How to convey the safety of a .vbs for download, in light of all the potential dangers of today?

Posted on 2007-03-19
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-16
What is a practical solution to prevent your perfectly safe .vbs script from triggering warnings.
[Or, at least, make it a little easier to 'swallow']

Thus far I have simply forewarned the user that this is the case. That they will see warnings etc.

But the other day, a new computer with Norton installed, made such a stink about it, it almost frightened me from running the script, and I'm the author!

I know you can purchase license with certain places [Verisign, I think is one] but the script is free and simple, yet useful - but I imagine many are afraid to use it.

I also realize, that if there were 'too easy' an answer to this, it would get abused, but thought I might ask anyway.

Maybe recommendations, and '5 star awards' type things ...

Question by:opraus
LVL 67

Accepted Solution

sirbounty earned 500 total points
ID: 18748974
The best defense is a good offense? :)
Not really much you can do to make scripts appear less threatening.  Thanx to all the 'nasty' scripts out there.
I would just say have you scripts availabe for download with a disabled extension like script.txt and request the user rename it to vbs when they're ready to run it.
Also make sure you comment it heavily - what the script's purpose is in the header, and details on different functions within your code.  That way there's no question and the user is at least a bit more comfortable, whether they understand scripting or not, that you've at least taken the time to explain yourself.  Doesn't guarantee that they'll run it, but it puts you in a better position of being responsible enough to add disclaimers...
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

fostejo earned 500 total points
ID: 18784906

Unfortunately, with scripts automatically falling into the category of 'untrusted' by AV software etc, avoiding the warning messages is practically impossible unless you're willing to rename them to a 'docile' format such as .txt as sirbounty suggests.

To soften the blow for the user, you could perhaps hilight the advantage of distributing a VBscript over other types of download such as a normal executable - at least with a script, you can actually see what's going to run, how it works and, if so inclined, re-use some of the code .. you simply don't get these options with a .exe file etc.


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