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QuestionbNorton Safeweb - anyone else come across this? Pin
DerekT-P18-Dec-19 8:46
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I recently created a web-accessible intranet site for a customer (it's an internal business application, but hosted on an external shared host so has a "public" domain name). It's SSL-secured and password protected. Today a user reported a page within the site being flagged by Norton Safeweb (a browser plug-in) with the heading "Scam Insight: Personal Information Risk". It's a full-screen warning that says the site is "not well established with the Norton Community. Use caution when entering" and has a large button "Exit site" and a smaller link "Continue to site".

It seems Norton "rate" sites and the extension dynamically blocks access to sites they - Norton - have not whitelisted. There's a (very buggy) process to register as the owner of a site (which involves uploading an encoded HTML file - god knows what it contains - and then getting Norton to verify), however registration as owner does not in itself whitelist the site. You need to explicitly request assessment (which I've done) but it can take a while, and it seems that if they then deem your site "unsafe" that they will continue to block it. There's a dispute resolution process but it seems people spend a lot of time fighting inappropriate ratings from Norton.

This is unilateral censorship of the web, without explanation of what any issue is. (Other virus checkers may warn about a mismatched or expired SSL cert, for example, but the warnings are generally explicit about the problem, and there is a clear issue). Norton don't make any attempt to notify a site owner if they block access to it unless the site owner has registered. It doesn't apply in this case, but suppose I'd spent marketing dollars driving potential clients to a commerce site - I'd be losing both visitors and income.

Am I over-reacting about this? Does it seem fair? What are other people's experience with Norton SafeWeb, and does anyone know what they're even looking for??

modified 26-Dec-19 13:25pm.

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