If you’ve ever wondered why comments on this site, and many other sites for that matter, are held for moderation by a site administrator, the simple answer is – comment spam, and the need to control it.
Without a doubt, comments are an important part of the mix for a technology site. Comments can spark discussion (always a good thing), allow a reader to present his/her point of view, share tech wisdom, or spread the word on a unique piece of software.
But, comments are not without their share of issues; with comment Spam, in my view, being a significant problem. Spam is virtually everywhere on the Internet. In your inbox, on Twitter and Facebook and other social networks, and so it’s not surprising that you’ll find Spam comments. Recently however, I’ve seen a major increase in the amount of comment Spam.
The following comment spam (full of praise – like many are), is just a small example of the type of nonsense Spam I deal with daily. (click on the screen capture to expand to original size – 1280 x 589).
Take a look at this one, and try to imagine the type of creep who would submit this as a comment.
Hard as it is to believe, there are many sites that rely only on a Spam filter to sort out the wheat from the chaff. Unfortunately, this complacency can lead to the posting of comment Spam that contains dangerous links. Links, which if followed, can lead to a malware site - guaranteeing a very painful experience. The comment shown above, for example, contains a number of malicious links.
Be cautious when following links contained in comments on any web site.
Be particularly cautious of comments, on any web site, where the writer is describing a problem with recommended software and offers a link to alternative software. This is a favorite technique employed by cyber-criminals.
Be cautious when following any link contained in any web site, since the latest reports indicate there are 5.8 million individual web pages infected across 640,000 compromised websites. Cyber-criminals are finding it easier than ever to inject malicious content into legitimate sites.
Be cautious following links on web forums. Forums can often be a source of dangerous links.
Install an Internet Browser add-on that provides protection against questionable or unsafe websites. My personal favorite is Web of Trust, an Internet Explorer/Firefox add-on, that offers substantial protection against questionable, or unsafe websites.