I‘m tellin’ ‘ya … DON’T CLICK ON THAT !!! On what you ask? That is a fair question deserving of an answer. This subject matter certainly does not apply to lots of folks, but it may be of concern to some so I am sharing this here and now. I am a “Google Alerts” subscriber and for a few years it has always been a good safe method of receiving notification about anything posted online about recumbent/tadpole trikes (which is what I signed up for). But alas I have noticed for some time now that there are malicious websites managing to sneak into the listings Google Alerts is sending out. They appear to be legitimate … stuff about recumbent/tadpole trikes as they use those search words and create stuff that looks much the same as the normal stuff I always see. But if you click on it … WOW … the computer goes bonkers. The screen turns to some wild color and there is a loud annoying sound which I am afraid will disturb the next door neighbor. That is the effect it has on a Linux operating system. I don’t know what it would do on a Windows computer. I wouldn’t be surprised if a horrendous virus or something such would come aboard and totaling crash the computer making it worthless. (I don’t miss Windows!)
Besides the above described event there is another type. It is a real website which screams at you a security alert. There is an audible voice alert as well as a webpage warning that the computer you are using has been hacked and contains dangerous malicious stuff aboard. It further warns you not to try to navigate away from the screen in front of you warning you that it can result in losing valuable files, etc. on the computer. If you try to close it no matter how you try the computer will freeze up and the only recourse then is to “pull the plug” (push the power button) to restart the computer. Regardless of what you try that is the only way to resolve the matter that I have found.
Here is an example of one of the listings in a Google Alert which is malicious:
This particular one is not as good of an example as some others simply because it speaks of motorbikes. There have been many in the past which only mention recumbent trikes or tadpole trikes.
Interestingly I just tried using a url scanning website which will supposedly report malicious urls. I pasted the url in and it ran a scan showing that it was a safe website. I don’t understand that.
The problem is it is hard to spot these malicious websites just looking at the links. And obviously it sure doesn’t help any when you use a url scanning service and it shows it is safe when it is not.
Another result of clicking on some of the links in the Google Alerts results is that you are taken to a website that seems harmless enough, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with the subject matter you are signed up for. I clicked on one moments ago and it took me to some restaurant website.
There are alternatives to Google Alerts. I don’t know anything about them, but I think I am going to try at least one to see how it does. I think some of them involve paying money to them. No thanks.
You might ask me … “why then do you use Google Alerts?”. That is simple enough. I do it for you … those who read this blog. I am always looking for stuff concerning tadpole trikes and Google Alerts can be a big help at times.
Well, at least now you know … if you are one who subscribes to Google Alerts for recumbent/tadpole online postings and haven’t ever had the misfortune of clicking on one of these malicious links that have become all too common at least now you have been forewarned. In short … “DON’T CLICK ON THAT !!!” But do try to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
a couple of post scripts follow …
Just in case you are not aware of it you can place your cursor on a link and see what the link actually is as it is displayed on the very bottom left side of the screen. Don’t click on it, just leave the cursor there. Here is a screenshot captured of my blog page showing this posting. I have circled the link in red. You can see the words “alternatives to Google Alerts”. Down along the bottom of the browser window where I have the two arrows you can see the website url (address) the the link goes to. This can be very handy and useful when trying to avoid malicious websites. Often times the link might look legitimate, but in reality it goes to an address altogether different than what the link indicates.
For what it is worth clicking on this link has had two results. The first time I clicked on it I had the horrific experience I have mentioned above. The second time I clicked on it it opened up what seemed to be a legitimate website, but it had absolutely nothing to do with tadpole/recumbent trikes. Again, this seems to be all too common anymore … using various search terms to send traffic to some website like this. Welcome to the real world we live in.
And from my Used Trikes For Sale page I have this posted:
“Another option is to sign up for Google Alerts.
Actually this option is a great one as it not only lists lots of trikes for sale but anything else related to recumbent tadpole trikes. Google will send you an email showing you whatever is being posted online about whatever you enter as the search criteria.
Be sure to select “as it happens”, “everything” and “all results” so you will find out about trikes for sale which have been posted online as quickly as possible. Select your “Language”, “Region” and provide your email address. I would suggest creating a Google Alerts for “recumbent trikes” and “tadpole trikes”. It doesn’t seem to make any difference as to whether you use trike vs. trikes in your search criteria. Upon creating the alert Google will send an email to you with a link you must click to confirm the alert setup process. Cancelling these alerts is simple enough although you may want to keep receiving them if you have an interest in tadpole trikes.”