Google, Microsoft, and Facebook Join Forces to Fight Phishing

Phishing is one of the most subtle and devious threats to Internet security today. Passwords and digital databases are encrypted and secure. The weak link in the chain is, and always will be, the human involved. While database compromises do happen, and network security is always an issue, social hacking is the easiest way to steal someone’s password.

Phishers most commonly use e-mails designed to look authentic and ask you for your information. These e-mails generally use the templates of legitimate e-mails. World of Warcraft, a bank’s correspondence, your Facebook profile or Google’s homepage are all common targets. They will have legitimate unsubscribe links, valid links to the appropriate pages on the actual site, but they will ask you to click a link to reset your name and password.

The site that link takes you to will look legitimate, but when you put in your name and password, it won’t go to the actual site. Instead, it will be recorded and given to the phisher. This is how your identity is stolen, your passwords recorded and your internet security compromised.

Facebook, Microsoft, and Google are all primary targets for phishing scams, and they’re tired of dealing with it. It creates hassles for the companies, for the affected users and for other users. Together they’ve decided to take a stand against phishing attacks and try to do something about them. They’re working with a number of banks and security vendors to form a group to fight phishing. They’re calling it the Domain-based Authentication, Reporting and Conformance group, or DMARC.

DMARC’s goal is to create a system where e-mails can be authenticated on both ends, sender and receiver. This way the sender can make sure that they’re sending correspondence to the right person, and the receiver can make sure the e-mails they receive come from who they claim to come from. Phishing attempts and other similar scams can be weeded out and blocked automatically.

The group is working to create a standardized set of policies and a platform that will allow service providers to add security to their e-mail correspondence. This platform would have the added benefit of providing reports to the service provider, to show them what phishing attempts are being used and to learn from them.

Along with Google, Microsoft, and Facebook several other companies are getting in on the game. AOL, Paypal and Yahoo are participating alongside financial firms such as Bank of America and Fidelity. All of these companies lose millions every year to phishing schemes, both directly and indirectly. The loss of consumer confidence and the resulting loss of revenue is astounding.

As phishing schemes grow more and more sophisticated, so too must the security measures put into place to prevent them. The DMARC partnership hopes to provide just such a sophisticated platform to ensure that e-mail correspondence can have the trust it deserves. While currently in a basic draft, the DMARC platform should go a long way towards minimizing identity theft through e-mail and social networks.

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Article publié pour la première fois le 21/02/2012

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Comedy that Entertains your Readers

Writing Comedy that Entertains your Readers – and the Search Engines

Face it, a lot of people use the internet because they are bored.  There is plenty of scope for getting traffic out of providing funny content people can read or look at instead of working, and this can be a great way to build up a following for yourself as a writer, or for your blog (where you can then slyly sell them stuff, if you’re kind of cynical like I am).  Whether the purpose of your site is comedy, or you just want to write some funny articles to liven up your affiliate site and make it more appealing, it is important to keep SEO in mind and find a balance between appealing to the search engines without ruining your jokes.

Topical Humour

An easy way to do this is to write some topical humour.  Whether this is the whole theme of your article, or just a joke slipped in to a piece on whatever subject you usually blog about, look for things happening in the news, entertainment, sport and of course, the world of celebrity for inspiration.  You can then use a keyword that is temporarily trending, like the name of whichever celebrity just went out with no underwear on or got a DUI, to drive traffic to your site (which may be more about selling fitness equipment than celebrity gossip, but everybody knows that a lot of people who like celebrity gossip are fat, so you’re still hitting a ripe audience).

Sliding some jokes about current topics of interest, especially if they are a bit controversial, not only entertains your readers and lets you pick up passing traffic from searches that wouldn’t normally relate to what you do, but also tells the reader that your content is up to date.

Tags

If you can’t easily fit keywords into what you are producing, either because it ruins the flow of your comedy, or because you are using image based or video comedy like cartoon strips, memes, or YouTube videos, then you can use tags to help search engines identify what your content relates to.  Treat tags as you would any other SEO, and make sure they really are relevant and describe the kind of content you have.

Social Media

More than any other kind of content, comedy is really easy to promote through social media.  People share and re-post the things that make them laugh more than anything else, so if you have some funny content, using Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Google+ to get it in front of everyone you know can hopefully start a cycle where it will get forwarded on, shared, linked to, and found in Twitter searches as well as Google ones.  This not only brings you in more traffic from people who see the posts, but also helps your search engine rankings as it creates backlinks, and shows Google that your page is being talked about as well as looked at.

Outsourcing

If you’re not someone who is good at coming up with humorous content, you can still get yourself in front of the  almost endless audience of procrastinators out there by hiring someone who is to write for you.  Think of the blogs you find funny – in some cases you can hire those writers to work for you, but alternatively, you at least have a model for what you are trying to achieve to help you explain what you want to any potential freelancers you are talking to.

Comedy is one of the hardest forms of content to write so if you are having trouble you might want to look for a company that offers copywriting services.  Apple Copywriting is a great company to turn to in your hour of need.

Article publié pour la première fois le 23/02/2012

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Amazon – the Future of Shopping?

They say that the high street is dying. In some towns more than 30% of stores lie empty, as shoppers head to out-of-town shopping centres for many purchases, and rely on mail order for things that can wait.

Amazon is doing particularly well at the moment. It started life as a small, American online bookstore, and went on to become a multi-national concern. Today, the site has branches all over the world, and it doesn’t just sell books. You can buy games, toys, and even groceries via Amazon today, and they even have their own electronic device – the Kindle – an e-reader that will presumably secure Amazon’s future even if books go out of style.

Why is Amazon So Successful?

Part of Amazon’s success can be attributed to the fact that they got in ahead of the rush.  Amazon was founded in 1995, during the height of the dot com boom. Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, started small, and while many of his competitors shot for rapid growth and mega-bucks, he was happy with slow but sustainable growth. Amazon survived when the dot-com bubble burst, and by then it was firmly entrenched in the minds of the public as the go-to place for hard to find books.

Amazon Make Things Easy

The challenge for any online retailer is persuading people to click for their products, rather than walk into the store. This is one thing that Amazon does really well. Once you’ve bought something from Amazon, buying again is easy thanks to their one-click purchasing tool. You pick the product you want, select the speed of delivery you prefer, and then sit back and relax.

Postage and Packing

Amazon has shipping down to a fine art. Where consumers may be nervous about buying from other online retailers that squeeze books into Jiffy bags that are the wrong size, Amazon has carefully designed cardboard sleeves which will protect most books, and uses cardboard boxes that are lovingly packed for larger orders.

Digital Download

While there will always be a demand for some form of physical product – whether that’s clothes, toys, or food, there’s a growing demand for digital distribution too. Amazon identified this, and has already got a strong digital distribution system for subscribing to premium blogs, downloading MP3s, and downloading ebooks. This ensures that even if we do end up in a future where cardboard boxes and jiffy bags are looked upon as being as quaint as the LP and analogue radio, Amazon will still be relevant.

It’s this forward thinking attitude that has made the company so strong, and so popular. Other retailers sell just one thing, and don’t even do that well. When you see cardboard boxes with the Amazon logo on them, the chances are good that they’ll contain a book – but that’s not the only thing they sell. That box could contain a DVD, a video game, or something completely different.

To the consumer, it doesn’t matter – all that matters is that they paid an acceptable price, and that the product got their safely on time. That is what Amazon does well, and that’s what makes them the future of shopping.

This post was written by Crispin Jones on behalf of UK Packaging who can supply Jiffy bags and a great range of cardboard boxes to suit all needs. Crispin writes on business and retail.

Article publié pour la première fois le 21/02/2012

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