Sunday, August 03, 2008

Is this true, Blogger?

“Blogs are the riskiest websites to visit because these are the biggest sources of viruses on the Internet, according to antivirus firm Sophos.

“As end-users become more aware about viruses via email, hackers are instead embedding viruses into websites that threaten unsuspecting visitors.

“In its report, Sophos noted that the number one host for malware on the Web is Blogger, which allows users to create blogs for free (with URLs that end in '').

“Sophos estimates that blogs created on Blogger account for two percent of infected webpages... [H]ackers either set up malicious blogs using Blogger, or place comments into unsuspecting blogs that contain links to websites that contain viruses."

-- “Blogs are biggest sources of viruses on the Web--Sophos”

Did you have a hard time accessing my blog yesterday? If you were using Internet Explorer for your browsing, I'm sure you did. Ironically, just after having read that bit about viruses in Blogger, I discovered that many sites, including mine, weren't loading at all on IE yesterday because of a glitch in the HTML script of--of all things--Sitemeter. (Read the report here.)

There are possibly tens of thousands of blogs and websites all over the world that use Sitemeter as their traffic-tracking tool, so that glitch wasn't a minor thing. My blog loaded seamlessly as usual with Mozilla Firefox (I'd switch now, if I were you), but on IE the bug persisted until late evening. I was constantly checking until I got tired and just shrugged it off. I mean, Sitemeter would certainly try to fix it asap, or there goes its business, right?

Also, given my precious traffic stats (minuscule compared to others, but, hey, they're mine), I wasn't about to delete the script right away and lose all that data. Good thing the scary hiccup seems gone today--though my site visits did note a steep drop. Temporary, I hope.

Some housekeeping and security notes on my end:

1. I don't moderate comments at present, but I might end up doing so if I get spam or comments linking to sites with viruses, or even sites I don't endorse, i.e, those associated with dubious products or pictures of buck-naked men and women playing with frightening toys. I've had occasional comments like that, but, thanks to the “Recent Comments” feature in my sidebar, I can easily detect and delete them pronto--for now. (Memo to Blogger: please develop a spam blocker widget similar to what Wordpress has!) Going forward, it might be more sound to just moderate comments altogether. I'll think about it.

2. I know, I know, commenting on Blogger is a drag. I've thought about shifting to Haloscan, but since that would mean losing all your archived comments, ay, 'wag na lang. Let's make do with Blogger for the moment, as cumbersome as it is. But here's the thing: I'm seriously wrestling with the idea of continuing to allow “Anonymous” comments here. Come on, if you have something to say and you believe in what you're saying, why be anonymous? I've never deleted a comment just because it disagreed with me. By all means let's disagree, but, please, give us a name to go with that diatribe. Otherwise, what makes you different from a troll--especially if you use crude, foul language to express your opinion with?

3. In my mirror Multiply site, I'm sorry if I don't approve of your contact invites right away. I have to check first if your Multiply is already a functioning site. If it isn't yet--meaning, there's nothing there except your handle and your chosen template with all those twinkling stars and cutesy cartoons--I'm not going to link you, for security reasons. I have to be sure that the bloggers I let into my network are not anonymous, with sites I can trust and contents I can live with (take note, not necessarily agree with)--perhaps even recommend to other contacts. You'd be just as careful with yours, right?

4. I'm sticking with Blogger, but I hope it fortifies its system to make its free platform more secure and virus-free. Paging Google!

Any other suggestions to make our blogs more secure? What do you do to secure yours?


Ederic said...

I also use Sitemeter, pero di ko na tinanggal yung code.

Sa security, ingat din siguro sa ads na inilalagay. One of my blogs was blocked by Google before because of an ad script with malware. Good thing I was able to fix it after I learned about it.

R-yo said...

i dont know much about internet security too. remember, ikaw pa nga ninang-cum-mentor sa blog binyag ko. so i'll track the comments here for whatever knowledge i could get.

tonyo said...

Gibbs, please seriously entertain moving to Wordpress. I'm certain many people will help you migrate without any hitch. You will be able to keep all URLs and comments.

joelmcvie said...

Mag Mac ka na lang, hehehe. ;-)

gibbs cadiz said...

hey EDERIC, that's right, ad scripts, too. thanks for the tip! :)

R-YO, we're both using blogspot so, pag nagkataon, patay tayo! :)

TONYO, thanks for the push. i did try moving to wordpress--found having to relearn everything too hard, hehe. or maybe i just didn't have the patience at the time. i'll give it another go. :)

MCVIE, pengeng pambili! :)

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