With friends like these who needs password security?

I’m indebted to Clu-blog reader John who told me about an email he received at the end of last week from the social networking site Friends Reunited.

Launched in the UK in 2000, Friends Reunited pre-dated comparable sites like Facebook by a few years, giving British computer users the ability to reconnect with long lost school friends.

Despite rapid early growth, the site was overtaken in recent years by other popular sites such as Bebo, Twitter and Facebook and saw its visitor numbers dwindle. To give you an idea of how it has fallen into the doldrums, it was bought by ITV for £120 million in December 2005, but was recently valued at a mere £20 million.

It is perhaps understandable then that they might send emails to the likes of John, who signed up in the site’s early days, but barely ever logs in now.

What particularly disturbs me, though, is that in its attempts to get dormant members to come back to the site, Friends Reunited appears to be being rather lax with…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.