This is a direct translation of an article that was published yesterday as “commercial presentation” (stated in very small letters – although it also states that in the URL itself, yes…) on the web pages of this country’s most read newspaper (which sadly also happens to be one of the worst tabloids there are). Draw your own conclusions. And apologies for my not-that-great English, I’m doing the best I can.
My friends became the victims of a virtual abuse
The popularity of social networks rocketed skywards in a very short amount of time. If you’re not using them, you almost don’t exist. If you do use them, you can be someone else. Even without your consent…
Lada (36) was in no hurry to join the popular social network, even though her friends from power yoga were trying quite a lot to persuade her. She didn’t need a profile. She didn’t have too much spare time at work, she was often meeting her friends and she did even find her prince charming already. But like most of us, she joined the network eventually, mostly because she didn’t want to explain endlessly her reasons of why she doesn’t want to be a part of it.
After all, sharing your feelings in status updates is an easy way to boost your own exhibicionistic ego and there were no other means of getting to a lot of her friend’s photos anyway. In just a few days she was already a very commited user and shared with her friends pretty much anything the virtual online world had to offer. There was a slight problem, though, when her yoga friends started using the seemingly innocent, joke-sharing application. All the girls have joined and used it, only Lada was once again feeling like an outsider, but this time it wasn’t her fault. Every time she tried to access the application, her browser blocked the access and warned her that the application might be dangerous. She was afraid to do anything about it, so she didn’t try to force it and the girls were laughing at her.
“Forget that new Internet Explorer 8, all it ever does is warn you all the time and you’re missing the fun! Install some other browser and those stupid warnings will go away, trust me,” told her one of her friends.
“But I didn’t do that, because I was a bit scared. I said to myself that there might be some reason as to why do those warnings appear.”
So, she stayed true to her Internet Explorer 8 and every time she went to yoga, she could only listen to her friends talking about that great and funny application she couldn’t be using herself.
“The next time, a few of my friends came to yoga in a state of deep shock. I asked them what happened. Someone had used their names, private data and photos from their profiles and posed them as fake porn actress’ data on the internet. Some programs pasted their bodies into pornographic photos, then added their CV’s and informations about their education and hobbies. It was very hard to explain to their bosses and boyfriends that thay never did participate in any hardcore porn shoots, given the fake evidence.”
Lada was shocked, although she did feel a bit of a relief that she never uninstalled her new Internet Explorer 8 and was therefore protected from the abuse of her personal data.
“We’re all paying a lot more attention to what the browser is warning us about now and we don’t take the warnings lightly. I for one am very glad that I was spared this horrible experience.”
If you’d like to know more, visit this site (link to MS IE8 page).
Also, it was then brought to my attention that this is in fact NOT the first time MS has done that. There was already at least one other “heartbreaking” story like this before – it’s about a family that falls victim to a fake travel agency phishing site trying to buy a luxury holiday and ends up losing all the money from their account. To quote the conlusion:
Mr. Jiří was using an internet browser unsecured against this kind of attack. “Well, the responsibility lies mainly on the users here, they must use a secure browser. The latest studies show that Internet Explorer 8 is the best of them all,” says the police expert that wishes to remain anonymous.
So, there you have it.