Digital Marketing News Update – Online Security, Google vs Facebook and The Death of IE 6

 

Online security


It may not be terribly exciting but online security is hitting the headlines almost every day. It’s hard to tell if security is getting lax or if the stories are just generating more interest on the back of each other. This week it was the turn of Apple, Google and O2 to fall foul of some less than favourable coverage but for different reasons.

Bad news for anyone with an O2 contract this week as one of their East London sites were hit by vandals causing a loss of mobile signal in parts of London, Kent and East Sussex meaning customers weren’t able to make calls, send texts or email, or use the internet.

O2 issued an apology and most services were up and running within twenty four hours. Full service has now been restored but O2 were subjected to a lot of negative feedback from customers who chose to air their frustrations on social networking sites. It’s a shame that they aren’t a multi-billion pound company capable of installing some kind of back up systems. Oh wait, they are.

Mac users need to keep a keen eye out for fake security software called MACDefender posing as the real deal and duping many users. The scam involves the software allegedly scanning your Mac for security threats, retrieving a whole list of non existent problems and then demanding cash to fix them. All this is capped off by the software spamming your screen with porn while you desperately try to work out how to remove the wretched thing.

Many Mac users have been turning to Apple’s blogs to find a way to remove the virus but it’s a wonder anyone still downloads unknown programmes like these. While Macs haven’t really suffered from virus attacks the way Windows has, that doesn’t make them immune and users need to stay vigilant and make sure your downloading from a trusted source.

And the last award goes to Google for leaving more than 99% of Android handsets open to hackers. It may not be as serious as it sounds though, the issue was caused by a flaw in the security which could potentially allow unauthorised third party’s to access contact and calendar information. Google has assured customers it will be rolling out fixes over the next few days but it could take a while to cover off every model out there.

If this happened to Apple, it would only take one update to fix the problem. This may sound a bit “my dad’s bigger than yours” but worth pointing out I think.

Oh and if anyone still cares, the website Sony launched to allow users to reset their passwords has been taken down again due to a security breach.

Editor: A lot of these data security issues have been going on for years and have just been hidden away or not even noticed. As the public become more aware of privacy and more tech savvy, it’s meant these kind of things make better news stories and get covered more. There is also just a whole lot more data out there. Get your site penetration tested!

Google vs Facebook – a bitter battle.

Last week Facebook was caught out attempting to use some questionable tactics to slur Google’s handling of customer data. While Facebook initially denied the claim, it later admitted that it had in fact hired PR firm Burson Marsteller to “bring to light” what they considered to be dubious activities which undermined data security for Google’s customers.

Facebook maintains their argument that their investigations had only the interests of users at heart, and felt it was their duty to bring the security lapses to the attention of the public.

Burston Marsteller have since terminated their contract with Facebook, stating that the campaign was “not at all standard operating procedures” and as such it should have been declined. However, it was only after a blogger, who was approached by the PR firm, blew the whistle that Burston bowed out. Unfortunately for them it was probably too little too late, I doubt many companies would want to be associated with this kind of activity being so publicly ousted.

The battle between the two companies has been a bitter one and looks set to get even tougher with rumours surfacing about Google’s intention to launch it’s own social networking system. While Google have been tight lipped about the possibility, it has indicated on numerous occasions that it intends to go further with its social tools and has lined itself up in direct competition with Facebook.

While it certainly makes for interesting reading, this kind of underhand tactic is right up there with the crazy lawsuits these companies keep throwing at each other. Given that Facebook has had some fair criticism about some of it’s services recently (not to mention it’s own security issues) perhaps it would be better for all involved, including us poor consumers, if they both got back to putting that energy into making really good products. If the products are right, we’ll buy them. Save the smear campaigns for the politicians and stop embarrassing yourselves.

Editor: Nonsense! A dirty fight between Google and Facebook would be great fun! I also think that even Facebook will struggle against Googles legal team if it gets serious. Fight… Fight… Fight….

Lights out for IE6


Wordpress is the latest company to stop supporting IE6 due to continued problems trying to code for it. The browser is now fast becoming obsolete with even Microsoft begging it’s users to upgrade. On it’s new website The IE6 Countdown, Microsoft’s message is “10 years ago, a browser was born……now it’s time to say goodbye”. The site is full of tools to help companies promote more up to date browsers and even banners to install on your website.

If is were a good browser I’d understand the desire to hang onto it, but it’s not so its time to get rid.

Internet Explorer 6 Countdown

Editor: I am increasingly impressed with Microsoft lately. This is a pretty pragmatic approach to the issue, even if they haven’t admitted it was a flawed browser from the start. Some times when you innovate you get it wrong. Hey, at least they dont’t make phones that don’t work when you hold them in the wrong hand!

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