Category Archives: Web tips

ANDROID WARNING: Smartphone owners put on alert about terrifying FRANKENSTEIN virus

ANDROID smartphone fans are being put on alert about a terrifying ‘Frankenstein’ virus that cybercriminals are looking to spread.

Android users are being warned about a new ‘Frankenstein’ virus that combines the worst features of different malware to form a dangerous threat.

Dubbed MysteryBot, the malware blends features of ransomware, keyloggers and banking trojans to create a virus that can attack on many fronts.

Security researchers from ThreatFabric discovered the malware, and said it appears to be related to the well-known LokiBot Android banking trojan.

Speaking to Bleeping Computer, a ThreatFabric spokesperson said: “Based on our analysis of the code of both Trojans, we believe that there is indeed a link between the creator(s) of LokiBot and MysteryBot.

“This is justified by the fact that MysteryBot is clearly based on the LokiBot bot code.”

MysteryBot is capable of taking control of infected devices, with the ability to read messages, gather contact information and steal sensitive e-mails.

While Android malware tends to attack older versions of the Google mobile OS, MysteryBot can target recent pieces of software like Android 7 and Oreo.

It uses an overlay screen to display fake login pages on top of legitimate apps for the Google mobile OS, so cybercriminals can steal sensitive user credentials.

MysteryBot also has a unique keylogger feature.

Other malware takes screenshots the moment a user presses a key on the touch-based keyboard to figure out what the user is typing.

Whereas MysteryBot records the location of a touch gesture instead.

It then tries to guess what the user has pressed based on points users touched the screen and the positioning of the virtual keyboard.

MysteryBot also has a ransomware module which means it can encrypt files and then store them in a password protected ZIP archive.

Once encryption is complete a message pops up accusing the victim of having watched adult content.

It then demands that an e-mail address is entered so that a password can be sent out.

A victim will then presumably be asked for payment in exchange for the data to allegedly behanded back.

ThreatFabric researchers wrote: “The enhanced overlay attacks also running on the latest Android versions combined with advanced keylogging and the potential under-development features will allow MysteryBot to harvest a broad set of personal identifiable information in order to perform fraud.”

MysteryBot currently isn’t widespread and is still in development.

But Android users should be wary of any apps they download which ask for a lot of permissions.

ThreatFabric said the current versions of MysteryBot they have spotted have been designed as a Flash Player app for Android.

A ThreatFabric spokesperson said: “In general, the consumer must be aware that all of the so called ‘Flash Player (update) apps’ that can be found in and outside the various app stores are malware.

“Many web sites still require visitors to have support for Flash (which has not been available on Android for many years) causing Android users to try and find an app that will let them use that web site.

“In the end they will just end up installing malware.”

The news comes after Express.co.uk recently reported on popular Android apps that were found to collect users’ sensitive data.

Android smartphone fans were put on alert about apps found on the Google Play Store that can collect sensitive data from millions of users.

The data collection shock was discovered by Andrey Meshkov, co-founder of Adguard, who described it as a “huge spyware campaign”.

According to Meshkov’s findings, the data collection campaign affects Android apps as well as extensions for the market leading Google Chrome internet browser.

The security expert said once a victim is logged into their Facebook account the Chrome extensions scrape data immediately after the browser starts up.

In a blog post, Meshkov said all Facebook data is scraped and it even tries to go through a victim’s purchase history.

Other data that is targeted includes posts, sponsored posts, tweets, YouTube videos and adverts a victim has seen and interacted with.

This data is then collected and sent to a third-party firm called Unimania who it is claimed then sells the data to other parties for revenue.

Adguard said a number of Android apps on the Google Play Store have been found to operate in the same way as the offending Chrome extensions.

The ad blocker in their research pinpointed two Android apps with millions of installs.

One of these is an alternative Facebook client called Fast which has been downloaded more than 10 million times.

The other app is Fast Lite, run by the same developers, which the Google Play Store says has over one million installs.

Both apps mention Unimania in the privacy policy.

These apps, in the aftermath of Meshkov’s findings being published, have been removed from the Google Play Store.

Original article by DION DASSANAYAKE https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/974906/Android-warning-malware-virus-alert-keylogger-banking-trojan-ransomware

Building a YouTube Audience – Gamers Perspective

original article from  Web Pro news –  https://www.webpronews.com/build-youtube-audience-gamers-2016-06/ by Rich Ord
YouTube is arguably the most disruptive marketing platform of this decade. Yes, it’s been around since 2005, but only in the last few years is it starting to impact Madison Avenue marketing campaigns. Companies are using YouTube to put their brands in front of hard-to-reach niche viewers and are also finding ways to creatively make their own videos to spread their marketing message and enhance their image.

If you are the marketing director of a Fortune 2000 company or are an entrepreneur starting a small business you should dive into YouTube and video in general and learn how it can be an effective marketing tool for you or your brand.

Recently, some video gamers on the YouTube platform and part of the Youtube Creator Academy made a short video offering some advice on how to build a unique audience. This is from gamers perspective, but I think you will find the tips useful no matter what industry you are in.

“I built a community by being a really family friendly channel,” said Zach Letter of Aviator Gaming. “I do mostly story based content in Minecraft. I like to consider my channel the soap opera of the Minecraft world so that kids come to watch an in-depth story that has some drama, has some romance and has that tension they deal with everyday at school or in their real life. I think that is how I built such a tight
-nit community that loves my scripting, loves my role play but also loves me.”

Letter commented, “When I try to engage my audience I use a lot of the YouTube tools but I also use parts of my voice. I will try to engage them for likes and comments, just to see where they’re at in a certain series.” For instance Letter might ask, “What do you thinks going to happen next in the plot?” “That actually inspires me to write certain things in the script. If a lot of people want this certain thing to happen I might go back in and change the script and change up the episode. I think it’s alway smart to engage comments especially when it’s related to your content because it allows you to tailor content that your viewers actually want to see.”

“Whether it’s submissions on social media or in the comments sections they let me know that, hey, we really want to play this game, or hey, try out this game that’s coming out,” commented Garrett Sutton of JoblessGarrett. “Staying up on the trends and hype trains in regards to new releases of games really helps a child’s world as well.”

“For us it’s hard, because our main body of the episodes are very heavily scripted, but we use the intro paragraphs, we use the end cards as ways to actually communicate with the fans.” Matthew Patrick of The Game Theorists said. “People have been asking for us to cover films, TV and anime for a really long time, so Film Theory, the Channel, made a lot of sense. Hey, it would be really cool to see you play games and see what you do in real life, so the live stream happened.”

Patrick added, “First off the way they behave on camera will really dictate the way their fans behave. If you are responding to haters all the time those are going to tend to filter up in the comments, whereas if you are responding to that thoughtful comment, it shows that you as a creator is active in that community and is someone who is listening and is excited to engage.”

Check out the full video below:

The Big Brands Do it. Why Can’t You?

WebProNews recently covered a study from Chitika, which found that Facebook was the most valuable social media tool for driving repeat readers to content sites. The study was based on 33 million unique users across Chitika’s publisher network in September. It compared the number of visitors coming from major traffic sources Digg, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Twitter, to the number of times those visitors came back to the referred site. Visitors that went to a site four or more times in one week were considered loyal users. By a wide margin, Facebook led the pack in providing loyal traffic. 20% of all visitors from Facebook visited the site four or more times per week.

Where does your most loyal traffic come from? Facebook or somewhere else? Comment here.

“We’ve received the most clients from Facebook than any other social media website,” a reader commented on the article. “Although we’ve received slightly more visitors from Digg and Stumbleupon, the viewers have not converted into customers the same way they had through Facebook.”

There has certainly been plenty of talk about how Facebook can drive traffic, but clearly there are still a lot of people struggling with just how to go about doing so.

“Why am I not getting this?” another reader asked. “Blogs I’ve done are boosting my Google, Yahoo, and Bing ratings and getting traffic to my web site, but I’m not getting how Facebok can do this.”

Comments like these are not uncommon, and to be fair, this one was made prior to Microsoft’s announcement of a deal with Facebook (Google has been rumored to be in talks with Facebook as well).

But not all traffic has to come from search, although Facebook exposure can certainly contribute to that as well, if nothing else, than simply through promotion leading to links.

When a Facebook user frequently checks for status updates, he/she is likely to see new posts made from Facebook Pages he/she is subscribed to. This means creating a Facebook page can have a great effect on page owners. Making readers aware of the page is key as well. Luckily Facebook has a widget called the Fan box, that you can put on your site, which can lead new visitors directly to your Facebook page.

Facebook has also just updated another important widget – the share button. Now it will provide a live count of shares, as well as analytical information. You can find out how people are sharing and engaging with your content, and gain further insight into how your stuff is doing with the Facebook community (and adjust your strategy accordingly).

Traffic is a common goal, but it is not the only one. Going back to the topic at the beginning of this article, brand loyalty is a big one.

A representative for Stuzo Group, one of Facebook’s exclusive development partners, shared some interesting case studies with us, looking at how they created branded applications and fan pages for brands like Doritos, Budweiser, Smashbox, and Purina.

“When Stuzo works with these brands, the goals that they have most often in creating these promotions is to increase brand loyalty and recognition, boost traffic to their website, and drive sales,” the representative said. “These goals all go hand in hand, and explain why Chitika’s study was so valuable; hits to a website are great, but they don’t mean much unless they contribute to brand loyalty and positive recognition of the brand.” (emphasis added)

A common theme among the case studies provided by Stuzo is that they all present clear objectives for what they want to accomplish with Facebook. For example, Budweiser’s were:

1. Create brand awareness through a strong fan base and social channel opt-ins

2. Incentivize users to engage with the brand on a regular basis

3. Convert new customers and drive increase in sales

Budweiser went the route of contests and competitions (which are viral by nature). According to the case study, this has resulted in:

– Hundreds of thousands of Unique Pageviews

– Sustained high level of brand engagement by all measurements

– Significant, continued growth in Budweiser’s Social CRM and social channel opt-ins

Budweiser is just one example of a big brand finding success through social media, and through the use of Facebook in particular. As I recently discussed, you can find new and interesting ways to integrate social media into your own plans by looking at some of the brands you use yourself and how they employ different tools. This helps you to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and determine the things that work and the things that don’t.

Taken from WebProNews – Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Twitter: @CCrum237

Website branding is more than a pretty logo

A lot of websites and website owners mistakenly believe that creating a branding for their website means a compelling and relevant name, and well designed logos and web pages. While these are a part of website branding, they are far from being the whole story. In fact, every aspect of your website needs to convey image. This includes design and marketing.

Your Target Market
Branding needs to concentrate on the target market you are aiming to attract. Market research and some competitor analysis will usually garner you with relevant information regarding the people you are aiming to attract. What products and services are they looking for? What information do they want access to? Do they expect to be able to interact with you or other members of your online community? These are all important questions that you not only need to ask but answer as well.

The most effective branding will also consider the demographics of a target market.. Again, the savvy online business owner should have at least a reasonable understanding of their target market demographics. Knowing this information ensures that you not only create a brand, but that you create a relevant and powerful brand that is attractive to the right people.

What’s In A Name? Everything
The first aspect of your brand is your company or website name. It doesn’t necessarily have to portray the products you sell, but it does need to be memorable. Brands like Google and Ebay relay little about the service they offer but they are short, catchy, and easy to remember. You can consider other aspects of branding when choosing a name   PayPal clearly conveys the fact that the service is related to paying and payments, while the addition of the word Pal implies that the service is user friendly and intuitive. It still sticks to the format of being short and memorable; the use of alliteration making the name roll off the tongue even easier.

Domain Names
Once you’ve determined a brand name and ensured that domain names and company names are available, it’s time to register domains. .com domains are the most effective because they are the ones that we, as surfers, generally remember. We may remember a company name and forget the domain extension. Nine times out of ten we would add .com as the extension and hope to find the right site. It will pay, in the long run, to purchase a number of domains including your own regional domains (.eu, .co.uk, etc…) and others. Some potential customers like to deal with local firms and these customers will use local extensions.

Headers And Logos
Many websites now utilize a header rather than a true logo. Whichever option you plump for, it is usually a good idea to have your graphic designed by a professional. . A logo will appear on all communication you send to customers, every page of your website, every newsletter, brochure, and virtually any other form of communication or promotional material. It needs to be strong and instantly memorable to prove effective.

Providing The Brand Your Market Wants
The design of your website and other online media needs to be attractive, but it needs to offer the level of usability and functionality that your target market expect. Website design, in particular, needs to be easy on the eye, give simple guidance to the most important parts of the page, and appear professional. It should also cater to your target market. A younger audience will gladly appreciate a more modern design, while the older generations may prefer a classic and more simple design.

Bringing all aspects of design together in all of your media is important. for example, if you intend to use video marketing as a tool to drive traffic and promote your brand, then you need to try and include your logo and a link to your website within that video. Emails, newsletters, faxes, and invoices should largely match the design of your site and should certainly include any logo you have.

Website Content And Narrative Voice
Narrative voice is another important facet of website branding. The main reason that we go online and search for certain terms is to find out more about that term, and not usually to directly purchase a product. As such, website content should provide the information that your visitors are looking for and throughout your website and other media you need to convey the same type of voice.  Websites that are geared towards individual consumers can adopt a more friendly and personable style. This conveys an image that you and your brand are equally friendly and personable – an attractive perception to most visitors.

Giveaways To Promote Brand Awareness
Offering free newsletters or promotional giveaways is an excellent way to kick start your website’s popularity. It provides visitors with the information they crave and it provides you with an opportunity to further enhance your new brand. Blogs, forums, and web applications offer similar advantages and they convince visitors to bookmark your pages and visit more frequently. This, in turn, helps to improve brand awareness and makes your brand much more memorable to your visitors.
Start creating content for use outside of your site. Articles, videos, blog posts, and news stories are all good material that can be branded effectively and distributed in various areas of the Internet. This extra push will help to improve your brand image because it will begin to convey you as being an expert within your field. It will give you and your brand greater exposure and will also help drive traffic to your website.

Search Engine Optimization – the basics.

With so much information – and misinformation – available on the topic of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) it can be tricky trying to separate fact from fiction.

Coupled with the fact that SEO changes only slightly less rapidly than the weather, it can be downright overwhelming to know where to start.

So, if you’re an SEO newbie looking for a place to start, here’s a look at some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) basics. What Is SEO?

Even the most beautifully-designed site won’t do you much good if potential customers can’t find it. That’s where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in: SEO helps ensure your site is more visible in the search engines, drive qualified traffic to your website, and convert that traffic into actual customers.

In short, SEO increases your website’s rankings in the search engines by making the pages within your site more attractive to the search engines. The more attractive your site is to Google, the higher its rankings in the search engine results pages. And the higher your rankings, the more likely users will visit your site. Obviously, a site with a result on Page 1 of Google is going to get more traffic than a site buried on Page 14.

If your site is missing from the top search results, then you may not be maximizing your ability to generate new business and add revenue to your bottom line. Let’s take a look at some stats:

* 1.3 billion Internet users
* Over 85% start at a search engine
* Less than 25% will go beyond the top 10 search engine results
* Top 10 results get 80% more traffic than those ranked in the 11-30 spots

Besides gaining better rankings in the search engines, SEO is effective in several other areas as well:

* Branding/establishment as an authority
* Pre-qualified lead generation
* Easily tracked ROI
* Cost savings compared to other mediums such as glossy brochures and yellow pages ads (average cost per lead is $0.29!)

Breaking SEO Down

SEO consists of several key elements that work together to generate increases in a website’s rankings, traffic and conversions: Keyword Selection, Copywriting, Link Building, HTML Optimization and Analytics. Let’s take a look at each element in more detail:

Keyword Selection

The foundation of any SEO campaign is good keyword research. That’s because targeting the right keywords is essential to getting your SEO on the right track. If your sell silver ladies watches, then you’re going to want to rank in the search engines for the phrase “silver ladies watches” and other similar phrases. If your keyword research is off and you target the wrong keywords, then you may not get visitors who want what your site has to offer. That’s why you need to make sure that your site is properly optimized for the most-searched-for keywords related to your business.

Copywriting

Getting potential customers to your site is only half the battle; you’ve got to convince them to buy. That’s where persuasive copywriting comes in. Be sure to tell people why they need your products or services and include conversion points throughout the site. The search engines like content, so you also need to optimize your copy to include your keywords. This includes things like descriptive product pages, built-out content like biographies, news sections, etc. One important point to remember is to keep your most critical content “above the fold” – that’s the area that’s visible to your users before they have to scroll down.

Link Building

Think popularity contests ended in high school? Think again; you’re not so lucky. Link building is like one big online popularity contest, and the search engines like the popular kids. Your success in the search engines depends, in part, on the amount of relevant incoming links to your site. Of course, having lots of good links also drives customers to your site, which is a good thing, too. Links can come in various sources, including directories, business partners, organizations, social media sites, and much, much more.

HTML Optimization

Title tags, header tags, Alt tags, Meta-descriptions — the search engines want your site’s HTML to be descriptive and clean. Search engines want to know exactly what your page is about; they don’t want to sort through a bunch of extraneous code to figure it out. That’s why you’ll hear SEO types talk about the importance of having clean code and how to use CSS to make that happen.

Measuring Success

No SEO campaign is complete without analytics. After all, if you aren’t measuring things like traffic, link popularity, and conversions, then how do you know if your SEO strategies are working? Programs like ClickTracks and Google Analytics help make the number-crunching a little easier. When analyzing an SEO campaign, it’s important to only make one change at a time so that you know which changes are effective.

If you want to have an effective SEO campaign, you need to include each of the five SEO elements listed above. Keep in mind the information here just scratches the surface of these topics, and there are certainly other more advanced SEO strategies that can benefit your site as well. These building blocks, however, are the perfect way to get your SEO campaign started on the right track.