Phishing may drive proliferation of inboxes

eBay has just announced a new feature called "my messages".   It provides an inbox directly on the ebay site where subscribers can securely receive messages from eBay – for example requests to update account information that are so often a tactic used by phishers.

While I applaud eBay’s efforts to protect their customers from phishing I’m also apprehensive.  I’ve never been a fan of portal technologies because there never seems to be just ONE portal that I can look at to see everything that is happening in my world.  I end up with information scattered across 10 or 12 disparate portal sites and feeling like I what I need now is a "portal for my portals", if you will. 

The default portal of portals is of course my email inbox, which collects the many notifications  and updates from portal applications and web services that I use every day…

Unfortunately it doesn’t appear that My Messages can send a notification via email that I have a message waiting in my eBay inbox to my real inbox.  This is understandable because the point is to avoid the messages altogether for security reasons, but nevertheless inconvenient.  I could easily have a message waiting in My Messages for days or weeks if I don’t happen to login to eBay.

Most users I speak to seem to want fewer inboxes and interfaces to check not more.  If adding inboxes to sites becomes a common approach in combating phishing, this "proliferation of inboxes effect" could quickly become a major nuisance.

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