Church Insecurity

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I have been placing orders on since August of 2004. I had no problems placing orders for the 2005 curriculum or any of the other numerous items I need to order. I never had any problems right up until the end of 2004.

Enter 2005.

Every single time, without fail, that I have tried placing an order on since 01 January 2005, I have always received an error right before it the page comes up where it asks me to type in my name. When I contact the customer service email address and they finally email me back after a month and a half, they tell me it is because of my browser. I am using Firefox.

Of course, this doesn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t make any sense since I have been using the same browser to place the orders that I did with every single order I placed in 2004. Never once did I receive an error in 2004, yet never once did I not receive an error in 2005.

I had to place another order this morning, and sure enough, I receive the exact same generic, uninformative error at the exact same spot. Therefore, I fired up the standards-incompliant, most insecure, oldest-modern browser I have and tried in there. (That?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Internet Explorer 6 for those not following.) What do you know. The order went through.

So, what?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s the deal? Why would the Church build a shopping cart that records my ward?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s username and password so it only works in the one browser that is the most insecure of any of the latest releases out there? Why would the Church build a shopping cart for a browser that is nearly four years old? Why are they jeopardising the security of my computer? Why are the jeopardising the security of our ward?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s ordering information?

9 thoughts on “Church Insecurity

  1. Becasue the Church needs to provide service to wide range of individuals. As much as you like it, FireFox is simply not a widely used browser. And, the risk of problem from using IE is minimal.

  2. Don’t you find that statement contradictory?

    If the Church is trying to provide a service to a wide range of individuals, why are they restricting access to a single browser?

  3. Wow! You really missed my point. Think about what I said. The Church, as all organizations, has limited resources…right? It’s correct to “spend” those resources where the most return will be gained. In this case it correct to structure the Web site to accomidate IEplorer, the universal browers, and not spend limited resources to accomidate limited use browsers. You’ll agree most folks have access to IExplorer and few people at this point have Firefox regardless of its virutes. I normally use the Opera browser, but I keep IExplorer available for ordering ward clerk suppliers. It is selfish to think the Church should “waste” energy accomidating every possible browers. Again, the risk arising from using IExplorer with up-to-date patches is minimal. Right?

    Hopefully, this clarifies my point.

  4. “You really missed my point.”

    Then you need to be clear what your point is. I did not respond to an assumption I made of what you were saying. I responded to an specific statement you made.

    That being said, you still do not clarify your point. In one comment, you state the Church needs to provide a service to a wide range of individuals, and in the next comment you state that the Church has to spend all its resources on a single browser. You can’t provide service to a wide range of individuals by restricting access to everyone except a certain group of individuals. Remember, a majority of users (IE users) is not the same thing as a wide range of users.

    That being said, it is a complete myth that it takes extra resources to design for more than just IE. I do it at work, and when I implemented this practise, we cut our server usage, production time substantially, and our page loading times. The key is to develop using standards.

    Designing for standards ensures every browser that understands those standards can render the information. If you design a site correctly, a blind user could place an order as well as someone on a PDA. And it takes no extra time, effort or resources.

    “few people at this point have Firefox”

    Depends where you look. I have read stats that say Firefox has as much as 25% of the browser market share, while IE has less than 70%. No matter where you read the stats, Firefox users outbeat every other browser outside of IE.

    “Again, the risk arising from using IExplorer with up-to-date patches is minimal.”

    How do you ensure all the users coming to the site have all the current patches? You can’t.

  5. Thank you for replies. Your perspective is interesting.

    My comments are based on my experience as an IT manager.

    I had hoped to provide you with some insights that may have moderated you criticism.

    It’s my sincere hope that in the very near future changes will be made that will address your concerns. Until then I hope you can enjoy and appreciate the conveniece of ordering supplies via the web as much as I do.

    Best Regards and by the Lord bless you and your family.

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