SFHG - Firewalls & Forms

If you use a firewall and also use some of the forms on the SFHG website, you may need to tailor your firewall. The following is an attempt to explain why.

A convenient way to collect information is to use a Form. You will have come across them on many sites. For example, we do this when you want to tell us your Surname Interests, give details for a Library Search, request information to access the Members Only pages, or fill in the Volunteers Questionnaire.

The information you provide is then passed to a program called FormMail, together with an SFHG email address. FormMail does some checks and then forwards your information tidily as an email to the appropriate SFHG person.

One of the checks is to make sure the request has come from a page on the SFHG website. If this were not done, anyone could send an unlimited number of spam messages via our website and FormMail routine. In the normal way, when the FormMail routine is called, your browser will pass the fact that the request comes from the specific SFHG website page so that this may be checked. This is known as the referer / referrer information.

By default, some firewalls block the passing of this information and need to be told to allow it. These include Norton Internet Security, Norton Personal Firewall, and Zone Alarm Pro. The free version of Zone Alarm does not block the information.

As I said at the start, this means your firewall may need tailoring. If it is not done you will probably see this page and the form will fail. The exact instructions for tailoring may vary from one version of a firewall to the next. I have supplied instructions for several possibilities - please let me know if they do not work for you - and ideally what does work so that I can add it here!

If you arrive at this page unexpectedly and do not use a firewall, please let me know the details. Thank you.