Norton firewall blocking links

  roofey 17:59 27 Mar 04

I operate a portal web site and recently had a complaint from a customer that the links to his advertising pages on my site were ‘invisible’. I discovered he had recently installed Norton Internet Security, prior to which there had been no problem. The link to his pages was to a sub-directory in the site called adverts, thus his link was adverts/hispage/filename.html. He was quite right. The default settings of NIS rendered his link (which was in a table cell) and many others invisible. Quite by chance I had written another similar link using backslashes instead of forward. This link was perfectly visible and working. In other words, using ‘incorrect’ backslashes seemed to foil NIS.
I subsequently tried changing the directory name of 'adverts' to something else and the problem disappeared. These matters were pointed out to Symantec who have so far failed to answer them.

In a second encounter with NIS, another viewer complained that button links in a framed page were dead when using Norton firewall. He too was perfectly correct. For any one interested the url is click here. The buttons are in the left frame. My viewer is a bit clued up and added the following:
“I have tried connecting to your site on another MS-winXP box that I have. This box only has Norton Antivirus software and all the buttons worked! (the other two MS-win boxes that I have have both Norton Firewall and Antivirus and the buttons don't work)

I also looked at your site with Opera v7 on the MS-win98 box (this box has Norton Firewall & Antivirus) and no problems - the buttons worked.

I have also looked at your site with Netscape v7 on the MS-win98 box (this box has Norton Firewall & Antivirus) and the problem is a lot worse than that with MS-IE6! Click on a button and the new page has two rows of identical buttons and nothing else.”

I have also told Symantec about this and so far received no response. I am making perfectly correct pages which NIS renders useless and the more people who use NIS the worse it will get.

I have also made the point to my viewer that when IE6 in combination with a widely used firewall starts giving problems, I blame the firewall or its set up. It should not become the task of every web designer to have to cope with the vagaries of firewalls as well as browsers.

Any comments?

  Forum Editor 00:42 29 Mar 04

as a matter of interest.

I tend to agree that this isn't something that the average web designer should have to deal with, but in the real world things don't work like that. Symantec will wait until they get a lot of feedback before they work on this, and in the meantime you have a site to run. If there's a fix (and it appears there is, at least for the 'adverts' directory name) then employ it.

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