Whois opt-out for .uk domains (co.uk, me.uk, org.uk)

For .uk based domains whois opt-out is easy, when you know how. You are not however allowed to use services such as namecheaps “whois guard” which essentially hides the whois information when someone runs a “whois” query on your domain. A whois query will return the personal information of the person who owns the domain, including there name, address, telephone number and email address.

Example of a whois query on Google.co.uk:

Google UK Whois

As can be seen the registrants details can easily be seen.

For .com, .net, .me domains its easy to use a service, usually offered by the domain registrar to hide these details, however for .UK domains this is not allowed.

There is a work around however, and you will not even have to pay anything extra like you would with a .com domain. If the domain is just been used for personal use e.g. a blog or a general website then you can whois opt-out to stop your personal information been show on whois query’s.

Basically when a .UK domain is registered, no matter who the domain registrar is the corresponding Nominet Online Service account is created automatically. Nominet is the .uk domain name registry in the United Kingdom and handles all registrations and disputes of .uk domains.

This account that is created when you register the domain will allow you to opt-out of having your personal information shown on “whois” searches, In order to get access to this account you can go to https://secure.nominet.org.uk/auth/access-your-account.html – Here you need to enter the administrative email address you chose when registering the domain, after doing so login details will be sent to that email address.

When you have received your password you are able to log on and mange your domains whois information here: https://secure.nominet.org.uk/auth/login.html

As you are a non-trading individual you can opt-out of having your address details published, as can be seen below for a .me.uk domain I own.

Nominet UK Opt-out

Now you have opted out, if someone runs a whois query on your domain nothing personal will be shown:

matthill.me.uk whois

I imagine this should work on the following domain extensions:

.co.uk
.me.uk
.uk.net
.uk.com
.gb.net
.org.uk

That’s it, quite simple when you know how! Just not that obvious if you have never been through the process before.

Blogging again, first blog post in 1 year, 7 months

It’s pretty obvious I have never been a massive blogger, using my amazing maths skills… (also known as the calculator on Windows 7 that calculates differences between dates) I have worked out its been 1 year, 7 months, 1 week and 3 days since I last posted anything on this blog.

589 days is a pretty long time, I have never really been big on blogging or even status updates on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. I do however find it intresting looking back over stuff i have wrote, and done many years ago which is why i keep telling myself I should blog more… which never usually happens.

A lot has changed since i last posted in 2010, I have graduated from University which is the achievement i’m most proud of so far in life. I remember back to when i started in September 2007, the first few weeks were a massive shock to me… everything i was taught on the first day just went streight over my head and i remember thinking i had made the biggest mistake of my life going to Uni. At the time i was 21 and had not been in education since i finished college when i was 18, so i dont think that really helped as i was not used to been back in a class room.

However i really wanted to succeed and started doing a lot of reading up on stuff related to the modules i was taking. I have never been that great with maths, one module “Introduction to computer systems and networks” had a lot of maths related material in it. Looking back it appears quite easy now, however at the time i found it hard to get it in my head how to convert decimal to binary, binary to hex and so on. I was pretty proud when i ended up getting an “B” in that module.

In the end i graduated University with a 2:1 which i’m very pleased with, for anyone who doesn’t know you can get a First, 2:1, 2:2, Third or Unclassified. A 2:1 would be the equivalent to a B+.

I now works as an ICT / Network / Website and Office Admin for a company based in my home town, as you can probably guess my job involves doing a bit of everything, which is nice as it keeps things intresting as i never quite know what I will be doing from day to day.

I have recently been tasked with re designing the companies website, which sort of leads in to why i’m making this blog post.

I decided to use wordpress as the CMS for the website, as its very easy to customise, SEO and update. 3 things which were very important. The site has to look to to generate enquries from customers, we need too SEO as the company works in a very competitive market, and finally WordPress is very easy for a non technical user to log in and post a new blog post or news article.

Working with wordpress over the last few weeks reminded me i needed to fix this blog, its been offline since last October as we moved Digiex (a website i co-own) to a new server. After this i never re imported the database for my blog so i guess if anyone has actually visited it in the last 3 months will have just got a nice database error.

However now its back online, has a new layout, is updated to wordpress 2.3 now looks very sleek thanks to a little re design.

I actually do have a fair few posts on here, i did actually used to blog quite a bit from 2004 – 2006 on my MSN Space, mainly just random stuff really. Anyway last year i got an email to say MSN spaces was closing down, and that i had the option to download my blog or export it in to WordPress. I wanted to keep my old posts so i exported it, then imported it to this blog and set all the posts to private. Only people on my MSN Messenger contact list could see my blog, so i really need to  go through the old posts and make public the ones i dont mind anyone seeing.

I have also imported the blog posts i had on insanenutter.com and my blog on Digiex.net here. This will now be my sole blog so i can keep everything in one location.

I could go on about a lot more stuff in this blog post however i think ill leave it here for now, i just wanted to post something so i felt it was worth while restoring the database, updating wordpress and playing about with the layout.

I might do another blog post before the year is over… you never know! however as its 2:12am now i think its time to get some sleep.

Looking at the word counter at the bottom here ive wrote about 850 words in the last 15 mins, if only i could have done 2000+ word essays at uni this fast, i would have been done in 30mins!

Anyway im rambling on again now, bye for now 🙂

Stop spam on a vBulletin powered forum, an effective method

The ability to stop spam is a problem, as a forum myself and a friend run has grown and become more popular over the years, so has the problem of spam to the point where it gets out of control. However an effective method does exist for vBulletin powered forums, best of all its a free plugin.

We had already taken several steps to stop spam, including:

When a user signs up there name, email and ip address are checked with the database on http://www.stopforumspam.com, if any of the details are in that database the users registration on the forum is denied.

During the registration process the user is also required to enter a reCaptcha and answer a question such as “what would you put in a toaster?” It was believed this would be effective in stopping spam as any bot registering would most likely not be able to answer the question or complete the reCaptcha.

Despite those measures every few hours the forum would be hit with a wave a spam which will be continually posted until the user account is banned.

Example of this:

vBulletin Spam Example

Even after a user has been banned that user could be seen on the active users list trying to create a new post, despite the user been banned for several months. It soon became apparent a person was likely registering accounts then using a bot to post spam after the registration had been completed and validated.

Over the months we tried a couple of additional methods to stop spam which were really no use at all, however we then discovered the Keyword weight based spam detector for vBulletin.

This product scans any new posts from members who have less than 5 posts (can be changed to save cpu usage) it will look for user defined keywords, such as “hotfile.com”. Every time someone types a banned word in their post that word counts as one point, when that post hits a certain number of points it will be denied.

As all the warez / spam that get posted on our forum appears to be hosted hotfile.com, the word “hotfile.com” is now worth one point. The limit for denying a post is set to one point so any post on the forum with the word “hotfile.com” is now rejected.

This has been pretty much been the end of our spam problems as the bots posting on our forum never appear to post anything apart from warez hosted on hotfile.com. If required in the future we could block other types of spam too.