Monday 13 September 2010

Social Engineering: Appealing to my vanity

So much spam

The process of moving my blog to has been slow and fraught but it is beginning to gain some traffic and recognition. Hopefully, with time it would become the primary reference point of searches that have usually gone to

One thing I have noticed about hosting my new blog on Google’s Blogger facility is the amount of spam that comes round most of which seems to appeal to different aspects of one’s masculine vanity.

One good look in the folder of spam messages captured on my gmail email account shows about 75% of the emails recommending some augmentation to the male protuberance either for length or stamina to be able to as it were satisfy your partner.

Appealing to my physical vanity

Indeed erectile dysfunction can be an issue when pleasure is truncated by the premature incidence of orgasm just when you thought you could go on for longer, it probably dwells on many a mind and it could be frustrating.

For those who are otherwise blessed the receipt of such odious and unflattering emails is annoying but the spam filters seem to be putting in their hours.

On the blog front however, each comment logged each particular blog creates a notification which does not end up in the spam folder and incurs the additional work of management even though the blog commenting system might well recognise the comment as spam.

Appealing to my mental vanity

That is just one side of appealing to ones vanity, the other part came in a comment I received on my blog this morning.

As follows: Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Thought Picnic: Vulnerability offering opportunity...":

I usually do not leave a comment, but the ideas really rocks, also I have a few questions like to ask, what's your contact details?


Anonymous who has signed off as Johnson probably does not have a Google blog, nor does he (if a first name) or her (if a surname) have a website they are willing to publish as part of receiving feedback for the comments they have left.

Comments appealing to vanity

There is probably nothing to read from the comment but the basic compliment until one has a second or third reading and then it begins to matter a lot more than it seems. This is a generic comment can be left on any and every blog with one singular aim in mind.

Indeed, one of the signs of having a following comes from people commenting on your blogs and this supposed fan rarely leaves comments but now decides to do so in the quest for something other than the views expressed in the blog.

Given that the person does offer the passing opinion masquerading as praise that “the ideas really rocks”, I am really confused about the urban language with the apparent number confusion as to the idea and the context that the person is referring to.

Having appealed to my vanity with the notion of my rocking ideas, the person has a few questions to ask, fair enough and somehow expects me with the additional request to publish my contact details in response.

One can only wonder what questions that person has to ask that cannot be put in the comments or forwarded as an email, because those details are not that difficult to get if the person does try.

Generic comments as social engineering

Between you are me, this is another classic case of social engineering; having appealed to my vanity and flattered me in some way, just as the title of the blog goes, it has provided a window of vulnerability offering the opportunity to request my contact details which I am supposed to foolishly volunteer to some non-descript stranger to ask personal questions.

It was a good try but this will not work with me and it really should not work on anyone else too, if anyone wants to engage you on matters so personal the need for full-disclosure is paramount and it should be initiated by the enquirer and not by you.

Otherwise, this is just another case of Johnson probably leaving a similar generic comment on as many blogs as he/she can to harvest details for some nefarious activity beyond which the victim has little control.

Beware of the flattery that leaves you vulnerable to volunteering information you should best keep for your protection and safety.

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