Malware 2.0 Omaha NE

A recent report from Websense, a provider of corporate Internet security solutions, estimates that "95% of comments to blogs, chat rooms and message boards are spam or malicious.

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Malware 2.0

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Malware 2.0: The rise of social spam

A recent report from Websense , a provider of corporate Internet security solutions, estimates that "95% of comments to blogs, chat rooms and message boards are spam or malicious." It's an impossible-sounding statistic at first, and it may just make you want to close your browser for good. But, if you've spent any time working in search or community management (like I have) or if you've ever own a blog, you'll realize it's probably true. It's bad news, but probably not as bad as you think.

The 95% figure is culled from the large number of sites that Websense scans. They reportedly scan 40 million sites every hour. This figures will include not only the blogs that you may know and love, but also blogs that have no spam controls, abandoned blogs that are no longer moderated, and blogs that are built by spammers themselves and populated with spam comments. These latter three no-doubt inflate the numbers a bit and make it seem as though your favorite blog is only 5% trustworthy. It's an aggregate number, not a per-page statistic.

Which is not to deny that there's a big spam/malware problem out there related to social media. Social media sites are like any real social space: Not everyone is trustworthy. Maybe it is a good idea to go onto websites and with the attitude that only 5% of the links are trustworthy. It may be a healthy dose of paranoia, but it's also good to look behind the numbers.

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