Mar 6, 2008

Paypal doesn't like Safari

PayPal to Safari users: 'Ditch it'

By Jeff Smykil | Published: February 29, 2008 - 10:30AM CT

While current browser share estimates for Apple's Safari web browser hover somewhere in the 4.5 percent range, Safari is attracting some unwanted attention from PayPal, the eBay-owned payment company. PayPal is urging its users to ditch Safari and instead use alternative browsers such as Internet Explorer 7, IE 8, Firefox 2, Firefox 3, or even Opera.

The reason for the warning is Safari's lack of anti-phishing technology. Currently the Apple browser does not alert users to sites that could be phishing for your info, and it lacks support for Extended Validation. PayPal is, of course, a popular site among phishers in their neverending search for personal information, user IDs, and passwords.

While it's not entirely fair singling out Safari (other Mac browsers like Camino also also lack this support), it is perhaps at least a helpful reminder of the threat. Embarrassingly enough, (what don't I keep from you folks?) I have fallen for a PayPal-related phishing scam. It was early in the morning and I realized my error as soon as I hit enter; nonetheless, there was the possibility that the phishers got my login information. At least I was lucky enough to realize I screwed up and was able to change my login information on that, and other sites, right away.

I use Camino as my full-time browser, so Safari didn't fail me, but it would have. As annoying as I sometimes find the antiphishing features at work where I use a PC, the small annoyance would have saved me an even larger one in the end.