With every passing year and our growing popularity, we see lot of new questions. This is a good thing :)

Due to the nature of question tagging, we are generating lots of new tags every week. It's not uncommon to have question that are mis-tagged, whether it's non relevant tags, redundant or meta-tags. On SE, we do not like 'meta-tag' as they do not provide information on the content of a question (see Jeff's blog post).

So every now and then we proceed to the cleaning of these meta-tag. So as not to overwhelm the front page with activity from old question, this cleaning has to be coordinated. We are thinking of one tag a day.

This topic will serve as a central point to gather the suggestions on what tag to clean. You are welcome to post suggestions on tags to be cleaned here (and why they should be). Also, feel free to check-in the DMZ to discuss it with us!

This question will be updated, so keep posted.

I've create a chat room for driving and discussing the project of tag cleaning : Sec.Se Cleaners


  • With 12 answers already, it's impractical to discuss specific issues. Instead of having a single grab-all thread for tag discussions, each tag or family of tag should be discussed in its own thread. Commented Apr 19, 2015 at 13:54
  • Yeah, we talk a bit about it in chat. I'm still thinking how this can be done.
    – M'vy
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 7:00
  • Please don't keep posting to this thread. It's impossible to review and discuss proposals. Make one meta thread per tag or per group of closely-related tags. Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 8:31

21 Answers 21


As Gilles said we should probably look at

149 questions, but I'm not sure it's really useful as well. Mostly used whenever someone wants something to do some kind of job for them. Also it's usually redundant with the function tag that comes alongside (like ) or with the tool name (e.g. ).


looks like a pointless meta tag. Attack of what? I can't think of an instance where this tag would ever be correctly used by itself or be used to filter questions (which is the point of tags).


  • I would agree, there are multiple tags that can be used instead of attacks: vulnerability, exploit, password-cracking,etc
    – RoraΖ
    Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 13:49
  • 2
    attacks makes perfect sense, though it should perhaps be split. Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 14:44
  • 1
    Attack is definitely too broad in my opinion.
    – M'vy
    Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 15:48
  • @raz attacks are not the same thing as vulnerabilities, or exploits. Specific attacks even more so.
    – AviD Mod
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 8:15

Here are a few tags that I question their need:

and don't seem required at all.

most-likely should be called "regex" (edit: looks like this is debatable, didn't know both were used), but also seems to be a waste of space.

Finally, I've been wondering this for a long time so I'm curious what you guys think about it. Doesn't somewhat encourage people to post product recommendation questions? I know there are a bunch of questions using this tag but still, is it necessary?

  • 6
    About regex and regexp: If there's two terms that mean the same thing, and both are widely used, a "tag synonym" can be created. About tools: If we get rid of those, you'll have to go too. ;-)
    – Iszi
    Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 4:01
  • 2
    regexp should be called regular-expressions but the one question where it's used doesn't warrant it anyway. Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 6:42
  • 2
    tools sucks: it's too broad to be meaningful. Does it need disambiguation (tools for doing what?) or should it just be burninated? Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 6:43
  • 1
    @Gilles If tools is only on shopping-recommendation or migrated questions, I say burn it.
    – Iszi
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 15:54
  • Web advertisements have a history of security issues, so I think the tag is useful in that regard. Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 5:08
  • @SonnyOrdell I would agree if any good question would use the tag, but none actually do. Therefore, it seems to be a waste of space.
    – Simon
    Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 14:32
  • 1
    That's fair, I agree. Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 14:42

Perhaps we should merge into since is not as widely used and the questions all fit under .

  • 1
    I agree on this. I suggested prng as synonym for random.
    – M'vy
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 22:49
  • I am not 100% sure - I could see a substantial difference between the concept of random numbers, and the software mechanism (classes etc) that generate them. That's not to say that "random" isn't used for both, but it could potentially be a differentiator.
    – AviD Mod
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 10:32

I believe we should take a look at the tag.

Many of the recent questions there have been closed. Those that haven't, don't seem to need the tag. Others are old and would probably not be accepted anymore today; these questions may require a historical lock.

IIRC the tag was burninated on Stack Overflow. We may wish to do the same here.

The suffers from pretty much the same problems. The few questions there that aren't closed, are about specific educational or certification programs. They were better tagged with the names of these programs.

  • 1
    The career tag was eliminated from Stack Overflow because career-related questions had become off-topic, they moved to Software Engineering. On Software Engineering, the career tag was disambiguated away but I don't think we need that much specificity here (we don't get a flood of workspace-related questions like Prog.SE does). Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 6:39
  • I think there are some "career" questions that are very ontopic, even though a large majority are crap q's that get closed quickly - but the tag is not at fault for that, they would have been asked anyway.
    – AviD Mod
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 10:33
  • Similarly, "professional-education" is an important topic with quite a few solid questions, even though the majority are either about specific courses / certs, or just "gimme a list of blogs/books/sites/etc".
    – AviD Mod
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 10:36

The tag has no summary nor tag wiki, and the tag seems to be used both for tokens in the software sense (like OAuth token), the hardware OTP tokens as well as the USB tokens that just implement a smartcard.

I believe it doesn't add anything to the questions in any of these scenarios, as the OAuth-style token is covered by itself and doesn't need another meta tag, the OTP tokens can be covered by the tag, and the smartcard-emulation tokens can be covered by the tag as they appear exactly the same on the OS side and use the same protocols.

Should we burninate it ?


there are tags for both and .

Assuming we need a tag for that at all (a large number of q's are closed or should be closed, I did not review them all...) - we definitely don't need two distinct tags for this.

So which should be the canonical tag, and have the other as a synonym?

  • 2
    torrent would be the better candidate for the canonical name. Bittorrent is a particular torrent client isn't it?
    – M'vy
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 8:10
  • @M'vy actually the protocol is named BitTorrent, which is also (now) the company that is trying to monetize it with their client. "Torrent" is used as the file used for the protocol, or as shorthand for the full protocol name.
    – AviD Mod
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 8:12
  • - not really very useful
  • - as opposed to ? Maybe there is some value, but I don't know.
  • - pretty much all legal questions are off topic, right?
  • - same as above
  • - not really very descriptive
  • - along the same lines as defense
  • - almost always has to have hash or encryption along with it, otherwise it'd be off-topic probably either going to SO or crypto

I also don't really see the point of tags like , , and . They don't really add much to the question, I think.

Maybe controversial, but I don't see being very useful either. It doesn't always refer to issues relating to networking; a lot of times, it just means "there was some issue on my network." It just gets thrown on a lot of questions. Maybe the tag is fine, but the wiki should change? Or maybe it just needs to be cleaned up.

  • I agree with almost all of these, except...
    – AviD Mod
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 10:37
  • not all questions tagged "legal" are offtopic, there are quite a few excellent ontopic questions there. Its only offtopic if it is asking what the law is, or any q that should be pointed at a lawyer.
    – AviD Mod
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 10:39
  • The "crime" tag is problematic - out of 13 q's most are still open, and are indeed valid q's, and most of those are appropriately tagged (IMO) with "crime". Some, however, are referring to the SSL vulnerability CRIME. Either way, this needs to be disambiguated, probably renamed and better defined.
    – AviD Mod
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 10:42
  • I would love to agree with you about "google" etc, and in principle I do - however because Google has become such a huge ecosystem of their own, its no longer about a single website, or about the company themselves. In fact there are quite a few of those validly tagged questions... But in general, I totally agree that we shouldn't have companyname tags... usually.
    – AviD Mod
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 10:44
  • Regarding the "network" tag, here I firmly disagree. Though not consistently used (and we should probably work on that), it is one of the core "category tags" - Since InfoSec is such a wide-ranging field, there are several areas of expertise, and an expert on e.g. AppSec might not be an expert on secure network configuration; a networking expert may not know much about configuring Windows servers; and etc.
    – AviD Mod
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 10:47
  • 1
    @AviD Thanks a lot for reviewing my post. I think what you said makes complete sense to me.
    – Gray
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 21:21

There is an tag.

Just... just what. I don't even. An tag.

Information. As a tag.
On Information Security.SE.

Information. At least there is no tag (anymore).


The and tags seem to be dealing with pretty much the same topic.
I would struggle to choose one over the other in almost any situation, though interestingly there are only 6 question that have both tags (out of 20 total for regulation and 139 for compliance).

Though technically compliance could be in relation to standards, policies, etc, it seems to be an academic distinction. (There are also additional tags for specific regulations, e.g. and , but I am not proposing doing anythign to them.)

I think one should be a synonym for the other, but I'm not sure which. Compliance does have many more q's already using it.


and seem to have a substantial overlap in content area, if they're not actually equivalent.
(Are they? What would be a difference? I think that "one refers to the process of updating software versions, and the other refers to the new software bits that are applied" is too pedantic. Am I wrong, is there a significant difference there?)

Interestingly, these tags have 37 q's and 38 q's, respectively - but only 7 q's are tagged with both.

IMO these should be merged, and one made a synonym of the other (but which?? I don't know).


is ambiguous (is the MS Office, Office suites, office?)


The tags: and seem to be serving identical purposes, their wiki summaries, respectively:

: In a client-server model, the server serves services to the client.


: performed by the client in a client–server relationship in a computer network.

These both seem to be (mostly) intended for client/server scenarios, possibly with the focus more on the client part.

In addition, a LOT of the questions are misusing the tags for an assortment of subjects that are kinda/sorta related to the concept of clients: client OS, JS clients, web browsers, etc.
I think both tags should be merged and synonymized to , and all the q's that are NOT about that, removed and retagged as needed (though most of them already have appropriate tags, and are just using this one as a meta-tag).


and have a very low count of questions. Most of them seems to be mostly targeted at the global 27k process and not the specific norm documents.

I would suggest to merge them into something like . I highly doubt that we go to a point where it would be necessary to have 'standards' specific tags.


There are separate tags for and .

This seems incredibly redundant, I cannot imagine a situation that should be tagged with "session" but not "session-management"...


What is the tag about? It was already proposed for deletion 2 years ago but was apparently kept?

Looking a bit further I can see that it happens that trusted users specially add it when for some reason they feel it is missing. So most probably instead of deletion it may need a wiki description in order to clarify its exact purpose?


There something to be done with the following:


might be too broad.


Synonyms/merge possibilities:


Candidates to deletion :


Should we merge part/all of these :

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