Monday, February 27, 2006

Drop-Down Menus

I actually don’t like java-script menus, as I prefer everything to be just one click to get from page to page. Some are good, but others are definitely not that. So I tend to have a two level menu, which I put across the top of the page under the banner, with traditional tool-tips. As these days I tend to design all web sites to A4 pages so they can be easily printed, it works well.

But you really want to make sure that the web site gets entwined properly around the search engines.

So I always make a web site a series of individual pages with their own URLs, just like most of the BBC’s web site. And then make sure that all pages are linked from the home page that is submitted to the search engine. (One of the reasons, I wrote my Web Site Spider, was to check that all pages are linked to the home page, even if the route is rather long!)

If you are using a complicated java-script and it is not obvious to the search engine how you get to certain pages, then make sure you have some links in the text. You can always use a site map, which on some web sites, is the best way to find the page you want anyway.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Bank Phishing Scams

I believe that the number of phishing e-mails for a particular bank does reflect that bank’s security, in that the better the security the less likely a customer is to be fooled. Remember, by security I would include the publicity and information that banks send to customers to warn of on-line fraud.

Take Nationwide, which is quite a large UK bank, where I have had contact with the security department. Scams were tried on this bank a couple of years ago and I have been told that they were not very successful. I have not seen one since. If I was a scammer, I wouldn’t bother if I didn’t get any money.

Scams were also tried on most other UK banks. Again nothing at all in the last year or so!

So as Barclays and Halifax get nearly all of the e-mails, I am pretty sure that these are the only banks where the scammers have been successful. Intriguingly, I believe that these scam e-mails are one group of fraudsters. Why for instance, do Barclays stop and then Halifax start? And vice-versa! I’m analysing some of the e-mails in detail to see if I can find more evidence of one group.

Now if it is one group, why aren’t the banks doing more to stop it?

As I have said before, we need a law which would make each bank show how much they lose to fraud each year and to what methods. This would mean they had to get it right, as they wouldn’t want to see business disappear.

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