Warning Signs

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A mail comes in, or a web page pops up, offering you an amazing deal. Should you take it? Let's find out.

Here's an actual offering from Microsoft:

Back up your files today and avoid headaches tomorrow 1243908635619.png

Here's some warning signs to keep in mind:

  • The image of a safe implying security, dependability and weight that may or may not exist.
  • "Peace of Mind" which translates to "please do not concern yourself with any actual details".
  • Touting "access from anywhere"
  • "For Free" - For free means they really don't have to keep up promises, have no service level agreement with you, and can respond to any major crises with "oops".
  • "Beta" somehow became synonymous with "cool" or "hip" but really means "not totally tested". "Not totally tested" means "could be taken down at any moment without warning, taking your data with it".
  • A smiling happy person (with glasses of course). Gives the appearance of intelligence.