Question Shopping links added by Skim words

mom of six

Active member
I was just reading this thread: http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=261440

and noticed that in post #5 the words replacement cover and car seat were hyperlinks (blue and underlined). When I hovered over them a little bar popped up saying *Shopping Links added by Skim Words*. I clicked on replacement cover because I was curious and it was for a support pillow of some sort. Not at all relevant.

However when I am logged in the links do not appear.

Is this a problem with my computer or does the forum use Skim Words or could this be from the OP's computer?

I hate that kind of hyperlink as they are never really relevant. If these appear regularly I believe it will decrease the credibility of the forum.
 
ADS

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
Skimwords has been present here for many years. There have been no changes to any settings since 2012. I have it set to the minimal settings, so at most, only a few links should ever appear on any page. I also disable all the more intrusive mouse-over pop-ups or "flyover" shopping windows that are available and often used on other sites. If the mouseover says Skimwords, it is automatically added by the forum software and likely not spam from the poster.

As you noticed, skimwords links appear based on the usergroup of the poster and the viewer and on which subforum is being viewed. Once a member reaches Community Member status, they should no longer see Skimwords links, as it is with some advertising banners as you gain access to usergroups like Community Member or Senior Community Member. Similarly, subscribers at any level never have skimwords links added to their posts, regardless of who is viewing them, even unregistered visitors.

Visitors do see a lot more advertisements in general, unfortunately. As a Community member or SCM, you will see a lot more ads when you logout, including Skimwords. That's not only a perk of being a long time member, but it also pays the bills without subjecting regulars to as many ads as one-time visitors see.

Advertising is a sad reality for smaller, independent websites that have enough traffic to require a far more robust and expensive hosting solution than the basic shared hosting used by most typical websites. I used to pay forum costs for many years without ads, until traffic increased to levels where it was too expensive. I do evaluate ad networks from time to time. I will look into how skimwords has been doing recently. Perhaps it can be reduced to even fewer appearances.
 

mom of six

Active member
Thanks. It was something I hadn't ever seen here and the hyperlinks were so irrevelent to our community that I thought it was a mistake or something. I am usually logged in so I would not have seen them but I just did a cache/cookie dump so I was viewing without being logged in.
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
As a test, I have restricted Skimwords links from appearing to any registered and fully approved member. Also, they will not appear to any viewer in posts from a subscriber or a Senior Community Member. I will revisit this in a few months to see how much impact this has.
 

scoutingbear

New member
Interesting. I was logged in last night (was in SCM so I know I was logged in) and hyperlinks galore! So much that I had to shut it off and be done for the night.
 

Admin

Admin - Webmaster
Can you please provide a screenshot of this when you are logged in and a link to the thread as well. You should not be seeing skimwords links at all in any forum when you are logged in. Even logged out, there should only be a handful per page.
 

scoutingbear

New member
It's every thread. And full of popups. This is the only website/forum that I have this problem on. Ads are playing, popping, and skim words are everywhere.

I will figure out where the computer hid the screen shots and send them to you. I just did screen shots of this thread. Since they appear here too and there are adds between every 2 posts.
 

scoutingbear

New member
The ones I got were actually by people's names. Can't figure out the screenshot thing right now. And can't handle the ads right now. Time to chase the kidlets back to bed anyway.
 

Admin

Admin - Webmaster
Even though it may only appear on this website, this is starting to sound like malware on your computer or an advertising plugin you may have inadvertently allowed to your browser.

You should run a full antivirus/malware scan immediately just in case.

If the problem persists, here are a few things to try:

1) Try a different browser and see if the same thing happens. If you are using IE, then try Chrome or Firefox.

2) Does the same thing happen on a laptop/notebook? A tablet when using a full browser (Safari/Chrome)?

Usually, screenshots on a PC are stored to memory only. When you hit the Print Screen button, it goes to your clipboard. Then you would need to open up an image editor, like Paint, and use the paste function to put the image into the editor. Then save it and then upload.

I've just rechecked the website for malware again and it comes up clean.

I also verified that SCM should not see any Skimwords added links anywhere on the forum, though of course you would see the usual banners and any links posted by other members intentionally.

I've also tested this thread on my test account with normal member access and as unregistered on both Chrome and IE and don't see anything unusual.

It could still be a website issue, but whatever is wrong may just be affecting your computer. Is anyone else seeing an unusual number of ads or skimwords links when logged in?
 

Admin

Admin - Webmaster
Also browse this thread about browser plugins that can cause ads to appear. You can easily disable/remove unfamiliar plugins in your IE or Chrome options.

http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=260293

From personal experience, if you have kids of any age that use this computer, like our "family" computer, you're going to have unwanted plugins and stuff because kids click "Yes" to every notification so they can get to whatever thing they want to download.
 

scoutingbear

New member
And they are all gone today. :confused:

Before I started posting about it, I did a scan of the computer to check for malware.

I think I just break electronics.
 

Admin

Admin - Webmaster
Some browser plugins and toolbars that you agree to install won't necessarily trip a virus or malware scan. Definitely check yours to make sure there's nothing you don't recognize. Some are sneaky. The don't appear all the time on every site, or just sometimes on a particular site or two, making them hard to detect.
 

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