Knowledge vs. Spam - the Fight against Wiki Spam

Many web surfers are quite familiar with the Wikipedia website.  This powerful online application provides accurate details on various topics, combining the features of an encyclopedia and dictionary into one dynamic package.  Wikipedia also allows others to submit information on topics they are knowledgeable of - more advanced contributors can even create their own wiki web pages. There are a few restrictions applied to the use of Wikipedia, but not many.  For instance, an anonymous user cannot create new articles of their own but do have the ability to make updates for existing ones. 

Underlying problems of Wikipedia

User interaction is also the very factor that has led to problems in regard to the wide usage of Wikipedia.  Many times, web defacement and vandalism will take place when a user either damages or erases content from an article - all of which may occur for a number of reasons.  Wikipedia pages are also subject to being spammed.  In this sense, the term actually applies to the spamming of content, instead of the traditional form of spamming that plagues millions of email addresses.  In some cases, the methods of spamming are very obvious.  It may actually replace an entire Wikipedia page with advertisements for one or several third-party web sites. 

Most of the time, the spam will consist of a few links that appears to be related to a legitimate article, but is actually a disguise for a commercial website with the intent on promoting.

Anti-Wiki spam techniques

While the system obviously isn't foolproof, the Wikipedia website does employ strategies made available by anti-spam technology.  This is often done by monitoring a specific IP address that may perform a large amount of updates to numerous articles.  Wiki spammers are also known for their ongoing "Revert Wars."  This occurs when an edgy topic has been posted and the content is consistently modified back and forth to compensate one point of view or another.  

Spammers tend to go after the articles that are more obscure.  They realize that these topics are not as hot and will be rarely checked for accurate details or legitimacy.  This gives a spammer the perfect opportunity to post non-factual information, staying off whatever radar the administrators have set in place.  This form of spam recently raised great concern for many of Wikipedia's genuine contributors.  Several have since demanded that members of the administrative and security team develop a better strategy to reduce the level of ease it takes to alter and update articles.  It becomes very unsettling to know how advanced spammers have become and how easy they are able to deface such a popular website. 

If a topic appears controversial, there may actually be a good reason to counter it with a debate, activity that normally takes place in blogs or community forums.  However, Wikipedia has established the solid reputation for being a trusted source for a wide range of information.  If this site becomes the home for spammers and web defacement, how could anyone feel comfortable relying on Wikipedia for sensitive topics such as gun control or black history?  Can you actually be sure that this content comes from a legitimate impartial source?  As tightly formed units of spammers and hackers continue to become more advanced, only time can reveal the true answer.   

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With the advent of wireless Internet, more and more computer users are entering the world of cyber space.

Yet, while these users are well aware of the importance of the protection of their computer when hooked up to regular internet providers, they are often oblivious to the fact that the same cyber dangers, and in fact even more, exist in the world of WiFi.

What you may not know is that same Internet connection that makes it possible to check your email from the comfort of your bed also makes it easier for hackers to access your personal information.

It is for this reason, the sharing of the wireless Internet connection, that protecting your computer when wireless is even more important than ever before.