Don't watch this video

Filed Under: Spam, Video

I need to make an apology.

Last year, Sophos issued a video which used "scare tactics" and "publicity-seeking gimmicks" to capture the attention of the public in the fight against spam.

According to our friends at PineApp, who protect businesses against email threats, we were also attempting to steal your cash too.

So, please do not watch the following video which was utterly irresponsible and outrageous of us.

(Enjoy this video? You can check out more on the SophosLabs YouTube channel and subscribe if you like)

Here is part of the warning about this video issued to the British media by PineApp today:

McAfee and Sophos are leading the pack in using scare tactics and publicity-seeking gimmicks to capture computer owners' attention and their cash. Rakash Gupta, CEO of PineApp UK, a leader in securing networks and email systems, believes this highlights the irresponsible behaviour of security vendors.

Gupta said: 'It is security vendors' responsibility to provide sensible, intelligent advice that allows computer owners to accurately assess their risks and put the right measures in place to stop their homes or businesses from being affected. The bottom line is that if computer owners have the right solution in place, security is really nothing to be afraid of. It's time to stop the gimmicks.'

According to PineApp, the worst recent examples of scare tactics and gimmicks are:

1. Sophos spam pledge: To coincide with spam's 30th birthday, Sophos urged people to take an oath of allegiance to put a stop to spam so that it 'doesn't celebrate a 40th or 50th birthday'. Sophos created a Facebook Group titled 'The Sophos Spam Pledge - I won't buy goods advertised via spam', and released a YouTube video of people taking the oath, promising never to click on links in unsolicited emails.

<snip!>

Don't worry - you haven't missed much by not reading the rest of the release. It just went on to give examples of similar shameless and outrageous antics by McAfee, Panda and F-Secure that PineApp have spotted.

Seriously, though, why would a security company like PineApp not want to kill off spam? Why would they be against a campaign to raise awareness of the little thing that everyone can do to make a difference?

I'll leave it for you to decide whether Sophos gave sensible, intelligent advice in the video about how the average man or woman in the street can discourage spammers and avoid dangerous links.

And remember, don't watch the video.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.