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MailCodes: Upgrading the Feedback Form

The Problem

In the past, spammers (senders of bulk junk e-mail) took advantage of Calvin's Feedback script. The Feedback script is responsible for processing information submitted online into a plain text e-mail message for you to read. Therefore, to protect Web authors from spammers, the Feedback script was upgraded and secured.

The Solution

Calvin developed a new Secure Feedback script to improve security and shield e-mail addresses from spammers. Academic and administrative departments will need to upgrade via three simple steps:

  1. Request a MailCode for your online form(s).

  2. Update your form's action to utilize the Secure Feedback script.

  3. Change the hidden input field name to "mailcode" and set its value to your mailcode "number."

The old Feedback script will expire this summer and online forms which have not been upgraded will no longer function.

Step One - Request a Mailcode

Request a mailcode from the Web Manager to replace the e-mail address(s) in your online form(s). A database will match the your mailcode number to the e-mail address on file. An entire department* may use a single mailcode.

*TIP: Having a generic departmental e-mail alias to use in your forms simplifies maintenance. For example, a department employing a student webmaster can keep the same mailcode after their student has graduated. The department places a work order with the HelpDesk to update the e-mail alias with the new e-mail address of the webmaster taking over. If your department would like a department e-mail alias please contact the Web Manager (x6-8686).

Step Two - Update the Form's Action

Update your form's action <FORM ACTION=""> to point to the new Secure Feedback script. We recommend using Macromedia Dreamweaver MX.

Old Form Action
<FORM METHOD="post" ACTION="http://www.calvin.edu/cgi-bin/feedback">

Old HTML for the Secure Feedback Form
Example 2.1

 

New Form Action
<FORM METHOD="post" ACTION="http://www.calvin.edu/cgi-bin/securefeedback">

New HTML for the Secure Feedback Form
Example 2.2

Step Three - Change the Hidden Input Field

Change the hidden input field name to "mailcode" and set its value to your mailcode "number."

Old Hidden Input Field
name = mailto
value = e-mail address

<input name="mailto" type="hidden" value="you@calvin.edu">

Hidden field "mailto" with e-mail address.
Example 3.1

 

New Hidden Input Field
name = mailcode
value = ##

<input name="mailcode" type="hidden" value="##">

Hidden field "mailcode" with number value.
Example 3.2

Questions?

Call or e-mail Luke Robinson, Web Manager, for assistance.