Lady V, the ban on external web links is more a cyber security measure than anything else. In the past we have had links with embedded malware posted in the forums. They have been posted by members who joined, posted the message and then left the site. Although significant security upgrades have occurred on the site we must remain vigilant to keep the site and members safe. That’s the same reason why links in chat are also not allowed.
Many of our members remain hidden or secretive and there are always people (trolls) who seek to exploit or expose others for their own malicious pleasure. That’s why we don’t allow the posting of personal contact details in any of the publicly-visible areas like the forums or photo comments. Private messages are communications between individuals, not visible to anyone else so exchanging personal details in those messages is okay.
Finally, any photo posted on the public page, whether experimentally or intentionally, becomes public. Anyone can see those photos by visiting the site. As we know, images can be copied from the internet and that includes those posted on CDH.
A good ‘rule of thumb’ is that if you would not be comfortable with all of your family and friends seeing the photo then don’t post it on the public page. That’s why members have private photo pages. These are only visible to other CDH members.
I understand that posting links gives people a shortcut to a web location but that is always going to be open to abuse, just as your email is when those spam messages come in. If people want to tell others about a particular item, describe the site and the item and have them do a search for it themselves. That way they are protected by their own security settings.
We don’t want to make life difficult, we want to help stop it becoming difficult through someone else’s malicious intent.
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