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Some Kudos for Google! Google blogged "How to avoid getting hooked" -- better late than never

Google deserves some bona fide kudos from me for blogging yesterday with some very sound and practical advice about how their users or anyone who reads their blog - could avoid getting hooked/scammed by fraudsters.

  • As a consumer, I learned a couple of new tips to better protect myself from phishing fraud.
  • The advice was clear, practical, informative and useful.

However, I was surprised that they did not choose to link to other sites in and out of government that could also be useful to consumers looking to protect themselves better.

I was also surprised it took a month for Google to say anything about how users could better protect themselves from new fraud scams that were exploiting weaknesses in Google's search engine protections so that Google was unwittingly offering up scam pages as part of their search results.

  • USA Today reporters Byron Acohido and Jonathan Swartz first broke this story. Their in-depth knowledge on this subject comes from their co-authorship of a great book: Zero Day Threat.
  • I blogged four times: here, here, here and here this month -- about how Google was not informing its users that they were at much greater risk of fraud than before -- so they could better protect themselves.

Lastly, I am not surprised to learn that Google is now run by lawyers and not those concerned with Google's users interests at heart. 

  • Taking a month to release an oblique consumer education piece on fraud, through Google's blog tells us a few things:
    • Google is incapable of informing the their users promptly of heightened risk.
    • Google is interested in doing the minimum necessary to give themselves legal and political cover that they are not totally "ostrich-ing" on the increased risk to their users from bad guys.
      • If Google was really interested in protecting the users actually at risk, they would include a warning label or tag near their search bar or on the pages where they suspect there may be compromised search results/links.  

Google's blog post was well done as far as it went. It did little to protect most of its users.