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Thread: Use of redirectingat for links
2011-01-04, 16:50 #1
- Join Date
- Dec 2009
- Dunkeld, Scotland, UK
- Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I had been puzzled for some time why some of the links in the Newsletter did not work, but thought it must be some obscure setting on my PC, perhaps resulting from the occasional settings variation I explore from time to time. I even posted in the Lounge without success. The failing links simply opened a new blank window in Firefox. If I right-clicked, I could extract the link address but still could not get the link by pasting it.
When I checked the same process in Opera, I noticed that I still got a blank page when clicking the link. However, when I right-clicked, the apparently correct WS link address briefly appeared (about a half second) but then changed to one starting off with redirectingat.com/ plus a long string of code which included some details of the desired site. I still got a blank file though!
Naturally this led me to investigate redirectingat.com, only to find that it was a service used by some net/ publishing companies, for what reason I don't know. I do know that there are quite a lot of complaints out there, not least because that co features on blacklists. It then transpired that the MVPS Hosts file (used to protect my and many others PCs) does show redirectingat.com as an excluded site, in effect blacklisted. That was at the root of the WindowsSecrets difficulties!
It seemed to me that this was not really appropriate behaviour for WS, so I contacted them. Here is what I wrote:
I want to ask why WindowsSecrets is using the redirectingat facility for links. This is arguably not a satisfactory method for a quality site such as yours, since it means that for those who conscientiously guard against malware, such redirections are not normally possible. In particular, anyone using the MVPS Hosts file (and that will be many people) will be shut out, and may well not realise what is happening. It has taken me several weeks of researching (on & off) to find the specific problem for my own PC, having posted in the Lounge without success.
To make it explicit, MVPS Hosts shows redirectingat.com as a site to be blocked . I and many others download a Hosts file from this site and employ it locally, without bothering (needing) to check it. You may say this can be over-ridden, and of course it can, but I prefer the course taken by some others, a couple of whom posted on a forum as follows:
1. "I get the same problem when i'm at work. It's because the links go via a site called redirectingat.com, annoying because I keep getting a block page and have to edit the URL every time to continue. As much as I appreciate xxxxx needs to make money, I do feel there should be the facility to turn off the redirectingat.com"
2. "I think xxxxx is going to have a lot of issues in the future. I had to de-activate 6 security programs to finally get that link to work.
Spybot - Search & Destroy
AdBlock Plus (firefox extension)
SpywareBlaster (beta edit ion)
Here ends my xxxxx Experience.
I will not & I would think many others may not in the future... Compromise my system, just to fully experience things within xxxxx."
I do hope that this is not driven by WindowsSecrets getting any financial benefit from this method. I also believe you need to reassess this matter.
I just had a response, saying my message had been shared with the editorial staff, and suggesting I posted a comment in the Lounge. I have done this at some length, because it does appear others have had the same problem. In Opera it is possible to deduce what is going wrong, but not in Firefox (or IE, since the latter performs similarly to FF). Unless cross-checked with Opera, there is little to prove what is going on.