Tag Archive | "Malware"

Facebook Coming Down on Fake Likes

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Facebook Coming Down on Fake Likes

The amount of likes that a Facebook page receives is definitely the biggest way to determine its popularity with its targeted audience. There are plenty of ways to get more Facebook likes on your page, such as by including social media buttons on your main websites and blog, or including a link to your Facebook fan pages with the emails that you send. But there has been some controversy surrounding Facebook likes recently, which affected some corporate, as well as political pages.


The issue of fake Facebook likes has existed for quite a long time, but it seems that it’s only recently that it was given a good amount of attention by the social network. Facebook has released an update on their blog on August 31st saying that they are taking action to remove likes that are deemed to be fake. However, the numbers don’t seem to be too dramatic. The update states that less than 1% of the likes for any particular page will be affected.


This includes likes that were purchased, generated by malware, as well as those that were generated by users who were deceived into liking a page. The latter category is one that has been often discussed in online marketing circles. Certain video sharing sites were using scripts that would force a user to like the page before they could have access to the videos. This goes against the basic concept of the Facebook likes, which are meant to be given only once a user has seen a certain page and found the content to be worthy of being included on their page and shared with their friends. Other ways of deceiving users was creating fake contests or giveaways, where users were promised non existent prizes if they liked a certain page. Of course, the prizes never came and very often the pages were then used to send spam messages onto the users news feeds.


Many online marketing experts aren’t too surprised by this recent move by Facebook. It comes a few weeks after many major advertisers have questioned whether advertising on Facebook truly brings them any benefits for their business or brand. There has also been the issue of fake accounts being used to like various pages, or friend random people only to send them spam messages. It appears that Facebook is simply trying to clean up its service by removing elements that create a bad experience for the user, in addition to lowering the perceived value of the social network to its advertisers.


But this recent action isn’t really likely to have any impact on most people who use Facebook as part of their social media marketing strategy. You should just stay away from any services that promise to give you thousands of likes from “real” users in exchange for payment. Very often, these likes are generated by malicious means and even if the users were real people, chances are that they wouldn’t have any actual interest in your page.

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Protecting Your Online Business: Preventing and Recovering From Attacks on Your Site

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Protecting Your Online Business: Preventing and Recovering From Attacks on Your Site

Now that you know how your online business can be attacked, it’s time to figure out ways that you can use to prevent them from happening. Many of these ideas are actually simple to implement, so any online business owner should take a look at them. No website can be made completely untouchable to dedicated groups of malicious individuals, however there are various ways that can be put forward to reduce the chance of an attack, as well as immediately stop the damage if one does happen.

  • Choose your hosting wisely

Your web host is where your site will be residing so it is extremely important that you choose one that takes security seriously. Avoid free and very cheap hosts, as they often tend to make compromises about security in order to achieve such cheap prices. Before selecting a web host, read some independent user reviews to see if that company has had any serious issues with hacking and security in the past and how they helped their users recover from damage and secure their site if an attack has occurred.

While this option may not be the best choice for everyone, using a VPS or dedicated hosting type instead of shared hosting offers much better security than a shared hosting server, where all websites are put together on one server, thus making it easier for malware to spread. If your business grows, investing in top quality hosting might be a good choice.

  • Maintain backups of your site

Having regular backups of the entire contents of your website is very important as this is what will help you recover should your site have been attacked. There are many web hosting companies which do daily backups of your site for you (or at least claim they do) or let you create a backup copy of your site and keep it on their servers. However, there are many hosting customers that have expressed dissatisfaction that when they needed them, the backups were not available or they had extreme difficulty getting their web host to restore their website to the way it was before. Therefore, it is always a good idea to maintain regular backups either locally, or on a remote backup server that is not run by your main web host.

Having a backup copy of your site is the only way that you can restore it back to how it was in case it is compromised, so it is not a step that you should skip, even though it may take a bit of time and effort. Remember, restoring a site from backup will require less energy and cause less down time than trying to rebuild a website that has lost all of its content from zero.

These are two main things that you can do to better protect your business, but of course they’re not the only actions you can take to increase your site’s security. Tomorrow we will look at more methods that you can use to ensure your site’s protection.

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Safely Using Social Media For Business

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Safely Using Social Media For Business

Social media use is growing among businesses everywhere. This is no surprise given the popularity of social media all over the world. However, there are some security issues that need to be taken under consideration if your business wants to use social media sites such as Facebook and Google+ in order to spread its message and connect with customers or potential customers.

Previously, the number one method of attack for cyber criminals that targeted small and medium businesses was through email. Phishing messages that were disguised as messages from legitimate companies were used to either steal information or get the unsuspecting user to install malware on their computer. While this form of cyber attack is still relatively common, hackers have instead started focusing their attention to social media sites as a channel of attack. There are already many reported instances of security breaches caused by social media use in business. The main question here would be how to use social media safely and protect yourself against such attacks. There are some good practices which you can implement across your company that will reduce the likelihood that you will fall victim to such an attack.

  • Use a good password for your social media accounts

This may seem obvious, however you would be surprised how many users, even serious business users have passwords that could easily be guessed. Don’t use anything that one could easily figure out and try to use a combination of letters and numbers. Also, don’t use the same password for all of your social media accounts and don’t re use the same password that you’ve used on another website. While social networking sites have very good security and are highly unlikely to get their databases compromised (though they’re not immune to that), many other websites that require you to register and select a user name and password run on simple scripts that aren’t too hard to compromise. There’s a high chance that if the data is compromised and shared online, hackers everywhere will first try the user name (or email) and password combinations on popular sites like Facebook to see if they could break into any accounts.

  • Keep the email address used for social media secure

Even if you have a good password, this will be quite worthless if the email address associated with your social media accounts is compromised. All a hacker would have to do is to click on the “Forgot my password” link and then have a new password sent to that email that they’ve just broken into. So use common sense and make sure that your email stays safe as well. Use a separate email address for your social media activities rather than using a “general” email address for everything related to your business. This will reduce potential risks should your email be compromised for some reason. Of course, your email password should be a good one as well, just like the password for your social networking accounts.

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Free Web Hosting Services – Are They Any Good?

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Free Web Hosting Services – Are They Any Good?

When looking for a web host, you may have come across so called “bannerless free webhosting providers” or hosting providers which let you host your site for a very low price, such as $2 per month. Many internet marketers or online entrepreneurs who are on a limited budget may like the prospect of getting webhosting that is free or that is extremely cheap. These hosting providers often advertise in internet marketing forums and some get the bulk of their customers there. However, there are a few pitfalls from using such a type of host.

Unlike established web hosting companies, free or very cheap web hosts are often run by just one person or a few people which often have little experience in the field of webhosting. As such, you may encounter the following problems:

Reliability problems.

No one really knows whether their servers are going to stay up at all times. Sure, they may boast a 99.999999999% uptime guarantee… but can they really back it up? These hosts could be running on cheap servers sometimes located offshore in places where connectivity is not the most reliable.

Poor or nonexistent support.

The bigger webhosting companies have customer service and tech support teams that are available 24 hours a day and can be reached by using many different methods such as live chat, phone or email. Bargain basement hosts usually only offer support through email or a ticket system. Maybe live chat, but only when the operator is available, which will not be 24 hours a day.

Stealing traffic or other gimmicks.

Even if a free webhost says that they don’t put banner ads on your site, they could still do other things to try to earn revenue from sites hosted on their server, such as redirecting some of your traffic to another site and hoping that you won’t notice, making popup ads appear when loading your site, or worse, such as inserting malicious code in your site in order to infect visitors with malware. Of course, not all hosts do this, but some have been observed engaging in such practices.

This is not to say that all free or “dollar” webhosts are bad. Some may provide good service which would rival that of the best paid hosts out there. But, as a general rule, they are to be avoided if you are hosting an important website that you absolutely need to be up at all times. If you really want to use such a host, at least read some independent reviews left by other users to see what they have to say about a particular host, that way, you will at least be aware of which places to avoid.

If you are looking for better webhosting, you will find that plenty of professional web hosting companies exist which can offer you a plan for around $5 a month with no commitment or contract. You will be sure that you are dealing with a professional company in the webhosting industry.

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