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.