Kontera's non-existent approach to email security
Every now and again I get approached by people wanting to place their advertisements on currybetdotnet. Sometimes these are people targeting getting a text link on one particular page, and at other times these are people wanting me to try out their entire advertising system.
As a general rule I always decline.
The Google AdSense blocks on these pages pay for the hosting here, with enough of a surplus to pay for 'A lemon tree of our own' as well. AdSense isn't so intrusive, and the point of the site overall is not about money making.
However, I do have several pages that generate a lot of traffic, and bandwidth usage, because they feature highly in search engines for search terms not really related to the main thrust of my site - keywords like "konnie huqs knickers", "charley uchea topless" and "sexiest tits", and I have sometimes considered whether I should put extra advertising on these pages.
Recently I was approached by a company called Kontera about putting their in-text advertising on the currybetdotnet site.
On the whole I don't like this kind of advertising on the web as it blurs the distinction between editorial hypertext links and advertising.
However, I decided that as a trial I would put it only on those pages that deliver high amounts of what I consider to be irrelevant traffic to the site - I suspect, after all, that anyone searching for "big brother nipple" and arriving here is unlikely to be at the same time looking to hire me as an internet consultant or information architect.
When I followed up the initial approach, I was asked to fill out Kontera's online form to become a participant in the program, with a promise that they would get back to me within 5 business days. In fact it took a little longer than that, but when I did get my next contact from them, it wasn't the delay which shocked me, but the content of the mail.
I got a welcome mail from my account manager, which included the following details:
- my username
- my password in plain text
- the URL of my control panel
I was astonished that a company that specialises in online business could have such poor practice when it came to privacy and security when using email.
I contacted my new account manager who had sent the email to express my surprise and dismay.
The reply to my email did not address my concerns at all, starting with the classic non-apology line "I am sorry to hear that you feel this way" and going on to assure me that Kontera advertising is used by:
"more than 3,000 publishers all over the world, including big networks and sites, that are receiving great support and incremental revenue from our product."
Well, it is being used more than 3,000 publishers who don't seem to care about the way a company looks after their secure details when using email perhaps, but I'm not one of those type of people.
Needless to say, following that exchange of emails, Kontera advertising will not now be appearing on the currybetdotnet site.