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In a somewhat sensationalist article called ‘The 10 Most Dangerous Online Activities’ Forbes outlines – yup, you guessed it – the 10 things people should be wary of when online.

Most of these activities are obvious no-go areas, though one or two amount to madness. Such as “using Linkedin”. I’m not kidding, folks. Be scared, be very scared...

There is a major mountain-sized slab of irony here. Forbes makes these observations yet undertakes some dangerous activities itself, such as:

a) forcing the user to wait for 20 seconds to read the article by displaying the following dangerous full-page interstitial ad…

Forbes makes readers wait, and wait, and wait...

And, b) displaying that same sucky ad, in the same interruptive format, after the fourth ‘activity’ (the article is split across 10 pages, for reasons best known to the publisher – probably something to do with page impressions).

There is a 'skip this ad' link but I didn't immediately see it, since it wasn't displayed within the body of the ad, as per the recommendations set out by the IAB (see IAB Rich Media Standards for more - PDF file). Not that the 'skip' link remotely justifies this sort of rubbish format.

So what are the 10 most dangerous online activities, according to Forbes?

1. Clicking on e-mail attachments from unknown senders

2. Installing unauthorized applications

3. Turning off or disabling automated security tools

4. Opening HTML or plain-text messages from unknown senders

5. Surfing gambling, porn or other dicey sites

6. Giving out passwords, tokens or smart cards

7. Random surfing of unknown, untrusted Web sites

8. Using any old Wi-Fi network

9. Filling out Web scripts, forms or registration pages

10. Participating in chat rooms or social networking sites

Those tolerant of intrusive ads can read the full article here.

Look out for my soon-to-be-published article on the top 10 most deadly mistakes made by website owners (clue: mainly this is about dumping on the user experience from 40,000 ft).

Chris Lake

Published 26 October, 2006 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

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