It’s common knowledge that attackers often use email as a delivery mechanism for their malicious activity — which can range from enticing victims to click a phishing URL or download a malicious attachment. To support these activities, attackers seek out tools that assist in the mass sending of malspam (malicious spam) emails from a compromised website. PHP scripts like Leaf PHPMailer are well suited for[…]
Should we be worried about GandCrab ransomware?
On May 31, 2019 the cybercriminals behind the GandCrab ransomware did something unusual within the world of malware. They announced they were shutting down operations and potentially leaving millions of dollars on the table. “All good things come to an end” they wrote in a self-congratulatory post appearing on a notorious cybercrime forum. Since launching in January 2018, GandCrab’s authors claimed to have brought in[…]
Rise of the machines: has technology evolved beyond our control?
Technology is starting to behave in intelligent and unpredictable ways that even its creators don’t understand. As machines increasingly shape global events, how can we regain control? The voice-activated gadget in the corner of your bedroom suddenly laughs maniacally, and sends a recording of your pillow talk to a colleague. The clip of Peppa Pig your toddler is watching on YouTube unexpectedly descends into bloodletting and death.[…]
How to protect your computer from malicious cryptomining
Noticing that your computer is running slow? While sometimes a telltale sign of infection, these days that seems doubly true. And the reason is: malicious cryptomining. So, what, exactly, is it? Weâ€™ll tell you how bad this latest malware phenomenon is for you and your computer, plus what you can do about it. Definition Malicious cryptomining, also sometimes called drive-by mining, is when someone else[…]
Drive-by mining and ads: The Wild Wild West
There seems to be a trend lately for publishers to monetize their traffic by having their visitors mine for cryptocurrencies while on their site. The idea is that you are accessing content for free and in exchange, your computer (its CPU in particular) will be used for mining purposes. The Pirate Bay started to run a miner on its site and later publicly acknowledged it. In other[…]
All about spyware
When you go online, don’t assume that your privacy is secure. Prying eyes often follow your activity-and your personal information-with a pervasive form of malicious software called spyware. In fact, it’s one of the oldest and most widespread threats on the Internet, secretly infecting your computer without permission in order to initiate a variety of illegal activities. It’s easy to fall prey to and can[…]
What is Website Optimisation?
Website Optimisation is the process whereby your website is optimised to appeal to the search engines and therefore improve your position in organic/natural search results. There are many websites out there competing with each other, all trying to achieve a high position for any given search word or phrase. Our job is to optimise your website and make it rank higher, as well as making[…]
When should you initiate Website Optimisation?
Ideally your search engine optimisation should start with the registration of your URL (your domain name) as search engines attach a high relevance between this and what your company actually does. Every stage is crucial as you build your website and each marketing step thereafter. In the next post I go into more detail outlining just a few of the myriad of steps one needs[…]
If you have a clear idea of how you want your website to look and feel then we will create this for you whilst making sure it is fully optimised for the search engine. If you are unsure how to proceed, then we will guide you through every step from beginning to end. Once you are happy with the basic layout and content of your[…]
What does Website Optimisation involve?
As well as your websites URL (domain name), basic design and the hidden scripts within the pages that the search engines read to help them in their ranking assessment, the monitoring, performance analysis and statistics also offer vital information to aid modification. If you have yet to create your website then you are perfectly placed to build everything in from the ground-up to ensure a[…]
Google haven’t used “Keywords” in their ranking for four years now. Lots of search engines still do however, so this can be a vital part of your online marketing campaign. The products and services you offer will provide a solid foundation and logical route to finding your keywords and there are a host of online tools to help you select the most searched for and[…]
The content on your page is often the most important and most overlooked area of Search Engine Optimisation. It is pointless spending time and effort on building a website that visitors do not find interesting, or which is too image based so that the search engine spiders/robots cannot read to appropriate a ranking by. After all the effort you put in to getting someone to[…]
Page Optimisation (TAGS)
As search engines and their robots/spiders become more sophisticated, your website needs to contain all the elements necessary to allow them to gather together sufficient Points to enable it to feature strongly within their rankings. Google say that they use 200 algorithms to rank a pages position. Page optimisation includes making sure that the TAGS (scripts that are hidden within the source code and not[…]
All external links to your website are viewed positively by the search engines and so social media can play an important role for you. Content that promotes interactivity via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube can drive large numbers of visitors as well as generating inbound links. Back
Is Search Engine Optimisation important?
Search Engine Optimisation is a very important part of your website marketing strategy. As the cost of pay-per-click (online advertising) keeps increasing for each keyword or phrase, the need to get higher in the natural listings is vital. Often people see the sponsored links as areas manipulated by a company's budget, and less by the relevance of the search. As search engines try to emulate[…]
How long should your SEO project last?
It is an on-going process that involves planning, implementation, monitoring and modification. Search engine robots/spiders already look at over 200 factors when analysing each page on your website, before allocating a ranking to your website within the Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERP’s), and they change almost on a daily basis. Not only do these factors change but new ones are added as the search engines[…]
Professional on-going Search Engine Optimisation is the key to a sustained high position in the natural search engine listings, saving both time and money on ever increasing pay-per-click advertising and other external advertising and marketing. Beware cutting corners and applying quick-fix techniques, as these can be viewed as “dirty” by the likes of Google. As well as not producing lasting results in ranking, they may[…]
5 Elements of a Killer SEO Strategy
Implementing the right strategy to propel your company to those coveted Google positions takes research, initiative, and the right strategy. While there is plenty of noise and trendy ideas dictating what's considered an effective strategy, there are some steps a business can take to maintain long-lasting SEO success that won't get washed away with the next algorithm update. Here are some features of a solid[…]
How to beat ransomware: prevent, donâ€™t react
Picture this: Youâ€™ve spent the last few weeks working on a tribute video for a friendâ€™s 30th wedding anniversary. You collected photos and video clips and edited them together, laying over a soundtrack of their favourite songs. It was a real labour of love. When you finally finish the project, you go to copy the file onto a DVD andâ€”what the?â€”a strange message pops up.[…]
What are exploits? (and why you should care)
Exploits: theyâ€™re not your mamaâ€™s cyberthreats. At one point in the not-so-distant past, exploits were responsible for delivering 80 percent of malware to peopleâ€™s systems. But exploits seem to be experiencing a lull today. Does this mean theyâ€™re gone for good and we can all let down our guard? Or is this simply the calm before the storm? Letâ€™s break down this stealthy threat so[…]
Eight things you need to do right now to protect yourself online
1. Use unique passwords for all your accounts What: Stop kidding yourself that you only re-use passwords on accounts that donâ€™t matter, or that you have an unbreakable password scheme that no one else can guess. Every single thing with a password needs to have a unique password, shared with nothing else. Why: Services get hacked, with entire databases of passwords published in the open.[…]
Passwords and hacking: the jargon of hashing, salting and SHA-2 explained
From Yahoo, MySpace and TalkTalk to Ashley Madison and Adult Friend Finder, personal information has been stolen by hackers from around the world. But with each hack thereâ€™s the big question of how well the site protected its usersâ€™ data. Was it open and freely available, or was it hashed, secured and practically unbreakable? From cleartext to hashed, salted, peppered and bcrypted, hereâ€™s what the[…]
Security in 2017: Ransomware will remain king
2016 was the year of ransomware, with hackers focusing their attention on exploiting Internet users and businesses around the world for profit. According to the FBI, cyber extortion losses have skyrocketed and ransomware was on track to become a $1 billion a year crime in 2016. Our research shows no sign of this security nightmare slowing down in 2017. Hackers are becoming more advanced, and[…]
How to avoid identity theft
Bad news if you were hoping to stay safe online: the number of victims of identity theft rose by 57% in the last year, according to fraud prevention service Cifas. But unlike previous rises, the victims of identity theft are no longer targeted by fraudsters digging through rubbish bins for bank statements, or by hackers installing keyloggers on compromised PCs. Instead, according to Cifas, the[…]
Should you store your data in the cloud?
Itâ€™s pretty simple to understand where a file goes when you save it on your PC. It lives on your hard drive, possibly housed in a set of folders youâ€™ve created and organised yourself. That file is only stored on your computer, unless you decide to email it to yourself or save it on an external hard drive or USB. Now what about the cloud?[…]
Major sites hit by ‘ransomware’ malvertising
Adverts hijacked by malicious campaign that demands payment in bitcoin to unlock user computers. A number of major news websites have seen adverts hijacked by a malicious campaign that attempts to install â€œransomwareâ€ on users computers, according to a warning from security researchers Malwarebytes. The attack, which was targeted at US users, hit websites including the New York Times, the BBC, AOL and the NFL[…]
Have you noticed a marked improvement in Google search results over the past year?
Google has been using one of its most important ranking signals for going on a year, and apparently it has so far helped improve search results on over half of queries. Stone Temple Consulting, which has been publishing some of the most interesting research on Google search in recent memory, has some new findings out after a study on Google’s machine learning algorithm RankBrain. The[…]
Nearly Half of Businesses Plan to Implement IoT in 2016
Nearly half (43%) of organisations spanning 18 business sectors throughout North America, EMEA, Asia/Pacific and Latin America, are already using or plan to use the Internet of Things (IoT) in 2016. This comes from a November poll by technology research firm Gartner of 465 IT and business professionals in these regions. 29% of respondents say their organisations are currently using IoT. An additional 14% say[…]
Mobile and Reviews Will Be Most Important This Christmas
Social Media Link released some interesting findings based on a survey of 21,000 active social media users. It finds that this holiday season, peer-to-peer online reviews will influence what goes on shoppersâ€™ lists. 83% of those polled said they discover new products on a monthly basis through social media before other sources while 67% said they always or often seek out family or close friendsâ€™[…]
Stolen credit card details available for Â£1 each online
UK credit card details are on sale for as little Â£1 each online, the Guardian has learned, as fears rise over the security of personal data in the wake of the TalkTalk cyber-attack. More than 600,000 individuals had their personal details stolen from UK companies in 2014, according to the Financial Times, underlining the scale of online crime in this country. It is likely that[…]
TalkTalk system failure: complex IT needs experienced staff
It does not surprise me that Dido Harding was clueless about TalkTalkâ€™s IT system failure. It is quite normal for managers to claim to be in control ofÂ IT systems until such time as they are exposed by events to not be in control at all. They typically delude themselves with assurances that â€œbest practicesâ€ have been adopted. The problem with these best practices for managing[…]
Do Short and Sweet Facbook Posts Drive More Traffic?
Like you, NPR sure would like more of its Facebook followers to click through to its site. And like you, NPR is looking for a way to optimise its Facebook traffic. Letâ€™s face it â€“ getting Facebook users to click on your links isnâ€™t easy. Things were easier a couple of years ago â€“ before Facebook fed organic reach and every single one of your[…]
New Google Feature Offers Opportunities for Businesses
Google announced that Google Now on Tap is now rolling out on Nexus phones, and will hit other devices using the latest version of Android (Marshmallow) over time. Google first unveiled Now on Tap at Google I/O earlier this year as a feature of Marshmallow. Itâ€™s basically a way for users to utilise Google Now on their own terms rather than in the confines of[…]
Instagram ‘Open for Business’ to advertisers
Instagram ads are now officially rolling out to every marketer in the world. Facebook announced several weeks ago that they would become available at the end of September, and now that October is here, you â€“ YES YOU â€“ have the ability to run ads on the rapidly growing social media service, or at least will very soon as the launch finishes its roll-out. And[…]
Google Announces New Chromebook For Work
Google announced a new addition to the Chromebook family with the Dell Chromebook 13, which is specifically geared toward business use. It also announced support for various work-related apps and enhancements to the Chrome Device Management Console. Google says in a blog post, â€œToday, the new Dell Chromebook 13 joins the Asus Chromebook Flip and Chromebook Pixel in the Chromebook for Work lineup. Built with[…]
Greater Twitter Presence in Google
The writing has been on the wall pretty much all year. Google is going to start utilising Twitter more in search results. Weâ€™ve yet to see the extent of what that means exactly, but it looks like expanded use of tweets in Google is nigh. Google appears to be testing a new integration of Twitter results on the desktop in the UK. Conductor spotted it,[…]
What To Do And What Not To Do On LinkedIn
LinkedIn has 347 million users and reaches 200 countries and territories. Just for comparison, Twitter has 316 million monthly actives. 40% of LinkedInâ€™s users check it daily, and itâ€™s the most popular social network among CEOs running the top 50 companies in the Fortune Global 500. A new infographic from Salesforce runs down these and other interesting stats about the professional network and some important[…]
Google Analytics Gets Some New Features
Google announced the addition of a new publisher reporting section to Google Analytics. This replaces AdSense Reports, and is actually called â€œPublisher Reportingâ€.â€œUsers with existing AdSense reports will see them move into this new section, and be joined by an integration with Ad Exchange, for those publishers that donâ€™t currently serve Ad Exchange as backfill through DFP,â€ Google says in aÂ Google+ update. Google is also[…]
Make Your Instagram Marketing Perfect
Instagram has already become a great addition to the digital marketing arsenal for a lot of businesses, but itâ€™s about to become a much better one for a lot more businesses thanks to recently announced features. Are you incorporating Instagram into your marketing efforts in any meaningful way so far? Do you plan to do more with it in the future? Instagram is improving as[…]
New Google Feature Means Businesses Need Apps For Search Marketing
The world of search engine marketing is ever-changing, and itâ€™s no secret that mobile continues to take over the desktop. Google has a new feature, even beyond a related ranking signal for organic search on mobile devices, that gives businesses more incentive to have mobile apps for search marketing purposes. It essentially expands as search marketing-related benefit device-wide, as opposed to limiting it to the[…]
Google Does More With Recently Added Ranking Signal
Google announced on Thursday that it has indexed 30 billion links within apps, and that it will now show Android users apps in search results even if the user hasnâ€™t already installed them. This is the latest move by the search engine to further integrate the app ecosystem into search and improve mobile results. Are you taking advantage of Googleâ€™s app indexing? If so, have[…]
Should You Use Facebook Comments On Your Site?
There are a variety of tools websites can use for user comments on blog posts and other content. Facebook has offered an option for years, and there have always been pros and cons of using its solution. The company held its annual f8 developer conference this week, and introduced some changes. There are still pros and cons, but there are new ones to consider. Facebook[…]
What To Expect From Skype For Business
Back in November, Microsoft announced that Lync would become Skype for Business, and that it would come with a new client experience, new server release, and updates in Office 365. While Lync already gave users instant messaging and Skype audio calling, the new offering would add video calling and the Skype user directory, so you can call any Skype user from any device. Microsoft is[…]
Links are better than the truth, for now.
Google has a new paper out that discusses how it might rank pages based on facts as opposed to links. If this were to become the case, it would represent a huge move for the search engine, which has historically used links as a major indication of relevance. In fact, it was the PageRank algorithm that really put Google on the map in the first[…]
Flash Continues To Die
Google announced on Wednesday that it will start converting all Flash ads to HTML5 automatically. The company presents this as an opportunity for advertisers to access more inventory. In a post on Google+, Google says, â€œOver half of time spent online is now spent on mobile devices. This presents a tremendous opportunity for marketers to reach their customers throughout the day, whenever they may be[…]
How safe are you from cyber-attack?
Should you be having sleepless nights stressing about your bankâ€™s cybersecurity defences? A report by the security firm Kaspersky Labs claims that a multinational gang of cybercriminals stole up to $1bn over a two-year period by infiltrating more than 100 banks across 30 countries. In January, the Bank of England warned banks in the UK that they were facing an â€œever-present, ever-evolving threatâ€ from hackers[…]
How Ranking Works In Pinterestâ€™s Guided Search
Pinterest launched Guided Search last April as a new way to help users discover content with some nudging in the right direction. Itâ€™s basically Pinterestâ€™s way of suggesting search refinements as you browse. For example, if you search for â€œpasta,â€ you might be presented with options like: recipes, dishes, salad, packaging, one pot, shrimp, sauce, chicken, etc. If you click sauce, for example, youâ€™ll get[…]
How Social Media Makes Email Marketing More Effective
Do you incorporate social media into your email marketing campaigns? What tactics to do you use specifically? Are you combining your social media and email marketing efforts to find and take advantage of your best brand advocates â€“ the people that are spreading positive word-of-mouth about your business? Benefits of Incorporating Social Media Into Email Campaigns We had a conversation about this with Jason Warnock,[…]
Email Subject Lines: Tips From The Pros
Email open rates have been on the rise, and the most important factor in getting opens is using effective subject lines. The importance of crafting a good subject line really canâ€™t be overstated. Just think about your own email habits. How many emails do you get on any given day that you see, and quickly abandon any intention of opening? Probably more than a few.[…]
Nearly Half of Facebook Users Check it Multiple Times a Day
Overall Facebook use among the adult, internet-using population hasnâ€™t changed since last year â€“ but overall engagement is at an all-time high. According to data from the Pew Research Internet Project, 45 percent of Facebook users say they engage with the site â€œseveral times a dayâ€. And 70% check Facebook at least once a day. Overall Facebook penetration has stayed the same over the last[…]
Email open rates are on the rise… thanks to mobile
Email is the most important tool for work, according to a recent study from Pew Research. 61% of those surveyed consider email â€œvery importantâ€™ to doing their job, compared to just 4% who said the same for social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Smartphones have only served to aid in the continued relevance of email as our primary communication tool. With push notifications,[…]
Email: The Most Important Tool?
Remember years ago when social media really started coming into its own, and people thought it might one day replace email? It didnâ€™t take incredibly long to realise that would not be the case, especially when social networks like Facebook tried to launch its own email service (which didnâ€™t really work out). Today itâ€™s just as clear as ever that email is here to stay,[…]