Last week Google and eBay enchanted audiences with earnings delights and promises of more growth ahead. To the opportunistic investors that doubled Google’s stock price in 60 days, it may seem that nothing can stop the Web’s march forward. Well, there may be a few things:
- Dell says spyware now affects about 90% of computers. Spyware-related phone calls now make up as much as 20% of all help calls at Dell, compared with just 1-2% in August 2003.
- Hackers have begun circulating malicious code hidden in images that use the popular JPEG format.
- EarthLink said it found an average of nearly 28 spyware items on each PC it scanned during the first quarter of 2004.
- Seemingly harmless Instant Messenger bots are fast becoming phishers.
As a result, continued growth requires building real trust online. We need more than adequate attention to visual design and quality assurance if we truly want to enable online consumer confidence.