On Thursday August 29th I was informed by someone running McAffee software that I was blocked as a risky site because there was no categorization listed in their database of sites as to what my site might actually contain.
Rather than contacting the site owner (there’s contact information in the domain record,) or informing people they should let me know, theITbaby was just flagged as dangerous to your computer with no reason being given the end user.
I submitted my request to be categorized on August 29th and was informed that it would take 3-5 business days for it to process. Forgetting that Monday was a holiday in the US, I contacted them again on Thursday September 5th asking if there had been any movement.
I’d submitted theITbaby into several categories that it covers, technical information, health, and something else I can’t remember at this hour. I got an email this morning telling me that I’d just have to wait for it to be processed in the order it was submitted in. And at about 2pm I started noticing a sharp spike in traffic.
After having the second largest theITbaby day ever, I thought to check SiteAdvisor, and sure enough we’re now incorrectly categorized as a personal blog. Oh well, that’s a little less blocking.
This does tend to indicate that roughly 35% of you have been using McAfee products and heeding their vague warnings. I’d like you to stop. I’m not angry at McAfee for what they did to me, but I’m angry that their usually bundled software (just try and update an Adobe product without being asked to install McAfee,) has moved from my day job to my baby gig.
But wait, you say, whatever shall I protect myself with?
Assuming you’re on a Windows machine, I’d advise you get Microsoft Security Essentials. It’s free, integrates with the OS pretty well, and doesn’t have a lot of overhead or false-warning waving like McAfee has.
Add to that in my experience as an IT technician I have never had an instance where McAfee was lauded for stopping an infection, hijacking, etc. I usually come to a spyware/spamware ridden computer and it’s got McAfee and maybe even whatever Norton’s throwing out and it’s infected.
A working MS Security essentials, I’m not saying it can not get infected, because it can, but it doesn’t slow your system down, provide fake warnings left and right, and make you feel like it’s doing a great job when it really isn’t doing crap, like SiteAdvisor’s recommendation that I was a dangerous site.
Just the bottom line here – I was flagged as dangerous not for serving any malicious content, nobody clicked a button saying I was a source for infections, no, my crime was not knowing about SiteAdvisor and TrustedSource.org because I don’t use that garbage and evidently only know one person who does.
So yeah, if you’re inclined to get what you need without the false warnings, Microsoft Security Essentials is free and will be forever, MalwareBytes is an excellent tool to keep on hand for when that rare things slips by, and there are plenty of other things that move quite a bit more quickly than the bloatware that the main pay antiviruses have become.
You’re not being protected by an application that lies to you about risk and tells you it’s protecting you.