The guaranteed way to avoid being phished; and the mobile business’s best news in a decade

This week’s piece for The Independent explains how you can avoid getting phished – guaranteed. And it also works for all those dodgy cash machines where you think you might be getting shoulder-surfed by that strange character behind you. Or even when you don’t notice there’s an odd attachment to the cash machine. Really: this method works.

Meanwhile my latest column at Netimperative, Mobile dodges a bullet, looks at the best news that the mobile industry has had in ten years – one which means it can go on selling ringtones, those Turkey Twizzlers of the handheld world, to kids, with abandon.

(Ooh, bonus link – my piece about online photo sharing sites such as Flickr for last week’s Independent has appeared on the site. Behind a paywall, I regret. Still, once I get Automator, it should be simplicity itself to turn text articles into something I can put up on this site.)


  1. Just a tiny note: I don’t think the Coldplay ringtone is an attempt to break them in the US. I believe they’re pretty huge over there already.

    But I couldn’t even try to understand what benefit the ringtone thing gives them: I still miss the days when phones just went “ring ring”.

  2. OK, an attempt to break the new album, I guess.

    Phones that go “ring ring”? I think you can download a ringtone for it…

  3. It’s possible that MP3s (bless em) have the ability to kill off the ringtone racket.

    I discovered that my new phone plays MP3s as well as the traditional midi ringtones. I pointed this out to my son who has since used GarageBand and iTunes to supply me with 20 second versions of (what he thinks are) my favourite songs as well as his own compositions. I’m hoping that his entrepeneurial instincts will kick in and he’ll start selling them to his friends at school.

    Sha la la la lalala la


  4. For this season, then I think you should sample your ringtones from

    If you don’t know the song, you’ll have to listen to see how well the first line fits.

  5. I thought I’d try out your phish-fixer. I got an email from “paypal” today; normally I’d flush it, but today I clicked & went to a not-very-good simulacrum Paypal site.
    Asked for email address & password, I entered and entered derogatoryterm as a password, and they came back as invalid. I was shocked. It’s as if they don’t want my money.

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