Spies like us

Monday, 30 August 2004, 1:40 PM EST

There’s no doubt online security — including ID theft — is still perhaps the biggest issue facing PC World readers. So it was with some bemusement that reader David O’Neil stumbled across a competition on Xtra’s home page that required entrants to type in their user name and password to enter a “stop the virus and win” competition. Now, the intent behind the quiz was good — to educate about online threats — but as Consumer Watch columnist Geoff Palmer notes, not only does it encourage an extremely unsafe surfing practice, but I wonder how long it’ll take for a phished version of the quiz to appear. Getting people into the habit of entering their log-on details for frivolous things like a prize draw only makes live easier for our Russian hacker friends when they want to send around a fake version. It’s ironic at a time when Xtra, like all ISPs, is constantly tightening its security.

By Chris Keall at PC World.

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