eCards have been an incredibly useful, popular and often hilarious product since their inception in 1994. The first website ever, The Electric Postcard, went from only a dozen or so cards being sent to over 1.7 million after only one and a half years of operation. The model gained traction and various websites began to spring up, with a website called Blue Mountain Arts even being bought by Excite@Home for upwards of $780m in 1999, at the height of the “Dotcom Bubble”.

However, the security, integrity and potential future of the general eCard business model was thrown into question in 2007, when wave after wave of eCards were sent to random users across the globe, with the subject of “You’ve received a postcard from a family member!” Clicking these interactive eCards would direct users to websites that utilized Javascript to exploit a user’s browser or even include downloadable malware hidden in the eCards itself.

It was a pretty dark time for eCards.

Today, eCards have a wide variety of uses.  From simply wishing mom a Happy Birthday, to raising awareness – and even funds –  for social causes.

Yet the security concerns are still valid: the fundamental process by which an eCard is sent to users can (and is) exploited through automated software and even the manual input of random e-mails. The process usually occurs from the relevant website itself, which requires only your name, your e-mail, the e-mail you wish to send to, a delivery date and of course, the message itself. In June of this year, Symantec reported on an eCcard spam campaign that linked to a “get rich quick scheme” which even utilized a fake BBC news report in an attempt to confuse users and convince them of its legitimacy.

eCard sites need to protect their brands reputation by ensuring their users security. All it takes is for someone to receive one “dodgy” or negative eCard from a service and the experience is forever tainted. Rarely would anyone choose to open up another e-mail from an address or provider that has previously led to disastrous results. In fact they may never open another eCard again – regardless of the source.

FunCaptcha has a deep history in the eCard space, and can answer any questions that you might have on this topic.