Saturday, July 07, 2012

Incognito Buddy, GV and WV

Hey, Buddy here, incognito again because I figure some of you are going to want to throw rotten tomatoes at me before I finish this post.  But one of us had to volunteer and I drew the shortest whisker from the mug.  I'm speaking for all of us, including the other 6 cowards ... um, furries on the Funny Farm, hence the use of "we."

Today, we have a warning to share with all Google / Blogger bloggers.

We all like to add cute gadgets to our blogs, but we have to be very careful of what we post, not merely for our own safety but because we are responsible for the safety of our visitors.

For several years now, we have been coming across a number of blogs that have a popunder when we click to leave a comment.  Always before our anti virus has kept whatever site the popunder is to from loading.  The popunder will load but with a message from our antivirus the site is blocked because it's potentially dangerous.  

A couple of days ago, we came across the same problem but with a new twist.  What loaded was a popunder that was literally and visibly counting down the seconds to installing a downloading program that would not be flagged by our (or your) av because it is a legitimate program (although we'd never heard of it before) -- a downloading program that enables an easy, fast download of videos or multiple programs.  So why was it about to download and why was it "necessary" to download it at all, especially on the sly?  We can only think of one reason.

If you are wondering what's the problem if the program is harmless, remember this is done without visitors knowing it.  And just because the program itself is supposedly safe, doesn't mean anything downloaded with it would be. We have a good av, but not everyone does. And things can happen.

We try to remember to watch the bottom of our monitor screen to see what's loading and to count the new windows because of past experience, so we brought up the window, saw the counter and closed the window in time.  But most visitors would not notice the extra open window, especially since there might be a delay in opening..

We always notified the blog owner and when a particular globe widget (often two separate globes) were deleted from the sidebar, the popunders stopped.  The same thing happened last night.  The blog owner deleted the 2 globes from the blog and the problem was resolved  Any time the blog owner has refused to delete the globes, we have deleted their blog from our bookmarks.  Online safety is that important! 

Over the course of several years,  the comment popunders we've run into have all been associated with the same widget -  a spinning globe counter from Geovisite.  We hope this post will serve as a warning to those who are considering installing it or those who already have it posted on their site.  And also to remind you to be alert to what is happening as you surf the web. 

On another blog subject, as much as we'd like to do a tirade on the evil's of the Blogger word verification and why it is totally unnecessary to use it and chases off many visitors who would like to comment, we won't   But when Blogger made the mass switch to the new interface, word verification was turned on by default.  So we will admonish you to go to your own blog while NOT signed in to Google / Blogger and click on comments to check your own blog. You keep annoying your visitors and they will stop returning.

Go ahead, try to tell us you don't care your visitors are facing this kind of crap because you don't want to check out your spam options without it when they want to tell you they're sorry your Fluffercat or Roverdog died.  They not only have to love you, they have to have x-ray vision.

We just took the following off a blog comment form.  We didn't make them up. 

reCAPTCHA challenge image
Or how about this one -
reCAPTCHA challenge image

Okay, so we did a tirade anyway.  Sorry about that.  No, actually we're not. We're most annoyed with those who use full page comments because wv doesn't show up until after one has written a note of condolence or get well  or .... and clicked "publish comment."  And then we find we have just wasted our time.  

Oh, and Brandi reminded us of what we forgot to include.  We've checked this link several times already and our av sent a reminded this morning because if your computer is infected with the DNS Changer, your internet will be shut down on Monday..  You can find the link for various countries where you can check your computer, if you haven't already.  Once you read the material, it only takes one click and a second to find out.

Just a reminder that the auction for Krasota Castle will be closing soon, so be sure to stop by Furriends of the CB and check out the items up for bids.


  1. Thanks for the warning re: the sidebar globes. We try to be careful and limit what we add to our blog, but if you ever see something that's a problem, definitely let us know asap!

    We're with you on the word verification; hate it. Still leave comments but it can be frustrating for the human to have to reload the image 3 or 4 times before something is legible enough to type in. Grrrr.

  2. When something like that happens, often your anti virus will stop it from downloading--also make sure you have to approve all downloads on your system before it does that. Finally, if it does download, then your antivirus software is probably out of date so it doesn't recognize the malware coming in. This is a common malware type set up.

  3. We didn't know about the sidebar globes being so Mum will watch out for them. Mum hates word verification particularly when it is so unclear you have to guess the letters!
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx
    p.s. Mum is still plodding on with her pictures!! We're not complaining as she's not waking us up to ask us if we're asleep!

  4. Thanks for the warning. We know what to look out for.

    Word verification is too frustrating for words. We had one that we tried three times and didn't get it right. We just won't leave comments any more if we have to go through that. A lot of spam email comes through our filter, but we just delete it instead of frustrating commenters.

  5. I got rid of the comment verification on my blog, cause it WAS irritating. Still have comment verification by owner of the blog, and that is good enough security for me.
    There is a big computer event that is sposed to happen Monday. It shuts down your internets. But we checked for malware with the FBI website and won't have a problem. And we also checked our anti-virus thingy for updates, and added an extra anti-virus thingy from our internet provider (for free).
    Let people know of this, or their internets might vanish on Monday!
    Ever watchful (or trying to be),
    brandi and Carol

  6. Good info on the sidebar stuff. I don't put much on my sidebars to keep from having too much stuff on my blog.
    I have to have word verification on my blog because other wise, I would have over 200 spam comments and that takes a long time to get them out of there. I even have some with the word verification. But good advice.

  7. All those things that could harm my computer make me feel soooo nervous!
    Thanks for letting us know!
    Happy Saturday to all of you!
    Kisses and hugs

  8. THANKS fur the WARNING about the PopUNDERS.. I actually Saw one the other day. and I hate the word varif. thingy tooooo.

  9. thanks for the warnings. mom tries to keep her eyes open for how many windows are open. and we hate the new blogger word verification....

  10. I'd heard about this internet shutdown thingy happening, but didn't really understand, so thanks. I have a Mac, so am hoping I'm a bit more protected!

    There are very few blogs with wf on that I leave comments on now, Marg's is one, but it is easy to read. But the blogger ones are horrendous!

  11. Oh forgot to say that I had a blogarama widget on my sidebar for years, but all of a sudden people visiting my blog were being warned about malware associated with it. Thankfully someone told me and I removed it!

  12. We're with all of you. We hate that stoopid deCAPTCHA junk.

    FWIW, you can tell the dCAP to give you a new string, if you can't read the giubberish Blogger gave you the first time. We usually have it download a few different images just on general principles.

  13. Maybe I will popunder the bed and hide from the word vericstion thingy!

  14. After many of the "things" happening to other people with widgets we just decided not to have ANY.


    Solves that problem for us anyway.
    We haven't noticed any problems but we will watch a great deal more carefully.

    I read a good article about checking your own DNS setting on your computer and (also the router) apparently it's just one of those things that is good information to know.

    Thanks always Jan for the informative postings on keeping things safe online.


  15. We checked the DNS thing, and we are good. We dont like the new "prove you're not a robot" thing either and eliminated it way back when... There are few blogs we like to visit who have that still, but TBT is good at figuring them out. He wishes he didnt have to, though!

  16. Thank you for the information. We hope you'd let us know if anything on our blog is causing problems. Mom Paula turned off Word Verification a LONG time ago (with Sweet Praline's blog) and even allowed anonymous comments when she was losing Sweet Praline because some of her friends wanted to read everything. We've been very lucky we haven't been spammed yet (Everything goes in the spam folder).

    We've checked the DNS thing and we're good, too.

    So far, we still leave comments on most of the blogs with word verification. It does get frustrating, but it's not that big of a deal to us yet.

  17. We think this is an excellent post. We don't install widgits on our website, but it is very good to be aware of what to do when encountering one that does!

    Thanks! and purrs...
    Abby Normal & Stygia

  18. those verifications are annoying
    Benny & Lily

  19. The internets are full of those sneaky programs even in fun sources this warning on widgets is important as the DNS attack shows these things can be hidden.

  20. Go!

    Woo are SOOOO khorrekht - popunder/overs are wrong!

    I mean, do woo want KHAT24.7 on YOUR laptop?

    PeeEssWoo: AND don't get me started on the stoooopid word thingies!

  21. Thanks for the good advice. If there is ever a problem with ours, just let us know. The Mommy can sometimes be remiss. (if you know what we mean) Have a great Sunday, furriends.

  22. AMEN Buddy! If I have a problem commenting to your blog... I don't. And as a blogger, I probably am more tolerant than most readers.

    I know people have told me they had problems with my blog and when I was unable to resolve the problem, I lost a commenter- and possibly a reader.

  23. hello funny farmers its dennis the vizsla dog hay it is not a tirad if it is troo!!! akkursed spammers kontinyoo to mayk things hard for us onnest dogs and kitties and goats and turtels and wotnot hoo ar just trying to visit owr frends on the innerwebs!!! ok bye

  24. Well, it's okay to rant if you have a point to make, and you made some EXCELLENT points, Buddy! The lengths to which evil people will go to sabotage other people's computers is sad and amazing. And don't even get us started on the WV thing ... it is the worst.

    Hugs to you all, dear friends.

  25. We appreciate your tirade! Usually the blog owner is unaware of the inconveniences that may be discouraging visitors, so it is very helpful for you to call attention to the them. Thanks!

  26. We agree about the word verification. If they limited it to 5 legible characters, that wouldn't be too bad. There is no reason for so many characters. We had no idea about the pop unders, thanks for that warning. We'll have to keep an eye open for it, although we have very good av.

  27. We think Daddy checked the DNS changer thing out, well he must have cause it is Monday and we still have Internet. He was checking something on Mommy's puter this weekend.

    The most annoying word verification is those who not only have wv but moderate all their comments too. Why on earth do you need wv if you are going to moderate the comments? We did recently change our settings to prevent anonymous comments because we were getting spammed from anonymous.

    We wanted to wish Percy a Happy Birthday!!!!

  28. We're back to wish Percy a very happy birthday! :-)


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