Don’t get me wrong. I love a single user interface (UI) for all my instant messaging (IM) clients. I’m referring to Trillian, Digsby or Meebo.
With all my friends and business contacts scattered all over Google Talk, Yahoo IM, MSN (Hotmail/Live), AOL/AIM, and heck, even IRC/ICQ, it’s ridiculous to have to install all those clients on my computer. Yes, it does mean having to to sign-up for every platform to each and every one of those clients. But who doesn’t have at least two accounts anyways?
Today, with the emphasis on Social CRM and Web 2.0, you also need to integrate Facebook, Twitter and Skype as well.
Some users like the portability for mobile computing or even as a single web application – no software to install! (that is, just in case your local Sysadmin decides to block the ports) I can simply go to a single web page and have everyone under one umbrella.
If someone compromised that single account, they now have access to all your email accounts?
With a web application, aren’t all your passwords are stored on a central server? Unless of course, they are using OpenID and OAuth.
Industry-wide Phishing Scheme
Earlier this week, 10,000 Hotmail IDs and passwords were posted online. Now Gmail and others has also been targeted by an "industry-wide phishing scheme". Others email providers include Yahoo!, AOL Comcast and Earthlink accounts.
A Google spokesperson told the BBC:
"We recently became aware of an industry-wide phishing scheme through which hackers gained user credentials for web-based mail accounts including Gmail accounts."
"As soon as we learned of the attack, we forced password resets on the affected accounts. We will continue to force password resets on additional accounts when we become aware of them."
The problem is people are lazy resulting in simple, easy-to-guess passwords AND using the same password for the multiple sites they access, including banking and PayPal info.
A recent survey showed as many as two in five people use the same password for all the sites they use.
If you MUST use the same password, just make sure your online banking and Paypal accounts are all unique and complex. Start with the accounts that have the highest impact of embarrassment and financial grief.
Otherwise, you might as well leave your house keys under your mat.