The PhoneBoy Blog

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Software Companies Masquerading As Spammers

StuffitI have never, ever been fond of a single program that comes from Smith Micro. I remember their software came with the various modems I purchased and it was horrible. Oh yeah, and you had to pay more to unlock even more crappy features.

Through a series of acquisitions, they have acquired a program that used to be a mainstay on the Mac back in the 80s: Stuffit, and consequently the free Stuffit Expander. I have not used the commercial version. Quite frankly, I haven’t needed to. There are plenty of other options to compress stuff that work well enough and are free.

However, I did have a need recently to decompress something that I couldn’t easily find a different tool to do, so I had to download Stuffit Expander for the Mac. In order to download it, you have to provide an email address, which is then added to their “marketing” list where they send you emails about their programs. Frequently.

Seeing as I’m still trying to get off their list from the last time I had to download Stuffit Expander, this time, I opted to try something different: using an email address generated from Mailinator. I wouldn’t call it secure, though if you use an auto-generated email address like they have on their front page, it’s about as random (and obscure) as you can get. And for these one-time emailings, it’s perfectly fine.

Look, Smith Micro: I understand you want to gather information about people who use your products. Fine. But don’t make providing our email address required in order to get your products. Make that a double opt-in, meaning they have to click a check box on the page and then confirm by clicking on a URL in the confirmation email.

By doing it any other way, all you’re doing is pissing off potential customers. And making yourself look like spammers.

#Cybersecurity Evangelist, Podcaster, #noagenda Producer, Frequenter of shiny metal tubes, Expressor of personal opinions, and of course, a coffee achiever.