Links posted by new members...How do we know if safe?

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Sheepdog
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Links posted by new members...How do we know if safe?

Post by Sheepdog » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:34 pm

A new member posted a thread about mold in duct work viewtopic.php?f=11&t=212396&newpost=3259805 in which there was a link to look at the "mold". In opening the link, there was a photo, but there were other photos not related to the problem.
So, here I am wondering, could a link cause a virus or similar infection? How do we know when we click on these type of things?

Woof. Woof.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Links posted by new members...How do we know if safe?

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:39 pm

He just responded.

If I don't know what a link is I'll go to my Chromebook and try it there before I'll click it on my Windows system.

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Ellie
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Re: Links posted by new members...How do we know if safe?

Post by Ellie » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:46 pm

The link is to Imgur. Imgur is a well-known and respected image hosting site that was popularized as a place to host images to be linked to from the website "reddit". I click on links to Imgur often, and have never had a problem.

That being said, if you are concerned about viruses, I would recommend installing a respected malware program that notifies you whenever a .exe file is being installed on your machine, and running virus checks daily.

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Sheepdog
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Re: Links posted by new members...How do we know if safe?

Post by Sheepdog » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:56 pm

Ellie, I do have Malware and virus protection, but I still wondered if a posted link by someone on Bogleheads contain an infection? Am I to assume that they could be?
People should not say everything they think. They should think about everything they say.

Ellie
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Re: Links posted by new members...How do we know if safe?

Post by Ellie » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:03 pm

Yes. Malware could be installed on your computer from any website, including very popular websites that many people frequent every day, especially if the site uses ad networks. Reputable websites work hard to avoid distributing viruses, but no one is perfect. This is why it is important to be diligent with anti-virus software.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Links posted by new members...How do we know if safe?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:11 pm

As far as I can tell bogleheads.org will allow any syntactically valid link. So a link could point to a malicious site.

Moreover the Img tags can be used to load images of various formats. Some of those formats have been known to contain exploits in the past. Hopefully the bugs that allowed the exploits have been fixed, but you never know when new ones will be found.

Having said that bogleheads is probably as safe as anywhere on the Internet :happy , although that's not saying much. :twisted:

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triceratop
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Re: Links posted by new members...How do we know if safe?

Post by triceratop » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:53 pm

I'm not certain how much I am cleared to say in public about how the moderating backend and process works; however, I would not be overly worried about the first post of a new member containing obviously malicious links.

If you see a URL that you believe may be malicious, please report the post and explain your suspicions. We will take a look.
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mnaspbh
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Re: Links posted by new members...How do we know if safe?

Post by mnaspbh » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:00 pm

Ellie wrote:The link is to Imgur. Imgur is a well-known and respected image hosting site that was popularized as a place to host images to be linked to from the website "reddit". I click on links to Imgur often, and have never had a problem.

That being said, if you are concerned about viruses, I would recommend installing a respected malware program that notifies you whenever a .exe file is being installed on your machine, and running virus checks daily.

~ Ellie


Imgur's ad networks have pushed malware on multiple occasions, and imgur itself gets used to distribute click-bait malware on a depressingly regular basis.

Reddit even rolled its own image-hosting service to reduce reliance on imgur.

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LadyGeek
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Re: Links posted by new members...How do we know if safe?

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:45 pm

As triceratop stated, please report a post if you think the link is malicious and we'll check it out.

Bear in mind, that you might click on the link and think the malware is from this site, but you've also clicked on a different website and gotten the malware from there. There are a few websites which can help:

- McAfee SiteAdvisor Software – Website Safety Ratings and Secure Search
- Is This Website Safe | Website Security | Norton Safe Web
- Safe Browsing Site Status – Transparency Report – Google

That being said, the best protection is a good malware program that is enabled for real-time protection and kept up-to-date. One example is Malwarebytes | Free Cyber Security & Anti-Malware Software.

If there are any questions on how to configure your PC, please start a thread in the Personal Consumer Issues forum.

mnaspbh wrote:Imgur's ad networks have pushed malware on multiple occasions, and imgur itself gets used to distribute click-bait malware on a depressingly regular basis.

This is the more likely scenario. imgur.com rates just fine in terms of being "safe", but ads should not be clicked on. If a product seems interesting, google the product then go to the company's website from the google link.
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Sheepdog
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Re: Links posted by new members...How do we know if safe?

Post by Sheepdog » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:48 pm

Good advice and comments. Thank you.
People should not say everything they think. They should think about everything they say.

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zaplunken
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Re: Links posted by new members...How do we know if safe?

Post by zaplunken » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:44 pm

LadyGeek wrote:As triceratop stated, please report a post if you think the link is malicious and we'll check it out.

Bear in mind, that you might click on the link and think the malware is from this site, but you've also clicked on a different website and gotten the malware from there. There are a few websites which can help:

- McAfee SiteAdvisor Software – Website Safety Ratings and Secure Search
- Is This Website Safe | Website Security | Norton Safe Web
- Safe Browsing Site Status – Transparency Report – Google

That being said, the best protection is a good malware program that is enabled for real-time protection and kept up-to-date. One example is Malwarebytes | Free Cyber Security & Anti-Malware Software.

If there are any questions on how to configure your PC, please start a thread in the Personal Consumer Issues forum.

mnaspbh wrote:Imgur's ad networks have pushed malware on multiple occasions, and imgur itself gets used to distribute click-bait malware on a depressingly regular basis.

This is the more likely scenario. imgur.com rates just fine in terms of being "safe", but ads should not be clicked on. If a product seems interesting, google the product then go to the company's website from the google link.


LadyGeek,

Oh great https://safeweb.norton.com/ I bookmarked it and then tested it. I really don't think that website is reliable! I entered some really bad words like one just might find to identify a porn site and everyone I entered it said no threats found!

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