I am Jack's Smirking Revenge

little, yappy dogs

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dear Gmail

I recently received a message in gmail which opens:

subject: "Gmail Confirmation - Send Mail as [your address]@gmail.com"

"You have requested to add [my address]@gmail.com to your Gmail account.
Confirmation code: xxxxxxx

Before you can send mail from [my address]@gmail.com using your Gmail account
([someone else's address]@gmail.com), please click the link below to confirm your request:"

Maybe you got one of these too and don't know what it is? You can delete it.

This is actually a legitimate gmail system message. It is sent when attempting to add an extra "from" account to your gmail account.

However, in this case, it is not a legitimate request- I did not make this request, someone else was erroneously adding my account to theirs, or attempting to hijack my 'from' name. None of this is too surprising or confusing, once you know what is going on.

The problem here is that the wording in the body of the message is a bit confusing, and I suspect that a lot of users will panic and rather than read the message (which goes on at length to explain what is going on and also includes a help link), they will click the link to add their account to someone else's because they have the idea that they are not going to be able to send mail from their own account unless the do so.

Very bad wording, Gmail. It's like when the coders also type up the body text for the application. It always turns out bad.

Dear Gmail, please change that to something more like:

"A request has been made by [other address] to add this account [your address] ... {more info}

If you did not send this request or do not know what it is, do NOT click on any of these links."


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