Request to readers


Some readers of this blog very kindly send me links to items that they think may be of interest. I appreciate them and often use them in subsequent posts. I do have a request, though, that is triggered by the fact that there are many spam messages out there that use links and attachments as ways of transmitting various kinds of malware.

As a result, I never click on links or open attachments that I am not sure are genuinely meant for me, even if they are from people I know well. I only do so if the link or attachment is accompanied by a message that is highly unlikely to have been generated by a bot, which means that it includes something that is not generic but is specific to me and goes beyond just an opening greeting that has my name. It does not have to be a long treatise, just something that tells me that the message actually was targeted to me personally.

This is a practice that I recommend to everyone as a safety precaution.

Thanks.

Comments

  1. mordred says

    As an IT professional (though not primarily concerned with operational security in my job), I think this is good advice!

    There are security risks like weaknesses in the software you use that can bite you no matter what you do, but some thought an common sense can greatly reduce your personal risk.

  2. MNb says

    Besides security risks I also think it a matter of politeness. If I send you a link I obviously want you to pay attention to it. So I tell you why it should be of your interest.

  3. Ben Finney says

    Writing a message more than a few words and a link takes a decent input device. Most cell phones are not suited to the task. I think that partly explains the prevalence of such short messages; together with “Share this page” features on sites that are easy to just tap and send.

    To which I say: Stop trying to use cell phones as message-composing devices, they suck at that job. Either it isn’t worth sending at all, or it’s *really urgent* (I doubt any of these shared links qualify), or it can wait until you’re at a proper input device with a full keyboard.

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