- Update

Wednesday 13th April, 2005
It seems I have become the worldwide authority on being the #1 hit on google for " spam". I am getting an unbelievable amount of hits on this site about Bebo following my previous posting.

It seems to have caused quite a debate with a massive variety of posted comments from all around the world. Some say it's a good service and very helpful. Some say they send out spam. Some say that Bebo is a major security breach.

So today, as lunch breaks are so exciting, I decided to register on bebo. I created a new email address and used it to register on This is a private address and isn't used anywhere else.

NOWHERE did they ask me for my Microsoft Passport details. NOWHERE did they take any login/password details for any other site. NOWHERE did it look for email addresses on my machine and NONE of my MSN contacts were messages automatically.

As far as I can tell, are offering a completely innocent service. They may have recently modified their system, but as of today for sure it doesn't automatically email anybody. All they present is a pre-typed email which can be copy/pasted into your chosen email program.

So, a big "NOT GUILTY" verdict for and some of the previous comments on this site are just plain wrong. Whether the same can be said for other similar services remains to be seen. I shall be investigating them too.

UPDATE: After a retrial called by "DK" in the comments below, I find guilty as charged. For those that use a hotmail address, you'll see in the screen capture below that it you are prompted to enter your hotmail password. This may well be in breach of Hotmail Terms & Conditions as you shouldn't be sharing your login with a 3rd party. By supplying your Hotmail login/password to you are potentially giving them access to ALL your emails, ALL your contacts in your address book, ALL of their home address, phone numbers etc.

If you're using and are a Hotmail user, change your password NOW! I also recommend you quit the service. The message they send are not unsolicited, the user has to click the "send" button, but users are given little or no advice about the risks of sharing their Hotmail password.

Congratulations bebo, you're now barred on all the email gateways I manage.

DK and other concerned users - It may be worth dropping a line and telling them about this. Feel free to send them a link to this site. - Update Hotmail Users - Update - Update

Enter your Hotmail details below and we'll show you who's already using Bebo from your Hotmail Address Book.
Hotmail Email Address
Hotmail Password

  1. 1) DK Said: (13/04/2005 12:56:21 GMT) Gravatar Image - Update

    Do you think it is possible that Bebo has changed their "service"? Maybe due to all the negative attention at the moment? Their flexible policy would surely permit it.

    Earlier today I received an email from my Portuguese speaking friend. He speaks zero English yet the email was in perfect English and originated from his Hotmail account.

    I contacted him about it and he has never heard of Bebo, Ringo, BirthDayAlarm or any other "keep in touch" services.

    Something still smells bad around here, no matter how honest the people at the Bebo and Ringo "About Us" pages look.

  2. 2) Ben Rose Said: (13/04/2005 13:01:00 GMT) Gravatar Image - Update

    DK, whilst it's possible there is certainly nothing on there now that will do what you say.

    Anybody using can send perfect English invitations, but only by using the copy/paste and addressing manually.

    I don't speak for any other services, but I've verified today that are innocent and do not send any emails on your behalf.

    There are lots of spam and virus related emails out there, but I've seen no evidence to prove they are linked to in any way.

  3. 3) DK Said: (13/04/2005 13:08:52 GMT) Gravatar Image - Update

    Sorry for dual comment post... but I just redid your experiment, entering a dummy hotmail address while registering. immediately asked me for my Hotmail password. I suspect if I entered Yahoo or Gmail, it would have asked for those passwords as well. appends a random number after each URL (Ran=xxxxxx) just to make sure no old pages are cached and cannot be retrieved for comparison.

    Sorry for asking, but have you recently been threatened or bribed to take back all your previous claims?

  4. 4) Ben Rose Said: (13/04/2005 13:15:41 GMT) Gravatar Image - Update

    DK - For now I will let your comment stand. I will verify again. I did my testing using an email address that was linked to an MSN passport, but wasn't actually a specific address.

    I'll register one of those and test again and report back my results here. If you're right, credit to you. If not, I may have to do a little editing ;O)

  5. 5) bonj Said: (26/04/2005 17:56:11 GMT) Gravatar Image - Update

    Yes, you are prompted, if you want it to look through your Hotmail Address Book and have them show you who's already using Bebo from your Hotmail Address Book. That doesn't mean that you have to enter your password, although I am sure there are a lot of unsuspecting people not realizing the possible ramifications of simply entering their password along with their id (hotmail address) on a site.

    Not sure how good it is, but they do have a contact page: { Link }

    As well as a help page that talks about when you'll receive e-mail and mentions the requests that you get from friends, and how to unsubscribe: { Link }

    I think some of the business practices may be questionable or sneaky, but I am not completely convinced that it isn't trying to present a legitimate service.

    You might send them some questions and see how they respond and post it since you are now the resident expert. :-)

  6. 6) Ed Said: (29/04/2005 00:38:07 GMT) Gravatar Image - Update

    Well I've heard a lot about this whole being prompted for the hotmail passwords. As of today apparently they've found a way to email all of your contacts without it. Legitimate service or not, most people don't want to email everyone they have addresses for without knowing about it.

  7. 7) Dragan Babic Said: (06/05/2005 13:53:19 GMT) Gravatar Image - Update

    no coment

  8. 8) Michael Birch Said: (25/09/2005 02:19:39 GMT) Gravatar Image - Update

    I work at Bebo and just found your posting. I'm not quite sure what we're being charged of, yes we do prompt for hotmail info and we always have, we've never claimed not to. We DO NOT automatically send invites, you must click the SEND button yourself to do that. We DO NOT store hotmail login info, we use it the one time, it has to be supplied by the user themselves, it is not compulsory. I hope this extra info helps.

  9. 9) Rowan Hicks Said: (09/03/2006 13:08:25 GMT) Gravatar Image - Update

    Well MR Michael Birch of crappy industries please explain to me why my hotmail is sending invites to your crummy site under the name randy when Im not even a sodding member.

    People like you make me sick, using viruses to force your old crap down people's unsuspecting gullets and selling the information on to other money hungry scum in the bottom of the jean pool so they can send yet more rubbish!

    I dearly hope you have a rather nasty and unpleasant accident in the near future!

  10. 10) Alex Said: (26/03/2006 12:36:20 GMT) Gravatar Image - Update

    I too am pretty pissed off with this service and I didn't even apply for membership! I for one do not require 30 odd daily invitations from nappy headed kids wanting to 'network' or 'socialise' with me. Putting me on a 'Do Not Email Me' list is futile. Sort it out. Since writing this comment I have received 5 invitations.

    If anyone from Bebo reads this, please visit my weblink.

  11. 11) Alex Said: (26/03/2006 12:37:20 GMT) Gravatar Image - Update

  12. 12) MySpace user Said: (09/05/2006 07:56:01 GMT) Gravatar Image - Update

    I just checked out the 'see if your friends are online' part and it had 4 different email sites and guess what? Each one asked for a password! Holy Shite!

  13. 13) Brittany Said: (06/06/2006 00:12:53 GMT) Gravatar Image - Update

    Bebo is the best website ever. It's safer than stupid rapists myspace

  14. 14) Ken Said: (07/06/2006 09:40:19 GMT) Gravatar Image - Update

    Look Bebo is fine, look at the attraction everyone has to it, their is no danger, like any site ppl can talk to younger ppl than themselves but its completely optional. You can block someone immediately should you need to.

    Its a fun website and the main purpose is to have YOUR friends on it so you can keep in touch and 90% of the ppl on it are genuine. Course you will get those selected few 'muppets' but thats enivedable......besides, if your anywhere other than home its blocked so just shows the addiction

  15. 15) erika browne Said: (18/06/2006 13:49:08 GMT) Gravatar Image - Update

    will you b my friend

  16. 16) liz Said: (21/07/2006 15:21:47 GMT) Gravatar Image - Update

    wel bebo is cool and i mak lotz of friendz

  17. 17) liz Said: (21/07/2006 15:25:25 GMT) Gravatar Image - Update

    i luv this website is cool

Discussion for this entry is now closed.