Website Security and Recent Attacks

In light of security concerns surrounding this morning's hack of certain House websites, we would like to take a moment to assure you that none of iConstituent's websites have been affected in any way. While no website can ever be 100% safe from an attempted attack, iConstituent takes pride in making security a top priority. We adhere closely to all security policies set forth by House Administration and work very hard to ensure that our clients are well trained on the best ways to manage their user accounts for our access to the system.

iConstituent-hosted Congressional websites are housed 100% behind the House of Representatives Firewall. This provides an additional layer of security to our system; if you are unable to access the House Firewall, you are unable to access the management console for iConstituent Congressional websites. As a precautionary measure, over the next couple of days we will be resetting passwords for access to the system. The next time you login, you will be asked to reset your password. Please ensure that you create a password that is not easy to guess. You can use one of many online resources for checking password security, such as this one.

We may not know for several weeks what allowed this vendor's websites to be infiltrated. Resetting your password is just one way that we can protect your websites. If there are user accounts that are no longer being used, or you would like a list of current users with access to your account, please contact support for review.

If you ever have any questions or concerns, or would like more information, please contact support@iconstituent.com.

Using Webforms for Your Constituent Requests

As the appropriations request period begins, more and more offices have been inquiring about using an online form for submission. The Constituent Gateway makes it easy to create online forms. In fact, we have been creating forms for all sorts of requests including Tour Requests, Meeting Requests, Flag Requests, Internship Applications, Academy Nominations, Presidential Greetings, and even Guestbooks. Actually, we can create any custom or office-specific form that would help your office workflow – regardless of what fields you may need.

iConstituent offers two different types of forms – “Gateway Forms” and “Custom Forms”. Any time you need to add a new form to your site, our support staff would be happy to assist you in deciding which type of form is right for you. You might remember learning about Gateway Forms in your training sessions. You can create an unlimited amount of forms using the “Gateway Forms” folder type without ever needing assistance from us. Custom Forms, on the other hand, are set up by our team. Here are some other differences between the two:

Gateway Forms: the data from these forms is stored in the Constituent Gateway for viewing and can be downloaded in an Excel doc. Submissions can also be sent to a staff member in your office for review. New contacts will be created with each submission and existing contacts’ submissions will be noted on their detail page. Mailing lists can be created based on answers to questions on the form. We can integrate CAPTCHA but not zip code authorization. Users can opt-in to mailings when submitting their form.

Custom Forms: the data from these forms can be sent to a staff member’s inbox or integrated with a CRM system, such as Capitol Correspond (or both). These forms give the highest degree of flexibility in terms of layout, styling, data validation and verification, and question types. We can integrate CAPTCHA and can also add a zip code authorization form. Aside from the CRM integration, many offices prefer these forms as we can limit the number of characters accepted and can provide custom styling.

To learn more about our forms, please contact support@iconstituent.com.