28 February 2008

There’s a report out today that Paypal has discouraged use of the Safari web browser because “it has no anti-phishing” plugin/feature/attachment. My response to that is… Who’s responsibility is security? The expectation that a car manufacturer would build a car that would tell you when you’re going to be car-jacked seems a bit far-fetched.

When those phishing bank emails came out a few years back, my bank’s response was to institute a two-tier login system that, quite frankly, was a pain in the ass until you got used to it. Yes, I locked myself out of my account a few times, but now I know that bank logins are secure. Is paypal at all responsible for not instituting what most banks now feel is a “standard” feature to their website? Seems like if they really cared about security they would.

What about my responsibility? If you see a paypal logo and login on the page and URL is just an IP address or some crazy ukrainian URL, is there no recognition that at least 50% of the responsibility of thinking “hey maybe I don’t want to give ukrainians my paypal login information” ….maybe just SOME of that responsibility rests with me?

I understand too well how unreasonable the uneducated computer using hoards (READ ‘windows users’) can be. I deal with it on a regular basis. Issues like “most users won’t see that button” and “most users don’t know what that is” is regularly part of the feedback I get on the websites I build. ‘It doesn’t look right in IE 5’ ….and ‘My aunt who uses AOL 4 can’t get the HTML in that email. What do we do about AOL 4 users, mr smarty-pants web developer?’….Yea, I been there paypal. I feel ya.

But either way, I have a message for paypal’s PR dept…..My safari is perfectly safe and I love it just fine, thank you. If you’re stupid enough to give your login information away, that’s just darwinism in action. You are the slow antelope of the herd and as such, have been selected by nature for extinction. Please turn in your computer at the Best Buy where you purchased it with a DVD of the latest Kate Hudson/Matthew McConaughey movie.

Now paypal’s usage fees, that’s a crime for which there is no plugin!