Includes book reviews and bits from writer's journal. For the professional stuff, see website link below left.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Cancelling the X Rating

Enough already! I have taken away the 'adult content' notification from my Passionate Crone poetry blog. Just couldn't cope with the level of sex-spam received thereafter, as previously reported. I decided my poetry is innocuous compared to real porn. Even the erotic stuff employs few four-letter-words or explicit descriptions. (I'm more likely to talk of 'flying' than 'coming', for instance.) After all, I'd rather use asterisks occasionally than have my work equated with hard-core material. The whole exercise was useful, I guess, for me to arrive at that conclusion.

The emails haven't stopped yet, though my spam filter is now identifying most of them as what they are. 'Give it time,' I thought. Then I found out my husband's getting a sudden spate of them too. So it can't have been the blog. None of his are x-rated.

Then today I received a very interesting email, which my mail program has labelled junk mail – quite correctly, I believe. It tells me I may need to update my anti-virus settings asap as my PC could have become infected. It lists nasty possibilities such as identity theft, spyware and so on, and helpfully provides several clickable links to enable me to get the sender's anti-virus program pronto. I use a Mac, so am less likely to have been infected ... but I do wonder if this timely offer is mere coincidence or something more sinister. I was already thinking seriously about installing a better spam filter. Spam is not necessarily the same thing as a virus, but may well carry at least one.

How did these people know I needed increased protection? Was it just a lucky guess? Or is it a set-up? A protection racket, in fact?


  1. That is scary. If it's not a coincidence, they go to incredible lengths to reel you in.

    From what you say, it doesn't sound like you need to worry about putting a warning on your blog anyway. You would, as you say, be putting yourself in a category with things far different from what you're doing. Doesn't sound like it can have been related to the spam after all though.

  2. At the very least it is itself a piece of spam – which makes you wonder. The subject line said 'Anti-Virus Update', but it came by email. A real update to the virus protection I have got would have come in, in the usual way, as a Software Update.

    Or maybe I'm just paranoid, lol.

  3. No, I'd be suspicious too. Anyway, better paranoid than sorry!

  4. Aarrgh! Sorry this morning. Andrew, before I could forestall him, responded to an email that looked for all the world like it was from our bank and gave the log-in details for our online banking. It wasn't from our bank, of course. Luckily nothing was withdrawn from our account yet (not much to take anyhow, lol) and the bank has put a stop on our online access until we check his computer for Trojans and things.

    Yes he does know better - but this one looked SO authentic!

  5. jI've known people get stung by these before. And they all knew they shouldn't click on it the second they did. Glad you managed to stop the account on time. Grrr - I get so angry with the people who do this - it's just mean.