What Do You Do When You’re Branded?

Here’s an announcement; my blog has just recently been branded by this warning:

“WEBROOT- Reputation: MODERATE RISK

When visiting this website there is some probability that you will be exposed to malicious links or payloads.”

branded

Traffic has always been light on my blog and this is not going to help. I’ve been thinking about what might have led to this and I think it might be an error caused by Webroot, Chrome, WordPress, or some other internet voodoo.

I’ve checked many of the links and I’ve been surprised. The Clozapine REMS Program website is also branded MODERATE RISK. Readers know how much I hate the Clozapine REMS Program. However, as ironic and funny as I think that is, I doubt it’s accurate. Another website that has been branded MODERATE RISK is the Gold Foundation, for goodness’ sake. They’re in the process of rebranding as I mentioned in a recent post. But I guess Webroot has already done that.

I’ve requested a URL Reputation Change. I didn’t even know you could do that until today. I’ve noticed many online discussion forums with long arguments about what leads to a website being branded like this. It can hurt business if you do most of your marketing on the web. It scares off customers. People get very frustrated about it.

Have I been hanging around with a bad crowd? Even though I’m pretty sure there’s been a mistake made by someone about all this, I’ve started removing links that I think might be contributing to my bad URL reputation, thinking that might be the problem. I’ve found quite a few that are similarly branded. Removing them has not changed my URL’s reputation.

I’ve been considering bagging the whole online presence I have because of the hassle over broken links and other website glitch management. I’ve thought about switching to something like Squarespace because they do all the work and I could just write. On the other hand, if Webroot is the problem, maybe all I need to do is drop them.

What do you do when you’re branded?

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Comments

  1. Since yesterday, most of the links I removed from my site have been restored because Webroot BrightCloud Threat Intelligence Support updated the sites’ data…except for the Scottish Delirium Association, which is mystifying.

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  2. Jim,

    I think you may have been the victim of Big Data.

    I have also noticed that traffic to my blog has dropped off for no clear reason.

    There are services and software that come up with this type of labeling and I am sure that is done just by eliminating web sites with a low frequency. I load software on my PC and get the same message.

    The larger issue is whether it is just a frequency based algorithm or are there political motives as well – like stifling dissent. When I heard all of the controversy about the “fake news” web site during the election, the amount of money that was made selling fake news, and the need for a “crackdown” – I thought that might be justification for eliminating blogs like the ones you and I write.

    It should be fairly easy to determine that a non-commercial blog that does not track anyone or download any code or track viewers for any reason is not a threat to anyone.

    If these services say they can’t do that – they are either incompetent and should not be labeling anyone or they have another agenda.

    George Dawson, MD, DFAPA

    Liked by 1 person

    • You probably have a point. It’s hard not to be suspicious about this…except why would the Clozapine REMS Program and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation be targeted? It doesn’t make sense.

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    • I just noticed my website now is marked with a green check mark with the new message:

      “WEBROOT- Reputation: TRUSTWORTHY
      When visiting this website there is a very low probability that you will be exposed to malicious links or payloads”

      I didn’t think any action would be taken on this so soon. Go figure.

      Liked by 1 person

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