So I have McAfee Total Protection, and the latest update (I assume that this is where it comes from) was installed automatically recently. And then I discovered when reading my own email that because I have the url of my blog in my signature I am entitled to a big red square box telling me that "this message includes a link that will lead you to a site with potential phishing".
Very friendly - I can imagine the effect this will have on the people I communicate with. My friends will smile, but I am not sure what the rest of my correspondents will think.
There is no phishing scheme on my blog, the only subscription widget is generated from Vertical Response which I specifically installed because I want users to feel comfortable that I am not going to abuse their email information. And then there are a few widgets from known services, but nothing custom or homemade that could be assimilated to hacking.
But somebody somewhere decided that I was guilty until I prove myself innocent, when I thought the normal was the opposite. I guess security software is different, and we are all hackers out there if we are bloggers.
I am a good citizen, and I try to follow process, so I went and registered on the SiteAdvisor website to claim my innocence. But there also, there is one more roadblock: I have to upload a file on my site to prove that I own it and that I am legit. The problem: I am using Blogger, a service provided by a small company called Google, and I do not have access to the service to upload whatever file I want. So now I have to submit a request into a big queue, and wait for somebody to pick it up and take a look, and then I have to pray that they will agree that my blog is ok. Hopefully the content is not too subversive, and I fit within whatever criteria they have that I can be cleared.
If you have any doubt that the world is a very messed up place, I think this is another good example. Technology which should be making our life better is just creating more constraints on everything we do. I do not really feel like I own my computer anymore: my brand new computer comes with pre-installed junk programs (marketing teasers) that I have to remove if I do not want the clutter, I have automatic updates because I get problems if I don't, and I get problems if I do, just different ones.
Because of all this, I make sure I stick to Open Source whenever I can. At least with open source, I get what I want and nobody can claim control of what I get to the point when it becomes obnoxious. It may not always be as cool or as fancy, but the protection from any corporate abuse is a huge feature for me...
>>> Update >>> the good news is that I have been cleared. The bad news is that people who are getting the message should re-install SiteAdvisor. So to anybody who is still using the wrong version I will be presented like a hacker unless they uninstall SiteAdvisor and Re-install (which would be assuming they care enough about me or the issue to go through this). Not as much comfort as what I was hoping for...
McAfee SiteAdvisor Support
dateWed, Feb 4, 2009 at 12:45 PM
subjectRe: "Open Business" blog erroneously rated as potentially dangerous
After some investigation, we have discovered that this error was related to a bug in an earlier version of the SiteAdvisor program, which has now been fixed.
Anyone who sees this error should uninstall SiteAdvisor, and then reinstall it from http://www.siteadvisor.com.
Please write back to me if this error is still occurring after these instructions have been followed.
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