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Evernote Shoots Itself in the Foot Over the Attempted Hack

Written by Gary North on March 8, 2013

Evernote is a useful tool. You can save texts on the Web for free.

It has a powerful search engine. With two clicks of a mouse, you can be sure that you will be able to retrieve anything you find on the Web. You can use memory aids: key words.

That was then. This is now. No more two-clicks. Every time you want to save anything, you must go through the process of typing in your password.


Because last week Evernote got hacked. So, the programmers have re-written the code to stop the hackers. In doing so, they have dramatically reduced the value of the program. They have treated users’ time as a zero-price resource.

First, everyone had to change his password.

Now there are endless log-ins.

Programmers do what is convenient for them. If users don’t like it, so what? They are dispensable. They must suck it up.

The programmers have convinced management that what is best for customers is extra work on the customers’ part.

Who programmed the original site? Whose fault was it that the site was hacked? Who should bear the blame?

Whose lives should be disrupted? The programmers know: users!

Continue Reading on discussion.evernote.com

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6 thoughts on “Evernote Shoots Itself in the Foot Over the Attempted Hack

  1. I give up! You don't have a couple seconds to type in a password to make your data a little more secure? Considering the hours one spends on the computer how relevant is a couple more seconds, compared to the time it would take to repair any damage done by hacking????

    I've never used evernote, but I'm gonna check it out today.

  2. melissas says:

    Gary, I use Evermore and I did have to change my password initially, but I use their web widget to clip pages and it had been working normal without having to re-enter my password.

  3. For many people with a proper workflow, this is a serious frustration; especially if, as many claim, you must do this every time you save. As someone who has used Evernote in the past as part of a writing workflow, I can tell you that I save A LOT. For most applications I have the "save" hotkey embedded in my memory and type it as naturally as one can in the flow of my writing. A "couple seconds" times a hundred is not only more than a couple of seconds, but, at least for me, it can seriously disrupt my writing flow. This frustration even applies to sessions of extensive research, web clipping, etc. It is particularly frustrating if I have to keep entering my credentials just to save content that is anything but sensitive, which included the vast majority of my Evernote content.

    Now, if I were using Evernote for the occasional random note, pasting some web research, etc. it might be worth the time. But, and this should be obvious, one's workflow must be considered before making sweeping statements (e.g. "You don't have a couple seconds to type in a password to make your data a little more secure?").

    Personally, I have tried to integrate Evernote more than once over the years. I think it has a ton of potential, if it suits your workflow or if you just want to clip a few items here and there. Even before the hack it was not something I would put anything sensitive into.

  4. Gary, I have no experience with Evernote. Are your comments based on your own recent experience or are you relying on the one forum entry that you linked to? The forum entry doesn't describe the same problem that you describe.

    But that isn't the real topic of my commend. I'm a programmer, one of those guys you seem to hate so much. I can assure you that my code is as user friendly as I'm able to make it. In the case of the recent Evernote change, if what you described is true, I can assure you that this change was specified by management, not the programmers.

    You also take a lot of potshots at webmasters / web developers. In many cases that you have described it was perfectly clear that the site's objectionable feature (lack of Contact Us, etc) was NOT a result of the web site developer; it was a management decision. It may have been a middle management decision but it was definitely a management decision.

    I remember one particular web site I was developing for the state of Connecticut. I had suggested several features to give the users out in the state agencies a lot of flexibility and self-directed control over how they wanted to submit their data updates. The manager I was doing the project for (not my own boss) was such a control freak that he refused to let me give the agencies any control over their own data. I appealed to my own boss to try to intervene in some way – but it didn't work.

    I get at least as frustrated as you by poor web site functionality and lack of a readily obvious Contact Us feature. I know how easy it is to do correctly and I don't like bad work to reflect poorly on my profession. My own web site for my small business not only has a prominent Contact Me section, but I actually included a rant about how much I despise web sites that don't include one! I also tell my customers exactly what rsponse time they can expect and what to do if they don't get an answer.

    It's not hard for programmers, web site or otherwise, to get a bit cynical. I fight every day to try to get customers to make business decisions about what functionality they need and how it should be presented to the end user. And they get frustrated with the many detailed questions that I ask them. So give programmers a little break. There's an excellent chance that what you thought was laziness on their part was really a decision by whoever they were working for.

    P.S. I just had a big problem submitting this comment – the web site didn't work correctly with Internet Explorer and I had to switch to Firefox. Was that your lazy programmer's fault?

  5. Brightflash says:

    I use Evernote regularly. I changed my password. I have had none of the experience of the ONE person who seems to have raised the issue about which you are now seeking to "alarm" us all. Am I missing something?

  6. goldendragon2012 says:

    The problem of having to re-enter your password each time seems to have been a bug and was fixed within a day by upgrades to the various evernote apps. But hey! That would make a boring article, so "shoot first and ask questions later".