Notification Qverload

(No, that’s not a typo.)

There’s an infamous notification box from the dark days of Internet Explorer 6 that “warns” the user that they are “about to view pages over a secure connection” — in other words, they get a big security alert when they were about to do something secure.

The IE6 "you are about to view pages over a secure connection" alert, placed next to a screen from The Simpsons showing Homer demonstrating his "Everything's Okay" alarm.
“Corporate needs you to find the differences between this picture and this picture.”

The problem with this sort of thing should be obvious: it’s training people to either ignore alerts and notifications entirely, or overreact to each one they see. And while that’s more of a UI/UX problem, it’s one with some pretty major implications…both security and otherwise.

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