Muschamp Rd

Webmaster Annoyances

February 14th, 2013
Phishing graphic

I’ve had a website online for a long time, longer than most corporations, and for the last ten or so years it has been at hosted mostly by a company called DixieSys. There are a lot of crappy webhosts out there, the first cheap one I tried basically sold more bandwidth than he had purchased and decided to get out of business in the middle of the night, ever since I’ve been with DixieSys. It isn’t expensive web hosting, perhaps there are some features or programs or languages I can’t use that other web hosts provide, but overall I’m pretty happy.

Then out of the blue someone tells me that Norton is saying my website is dangerous, like I’m some sort of online scam artist or malicious hacker. Symantec didn’t inform me, but apparently it was telling all it’s customers this and I only found out when someone who uses Norton to protect their computer told me. So I immediately file a support request with DixieSys, then when I find out it is Norton flagging my site I do some Googling. Sure enough if you use Norton’s testing tools they flag as not safe at least last night, this morning everything is A-OK.

Norton decides my website is dangerous


I did nothing, I certainly didn’t take down or put up any malicious code. I’ve given away some Excel spreadsheets, some of which use VBA. Microsoft warns people not to run VBA from people and websites you don’t trust when you start up an Excel spreadsheet you download online. I’m OK with that, I acknowledge that before people download the spreadsheets. I’m just a blogger. I don’t have a criminal enterprise or a botnet or any other reason to give away Excel spreadsheets except to help people. I don’t even know if Excel or VBA has anything to do with why Norton was flagging, but what gives them the right to flag my website without informing me?

I’ve since verified I own this website by adding in a little meta tag to my HTML, just like Pinterest made me do. I can’t help think it is all a big scam run by Norton to get my contact information, lord knows I get enough spam already. Did some vindictive person flag my website because of something I wrote they didn’t like? I wouldn’t put that past some people.

Less than 24 hours later Norton decides is not dangerous

So in conclusion if you run your own website you have to put up with a lot of annoyances if not outright threats, scams, and thieves. I can’t be the first to have my website inexplicably flagged by Norton as malicious only to be unflagged immediately after inquiring why. I’m not sure if DixieSys did anything at all to expedite this, sometimes when you’re on shared webhosting another website on the same box/IP address as yours can do something illegal or immoral and negatively affect say your Google rankings, but having a corporation saying my website is malicious and dangerous without even informing me as to what I did seems a bit much. Just because you use the word “porn” or “malicious code” doesn’t mean your website is full of it.

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