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Dangerous Websites

Warning: This webpage may be dangerous!

From time to time, you may encounter a website displaying a warning page similar to the image below. It may be on a commercial website or possibly even a site you have created using a third-party hosting company.

Dangerous_Webpage.png

Lehigh LTS subscribes to a number of malware filtering services to aid in the cyber protection of our users and of our network. This warning page indicates that the site you were trying to view has been placed on a ban list by one of these filtering services as having found malicious content which may be harmful to your web browser, your computer, or the network.

A site may be listed on a ban list for several reasons, including tracking cookies, malware downloaders, pop-up ad scripts, or any number of potentially unwanted programs. More often than not, entire servers belonging to large, shared, free hosting systems, such as WordPress, Wix, Weebly and Google Sites are automatically added to ban lists when one of their many individual users' sites or ad content contains something objectionable. This is one of the things to take into consideration when choosing a hosting provider for your website.

When a site has been banned, it is the site or server owner's responsibility to remove themselves from the ban list. Sometimes a website comes off the ban list quickly (a matter of minutes or hours), other times much longer (days). In any case, because they are typically not under the control of Lehigh University, we can take little or no action to have them removed from the ban list.

Since Lehigh has no ability to control the content or security of third-party systems like Weebly, Wix, personal Google Sites, and other commercial web-building sites, we recommend students, faculty and staff not use them for putting up websites which may need to be accessed for course work or research. Before you consider building a site which is not hosted on a Lehigh server, you should contact the Help Desk (610-758-4357) or your department Computing Consultant, to understand the requirements of your site, and best options for where to host them.

You will only see this warning page for sites being accessed on Lehigh's secure networks, that is, the 'lehigh' wireless network and our physical (hard wired) network. If you need to connect to a blocked site, you can still connect to our less secure 'lehigh-guest' wireless network, or connect from an off-site ISP or data connection and it will allow you access to the site to view the content. Just be aware that if the cause of the ban was malware, you may be opening up your browser and/or computer to possible infection.

For additional help, please contact the LTS Help Desk at 610-758-4357 or helpdesk@lehigh.edu