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Anyone who owns a computer or mobile device needs to protect themselves from cybercriminals. Hackers can cause all kinds of problems if they are able to infiltrate your system. One way that they steal information is by using keyloggers to record your keystrokes. You need to understand the dangers of keyloggers and what measures you need to take to guard against them.
What is a Keylogger?
Keyloggers are malware applications that record keystrokes on someone else’s machine. There are a variety of reasons hackers plant keyloggers on people’s machines:
- Find out what your credit card numbers, social security number and other sensitive financial information
- Learn the passwords to your emails and other accounts
- Pay attention to your search or social media activity to blackmail you or your friends
- Spy on work-related activities to uncover corporate secrets
Keyloggers are very simple applications, but they are also very dangerous. A group of hackers planted keyloggers on computers at a bank in Scandinavia a few years ago. They were able to record keystrokes of bank employees to acquire information on a variety of accounts. These hackers subsequently wired over $1 million to accounts overseas. You need to find out more about them to make sure that you are protected against them.
Protecting Yourself from Keyloggers
Keyloggers are malicious programs that can be very difficult to spot. They are not as complex as most other types of malware, which means that malware protection software doesn’t always identify them. Some of them are also very difficult to remove. Fortunately, there are some several things that you can do to protect yourself from keyloggers.
Use Keystroke Encryption Software
One way that you can protect yourself is by using software to encrypt your keystrokes. Keystroke encryption software will render your keystrokes unreadable if a keylogger is installed on your machine. These applications are installed deep within your operating system which makes it difficult for hackers to manipulate.
Keep Your Malware Protection Up Date
This may sound obvious, but you need to make sure that your malware protection software is up date. Malware developers are constantly studying antivirus software to see what vulnerabilities it has. Developers have to constantly stay ahead of them and patch holes in their security software that hackers have exploited. You will need to keep updating your software to stay protected. Hackers were able to use keyloggers to steal $90,000 from a Florida businessman a few years ago because he didn’t update his malware protection software.
Consider Using Password Managers
Keyloggers can’t read information that you aren’t typing. You may want to consider installing a password manager that can automatically fill in your passwords for you. The downside of using these tools is that someone can gain unfettered access to your emails and other password protected information if they get hold of your computer. One solution is to password protect your computer and use a password manager for the rest of your applications.
Install a Firewall
It is nearly impossible to monitor all the information that your computer sends and receives on your own. You should consider installing a firewall. Firewalls will alert you if any unusual information is being sent from your computer. You can tell the computer to stop all outgoing information if you see anything suspicious.
About the author: Kalen is a former engineer who shares tips about technology. He is particularly interested in information security and tells people how to protect themselves from blackhat hackers.
Our lives would be much more difficult if we couldn’t see properly. The American Optometric Association conducted a study a couple of years ago which found that most people value their sight more than their ability to walk or store things in their long term memory. Unfortunately, living in an electronic world could be jeopardizing your eyesight.
You will want to make sure that you understand the risks your computer screen may be causing and how to guard against them. Here are some tips to protect your vision so that you don’t need to get a stronger pair of glasses in the future.
Give Your Eyes Regular Breaks
Staring at a computer screen for extended periods of time will place a lot of strain on your eyes. You will need to make sure that you take breaks from the screen.
Dr. Valerie Jones, an optometrist who spoke on Blog Talk Radio, advises that you look away from your computer for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This prevents your eyes from getting fatigued from looking at the screen for extended periods of time. You will also need to make sure that you blink regularly. This helps keep your eyes lubricated so they don’t dry out and start feeling irritated.
Wear the Right Corrective Lenses
Corrective lenses can help filter the UV rays that your computer screen emits. You should pay close attention to the glasses and contacts that you wear. You may want a pair with a low refraction index to help cut back on the amount of light you receive.
You may also want to to wear a pair of sunglasses with the same prescription as your regular glasses. Many studies have shown that sunglasses can help protect the vision of people who spend a long time in front of a computer screen.
Limit Light Behind Your Computer Screen
The light from your computer screen isn’t the only thing that you need to worry about. Your screen also reflects surrounding light, which creates additional eye strain. You will need to limit the amount of light that around you. Here are some things that you will want to do:
- Keep your computer away from windows.
- Make sure that the brightness of your lights doesn’t exceed that of your computer screen.
- Turn off overhead lights that are behind your computer.
- Work next to a wall or other surface that can block the light out.
- Limit the time you spend working outside on a very sunny day.
You can significantly reduce the amount of strain on your eyes by reducing the amount of light in the area around you. You should always pay close attention to the level of brightness when you are working on your computer.
Position Your Screen Properly
You will be much more likely to damage your vision if your screen is positioned too close or too far away from you. You will want to keep your monitor about an arm length away from your eyes at all times. This keeps you from needing to strain your eyes or hunch closer to your screen.
People who have problems with their distance vision tend to bring their computers too close to them. If you have vision problems then you will want to make sure that you wear the right pair of glasses or contacts to make sure that you can see your computer screen from a safe distance.
About the author: Kalen is a health and lifestyle writer who suggests that people try to protect their vision. He suggests that anybody who needs corrective lenses order your glasses online and save.
The Internet has changed our lives in many ways. More than half of the world’s population uses the Internet to shop and online sales are increasing by nearly 20% a year. About 90% of job seekers use the Internet to look for work. More recently people have started using the Internet for dating purposes. Here are some ways that you can go online to find people that you may want to date.
Try Online Dating Sites
A number of websites are setup exclusively to help people connect with a potential partner. These sites have been very effective for helping people find companions. Some people find regular dating sites work great. However, some people prefer using sites that are catered to a specific demographic. For example, there are a number of Christian and senior dating websites for people looking for someone in a similar situation.
These sites have been a very effective way to bring people together. A recent study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that one third of the married couples in this country met through an online dating website.
Communities for Likeminded People
There are a number of different communities such as Meetup where you can find people who share your hobbies and interests. You may want to consider joining these sites to meet other people. This is an easy way to get to know people in a laid back environment without creating any expectations upfront.
You can use Meetup and other sites to find people who are interested in hiking, biking, wine tasting, going to local happy hours, book clubs and much more. You may find somebody there that is going to be worth dating. However, you will probably have more success if you attend these groups with the intention of participating in the activities and events rather than going expressly with the intent of meeting people.
Finding Activities in Your Community
The Internet is also a great way to find out what things are happening in your community. You may want to try participating in some local activities. Many other single people go there to have fun. They may also be looking to meet somebody.
It is pretty easy to search for activities that you may be interested in. However, it will probably be a lot more efficient to look at organizations that cater to your interests. You can find a number of businesses and nonprofits that you may be interested in.
You may want to look at their websites regularly and follow them on Facebook. You will see what activities they are offering every week. Other people may also share events affiliate organizations are hosting on their social networking pages.
You Can Find Love Online
The Internet can be one of the best places to find romance. You will still need to invest some time and energy to make sure that you find somebody that you will be happy with. However, you are going to find it can be a lot less effort to find someone.
About the author: Kalen is a lifestyle writer who shares tips for people trying to find romance. He suggests that people try using sites like 50plus-club.com to connect with likeminded people.
Many states throughout the country are starting to legalize online gambling. The federal government is expected to pass an online gambling bill in the near future. Gambling operators, players and governments throughout the country are eagerly waiting for the launch of a legalized online gambling market.
However, they are also concerned about the threats from hackers and online scam artists. Online gaming providers will need cyber security experts to resolve these matters. This could create a job market for professionals with a Bachelors in Cyber Security Online.
Shift in Perspective of Internet Gambling
Lawmakers have been reluctant to legalize Internet gambling. They have stated that citizens would be at risk of developing gambling addictions if they allowed online gambling was legal. However, they are starting to realize that legalizing online gambling would be ideal for several reasons:
- They would have the opportunity to tax online gambling revenues to fund education and other social programs.
- Many citizens are already gambling illegally on foreign sites. They would be safer playing on regulated sites in the U.S. This is especially important after Full Tilt Poker and other gaming sites were accused of operating Ponzi schemes in 2011. Many players are still waiting to get their money back even after the Department of Justice secured deals with the gaming providers.
- The government could track consumer behavior and get them help if they showed signs of gambling addictions.
- Legalizing online gambling could save struggling casinos in New Jersey and other states. This could help create jobs as these casinos tried to build their presence online.
Ultimate Poker was the first site to go live two months ago. The outlook looks favorable for the online gambling market, but there are still security concerns that need to be addressed.
Need for Security
There are a number of security concerns that need to be addressed. These concerns include:
- Preventing minors from accessing gaming sites
- Verifying consumer’s identities to prevent fraud
- Keeping hackers from stealing player holdings and personal information
- Overseeing gaming providers to ensure they aren’t cheating their customers
Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey have all legalized some form of online gambling. These states have all included provisions in their online gambling bills requiring companies to protect their customers. However, they are still worried about how this will be done.
Ultimate Poker and other online gaming providers that have received online gambling licenses have demonstrated that they have security software in place to meet these requirements. However, regulators won’t be sure how well they will work until they see them in action. They expect to see some challenges along the way. Gaming providers may need to change their security framework in the near future as these issues arise. They will probably need to hire savvy security consultants to help meet their goals. This will at least help create new technology jobs, which was one of the key objectives of most states that passed online gambling bills.
About the author: Kalen is a freelance technology writer with an engineering degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is passionate about security developments and their implications for technology professionals.
Sales can be a very cutthroat profession. Many salespeople have a difficult time meeting their quotas while others outperform salespeople from competing companies and the other salespeople on their own team. The smartest ones embrace Darwin’s concept of survival of the fittest and use new tools and technology to meet their goals. Social media has been one of the mediums they have used in recent years.
Can Social Media Help the Profession?
Many salespeople have started using social media over the past several years. Many people have wondered how much it actually benefited the profession. Jim Keenan is an expert on online and traditional marketing. He founded A Sales Guy Consulting and cre8buzz to help salespeople leverage digital media to meet their quotas.
Keenan has been advocating salespeople to use social media for a long time. However, many people were skeptical of his advice because he didn’t have any hard data to support it. He recently conducted a study that shows social media can be an excellent tool to help people boost their traffic.
Keenan’s study found that nearly three-quarters of salespeople using social media are able to outperform their competitors. He expected the numbers to show that social media was a great tool for salespeople, but was surprised that the figure was that high. The study also indicated that the average salesperson using social media exceeded their quota by 10% more than salespeople who were not using it.
More Than a Correlation?
Many people have been impressed by Keenan’s study, but remain skeptical of the numbers. They suggested that the results may only show a correlation between social media usage and sales results rather than showing that social media is the actual cause. The data could indicate that salespeople who are willing to invest the time and energy into using social media are more proactive and more likely to get sales.
This may be a good point, but Keenan’s research shows that social media seems to directly impact sales results. Approximately 55 percent of salespeople using social media were able to show that they received at least one sale directly from their social networks. More than two-fifths of those using social media used it to close at least two sales and over a tenth said that social media is a key component of their sales efforts.
Is Social Media a Viable Use of Their Time?
This data shows that social media can be a great way to meet sales quotas. Many salespeople may be interested by the findings, but may still wonder if it is really going to be worth their time. Most of the people using social media said that they spend less than 10% of their time using it. This shows that it is a good investment of their time. The study may encourage them to spend even more time using it in the future.
Social media won’t replace traditional sales efforts, but it can be a great way to supplement them. If you are a salesperson then you may want to consider investing some time in social media to help you boost your sales efforts.
About the author: Kalen Smith is a digital marketer and entrepreneur. He writes about the benefits of social media and tools such as my life that companies can use to leverage its potential.
I have taken some time off from updating Online Rookies for the time being. I have been busy working on another online business venture and have recently undertaken a new project. I just launched another site that is dedicated to promoting guest blogging strategies.
Guest blogging is probably the most popular method for people to build links and draw traffic to their sites. Unfortunately, many people have a hard time creating an effective guest blogging campaign. They run into a variety of challenges, which can include:
- Having a hard time generating content that is relevant for the niche they hope to post on
- Having a difficult time finding new guest posts
- Struggling to convince publishers that they are offering high quality content that will benefit their readers
You will need to know what works before you start guest blogging. I hope that you check out my new website Guest Blogging Resources if you want to learn more about content marketing.
I am going to be covering a number of topics on my new site. Among the topics that I am going to cover will include:
- Writing awesome content
- Sourcing sites to guest post on
- Outreach strategies to secure guest posts
- Ways to leverage your guest post to receive the most traffic
- Best practices for incorporating your links into the post for maximum exposure and SEO benefit
Is a Home Based Business a New Way to Financial Freedom?
Deciding to create a home based business is an excellent way to finally fire your boss. You read that correctly. Instead of getting fired or quitting your boring old job, you can now use this different line of thinking. You may work for your boss, but your boss needs you just as much as you need them. This means that you can now fire your boss.
Is a Home Based Business a Good Idea?
Home based businesses are not the best idea for everyone. There are plenty of people who are just not cut out for this type of work. Don’t get blinded with the idea that owning and operating your own home based business is a simple task because it is not. In most cases, you will have to work harder to get your business off the ground. This means that you will often have to put in more hours than you did at your regular full time job. Home based businesses are only right for people that are self-motivated and ready to work. Your business will never get off the ground if you are not ready to put a lot of hard work into it. Not everyone will admit that they consider themselves lazy, but if you do consider yourself lazy, then owning and operating your own home based business will probably not be a good idea.
Giving Your Home Based Business a Jumpstart
Once you have decided that owning and operating your own home based business is a good idea, you will need to do everything you can to make sure that your home based business is a success. There is a really good chance that this is not going to happen overnight, but we have already discussed that it is going to take a lot of work.
However, there are a few great things that you can do to give your new home based business a super boost. One of these things is, creating a website for your business. The benefits of having a website are astronomical.
Your home based business will be able to communicate with people and possible customers from all over the globe. This is something that only large businesses had the opportunity to do in the past. The Internet has leveled the playing field, and it has made it easier for small home based businesses to succeed in what would have otherwise been an impossible task.
Creating Your Home Based Business Website
Having your own website really can help propel your new home based business to success much faster, but not if the website is created incorrectly. If your website is created incorrectly, it will be nothing more than an anchor that holds your business back. This is not what any business wants, especially a new home based business. Anything that slows your business down can really make things very difficult in the long run. The entire purpose of the website is to make your business more of a success. Make sure that your small business website is created correctly. This may mean that you need to hire a team of professionals to do it for you.
Michael Jones is a freelance writer who enjoys contributing his wealth of knowledge to many internet websites and blogs. He knows how important the Internet can be for every business. He also notes how important Web Design Nottingham is for businesses located within that area.
In the SEO game, link building has always been the number one way to earn SEO value for your site. Since the beginning of search engine optimization, this has always been the tried and true tactic of pushing google’s algorithm to view your site as highly valued. In this article, we’re going to explore a new and emerging SEO currency that’s been noticed by top gurus in the past 3 – 4 months. This new currency is called “Co-Citations”.
You see, what these professional SEO’s were noticing, were sites that were ranking highly for a given keyword phrase; yet had little to no inbound links with that keyword anchor text – and no pages with that title text either. What these ranking sites did have, were several relevant mentions across the web within text, where their brand or web domain was featured (not even linked) next to the search keyword phrases. These instances that absolutely do not represent links, but obviously do contribute to SEO value have been named Co-Citations
Why is this change happening?
What this means, is that as usual, google’s algorithm is getting even smarter. … and sure, it’s always gotten smarter – identifying poor quality spam links, or refining the HTML tag quality review of a given site, but this is different. Google is no longer really scanning the web like a robot; their scanning the web the way the human eye would. Think about it; if you were doing research manually on the web for relevant sites in an industry, would you care if the referring site actually linked out to the other site? Absolutely not – you have eyes, you can read and process the mention, or “citation” of that site, and attribute the value on your own. Now that’s exactly what google is doing – so it’s time to start thinking less about SEO “tips and tricks”, and more about creating quality content across the web.
Example of link citation
To further clarify exactly what Co-Citations are, let’s take a quick look at the following example:
Let’s say the following co-Citation example is for an off road tire store called JC Whitney, and the actual citation exists on a tire blog called offraodtireblog.com. The Co-Citation on offraodtireblog.com would look like this:
“For the best off road tires, check out JC Whitney – they rock!”
You can see that in the citation, there is neither anchor keyword text – or even the JC Whitney domain name… Yet in the below screen cap, you can see that they are the number two natural search result for the keywords “off road tires” – and furthermore, the resulting landing page doesn’t even feature the keywords “off road” in its page header, or description tag. This search result predominance is a direct result of the “Co-Citation”, and others like it – that include JC Whitney’s brand name in close proximity with relevant keyword text.
Google is actually smart enough to see a brand name, and then match up the domain URL that corresponds to that brand to attribute the SEO value – without any linking involved.
This is a guest post from Korah with some great tips about using a “Call to action” button. The advice is great for both experts and newbies alike. Here are some tips you should take into consideration.
How does the size affect its page prominence and impact?
The size of your “Call to action” button needs to be consistent with your website’s layout. A larger call to action may be fine if you have a lot of content on your website. A smaller “Call to action” button is going to be buried if you have a lot of content. But a larger “Call to action” button on that page would look out of place. That is why it may be a good idea to put more than one “Call to action” button on a content heavy page.
Make it too big and it will look like an image
If a “Call to action” button is too big then a user will automatically assume it is an image that is hyperlinked to another website unless the call to action is clearly stated (such as a “buy it now” button). A larger button will work if it actually is a link to another landing page. People are more likely to recognize a call to action button if it is a more reasonable size.
Is the color appealing, boring or threatening?
The color of your “Call to action” button is going to have some sort of emotional response attached to it. A blood red call to action that is shadowed with black or darker red is going to look threatening. One that is caterpillar green will look more dull. A dark blue may come across as authoritative or trustworthy, depending upon your user’s cultural upbringing (for example, the Chinese see red as lucky not threatening).
Is the color passive or does it demand attention?
This is a very subjective quality. A number of things determine how well a button will grab someone’s attention. This includes the shape, background, size, text and font. As a rule of thumb, you should try to use the same colors you use for your branding efforts. However, you may find better conversions if the color contrasts to the colors on your website.
PayPal made the brave move of making their calls-to-action dark yellow. It is dark enough to stand out against their white background, but is in-fact a stark contrast color to their dark blue brand colors.
Does it stand out from the background?
Many amateur web designer make the mistake of trying to make their call to action button stand out in a flashy way. However, being too conservative can be a problem too. You need to find a happy medium between being sexy and flashy like Las Vegas and being cultured and refined like San Francisco.
Does the shape fit into the page design?
This question may seem nit-picky, but you would be surprised how many people put a star shaped “Call to action” button on a modular and boxy web page. Many designers use a square “Call to action” button on websites that are built around a more circular design.
Do not go out of your way to match web page shapes with your “Call to action” button, but make sure that the two are not at odds. For example, a web page that is boxy and modular will often look good with a rectangular “Call to action” button that has round edges (like a pill). A distended oval shaped “Call to action” button often looks good on websites with a circular design so long as the text does not look out of place on it.
Does the shape look like a “Call to action” button or an image?
The shape of a button can confuse users as to what its function is. For example, a box shaped “Call to action” button is often mistaken for an image because people are used to seeing images in boxes. Round “Stop” and “Go” buttons are also often mistaken for links or images, instead of being recognized as “Call to action” buttons.
Where it is placed on your page?
The “Call to action” button’s prominence on the page is one thing, as is its contrast from surrounding content. It needs to stand out enough so that a user does not have to search for it, but cannot be so imposing that it puts a person off. Some marketing agents would say that a call-to-action should scream at a user, but this technique doesn’t seem to work as well anymore. A good landing page should be so convincing inspire the user to look for a “Call to action” button.
Is the language used on the “Call to action” button correct?
The text on the button needs to support the message you are trying to convince. You probably won’t sell too many high quality products with a “Call to action” button that reads: “Cheap prices only a click away”.
Does the “Call to action” button look like a malware download?
Some buttons are commonly used by malware designers to trick their visitors into downloading their programs. Make sure you know what these buttons look like so you don’t use them. Your call to action button shouldn’t look intimidating in any way.
Can you make the “Call to action” button look more familiar?
People are more comfortable using something they are already familiar with. That’s why most websites use similar looking shopping carts. Try to can create a “Call to action” button that looks like one they have used before so your users feel safer clicking it.
This is a guest post from Maria Elena Duron of buzz2bucks.com
When it comes to social, there is a right way and there is a wrong way. While it’s easy enough to sign up and create an account, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your social success is going to be that easy. There are a few prominent mistakes made by users that can really hinder their online campaign, costing them not only visibility, but the opportunity they would have to share their brand with the audience.
Becoming the predictable
This is perhaps the number one mistake that users aren’t even aware of. Everyone has their own interests and topics that they enjoy, but that isn’t always what social is about. Consider the fact that old news gets old real quick, especially when it comes to social network trends. If you post the same material repeatedly, the audience may resort to ignoring your future posts.
Generate fresh data regularly through multiple means. While the basis of your brand is important to maintain, how you deliver it and how you can relate it to today’s trends will affect how interesting you are. If you’re constantly posting comments and photos, toss in a question or a video to mix things up. Generating material that the audience can share is the most important part of a social presentation and is the key to word of mouth marketing.
Setting up and forgetting it was there
Another issue is the one we are aware of, but perhaps choosing to ignore. However, it is the elephant in the room, so we need to pay attention to what’s going on around us. Social sites are indeed easy enough to sign up for, but are also commonly neglected.
The basic solution is to tend to your social regularly. If you can’t, then don’t use that social forum. Being unresponsive is something an audience will pick up on very quickly. And when the audience feels ignored, that is the image they’ll have of your brand. Leave a good image by being responsive and responsible with your social.
Using a social site the wrong way
Each social network has its own audience and specific marketing approach. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that everyone understands how to use each social site individually. A Twitter audience may not want to see your Facebook posts. Pinterest followers may not necessarily want to see a picture of your blog.
Pay attention to who your audience is and what media best displays your brand image. It’s good to interlink your social networks, just be sure you aren’t creating posts that a social audience isn’t going to be able to relate to or may perceive as spam-like.
Failure to engage
The most detrimental of all mistakes is the failure to engage. While you might be generating new and fresh posts and otherwise actively using your social network, it is important to note that activity does not mean productivity.
Engaging the audience requires the understanding that you not only share with them, but also interact with them. Do you communicate to them? Invite them? Share with them? Interact with the audience. Don’t just talk to them, talk with them.
Take the time to study your social campaign and ensure that it avoids these particularly detrimental mistakes. As long as you can approach the right audience the right way, your online social experience will be a productive experience for your brand.
Maria Elena Duron, is CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.com – a word of mouth marketing firm. She helps create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand by providing direct services, workshops and webinars. Maria Duron is co-founder and moderator of #brandchat - a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.