the IT city, the I.T. Baby


McAfee SiteAdvisor blocking theITbaby

McAfee SiteAdvisor - to be completely fair and above board, I edited this a bit as the email that it was sent to me in had wrapped some of the text. All content is the same, just moved it to what I think probably was the right configuration.

While I’ve been growing the site at a steady pace I didn’t really have much reason to believe that anything was horrible wrong with it as each week more people come and read what I’ve written and call me names and yet keep coming back. Today one of the people who was kind enough to provide some review items mentioned that McAfee SiteAdvisor would not let her visit the URL because it was categorized as risky.

Attention webmasters: solution is at the bottom of the page. You can ignore my prattling and skip directly there if you’re in the same boat.

Whoa I thought – crap… someone hacked I mean it’s possible, I’m not claiming I’m a security expert, but it seriously seemed odd that nowhere had I received any warnings of malicious behavior and I still ranked on Google in the top pages, which when you get down to it is generally a pretty good indicator of whether a site’s functioning/hacked or not.

Went to the McAfee SiteAdvisor site and sure enough, I’m listed as risky on everything. Shock and horror I attempt to find out why and there’s no reason given, just that theITbaby exhibits risky behavior. Was it a plugin? was a page hijacked? Did I provide bomb-making instructions for toddlers? What were theITbaby’s risky behaviors?

I checked every corner of the web I could think of to see if there was something that my site had done – it had distributed no malware, no viruses, no porn. It did not exist on any list of spammer sites out there.

I checked Google’s webmaster tools to see if anything was reported and other than one page no found error the site’s clean.

So what risky behavior am I engaged in? It’s a shame it has to come out publicly like this, theITbaby’s risky behavior that puts you and your computer at risk are that someone didn’t go to (owned by McAfee,) and submit theITbaby into a website category. Yup, because McAfee SiteAdvisor couldn’t tell if this was a blog, or a site about chickens, it’s dangerous to your computer and everyone who looks at it. Not like they could perhaps write an intelligent scanning utility to see that it’s WordPress so obviously a blog.

While I’ve added three site categories, none of them being tech-oriented baby information, this should serve as a wakeup call to other site owners, and also to users of McAffe’s products, that this is absurd.

When you trust your security to people who warn you falsely of dangers that do not exist, you don’t have real security.

Then to remove the horrible threat to the internet that is an uncategorized website will take days because, you know, it’s not like threats and non-threats exist in real time 😉

For the webmasters

For the webmasters out there who are just attempting to get their site removed and have the same general issue. Go here to find out why you’re flagged on SiteAdvisor, and assuming your risky behavior is that you’re an uncategorized rogue like theITbaby, go here and select your categories. They claim it will be taken care of in 3-5 business days.


You know, I had things I wanted to do this morning other than spend two hours scouring the net to figure out that the issue was that. But you know, it happens. That two and a half hours of sleep I got last night could have been doubled, but no.

I had to research this from bottom to top because they couldn’t be bothered to provide an explanation to the user of what my risky behavior was… and that’s just terrible.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.