member Profile. Look in the Modify Profile section and select Forum Profile Information. The choices are first on the list of available options.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.

John Raabe

Thanks to Don for helping us avoid this potential problem.

Note that any image you have on your own computer can be loaded up to a site such as Photobucket or Picasa Web service and then the link will paste the desired image into your profile. This will accomplish the same thing and insure no background code is carried with the image.
None of us are as smart as all of us.