Are You Safe From Hackers?

Are You Safe From Hackers?

If ever there was any doubt that hackers and internet fraudsters were on the increase, recent FBI statistics give us the answer right between the eyes, so to speak According to the bureau, IT security problems cost the American economy $62bn in 2006. A figure which, according to past trends, is likely to rise yet again in 2007. Losses from phishing scams in the USA were estimated at just over $650 million.

There can be little doubt that hacking and other internet scams are becoming extremely sophisticated. ‘Under-the-radar’ techniques and schemes aimed at tricking the user into visiting websites that exploit computer programme vulnerabilities are on the increase. This is a considerable deviation from using mass mailing worms which has always seemed to be the favoured route for the delivery of malware.

In the twilight world of hackers and internet fraudsters, malware programming is big business. Indeed, some security experts claim that there are around 6 million different types of malware present on the internet at any one time.

Just to kick the stool from under those who think they are well protected by ant-virus software and suchlike, Symantec has stated that attacks against un-patched security vulnerabilities remain a problem. For example, they state that from January to June 2006, it took 31 days to develop a patch. On the otherhand, it is estimated that it only takes about three days for an underground programmer to develop ‘exploit’ code. Therefore, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out that there is a 28 day window whereby you are totally unprotected against the malware to hit the net.

According to Symantec, they detected almost 900 ‘unique’ phishing scams – note the word ‘unique’. This is said by the company to be an increase of nearly 500 per day over the previous 6 month period. Other security sources report that highly targeted attacks by Trojans, designed to steal personal information and other intellectual property from businesses and organisations, increased from approximately 7 days to 1-2 days!

In a recent report, McAfee predicts that parasitic malware, or viruses that modify existing files on a disk, will rear their ugly head once again – albeit in a much more sophisticated form. As long as there is software there will be vulnerabilities, and McAfee reckons that because malware production has become more professional, criminal programmers are using automated testing packaging as part of the release cycle of malign code, as they call it!

Although there is no doubt that anti-virus and spyware detection software is a must for ALL computer users, it does not, indeed, cannot protect us from the sophisticated fraudsters permeating the internet today, if for no other reason than those designing ant-virus and anti spyware programmes seem to be continually playing catch-up.

By their inexperience, if nothing else, internet newbies are always at greater risk from internet fraud. However, experienced users are equally at risk nowadays. If you conduct an internet business, are a regular surfer or buy goods on the internet the risk of being scammed is greater than ever, if the experts are to be believed. Every year, those duped by internet fraudsters is rising at a truly breathtaking rate. Sadly, as a cpnsequence, many people are separated from their money and suffer dreadful consequences.

As I have said before, and repeat again, by learning as much as we can at every opportunity, we can help ourselves to be street-wise in a place where the criminal awaits to dupe us at the slightest opportunity. The internet is a wonderful asset but it can be a hazardous place as well. By being forewarned and forearmed we can help avoid many scams and other back-door attacks on our computer system. Although it won’t give us full protection, whatever it gives us is far better than nothing!

Building Your Business with an Opt-in List

Have you ever wondered what exactly is up with opt-in list? This informative report can give you an insight into everything you’ve ever wanted to know about opt-in list.      Before revealing the secrets of the trades, here are myths and fallacies that need to be cleared before one indulges into building an opt-in list. These marketing misconceptions could pose so much of an obstacle towards your profitting well from your business.  Not a lot of people use email  Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing methods nowadays simply because virtually almost all people use email. Check on those email fields or blanks required to be filled up on various forms needed in processing different transactions. A person without an email address is tantamount to a person without an online home, which is one big shameful truth for this generation.  Email marketing campaigns can offend a lot of people  The not-so secret way to surmount this dilemma is through permission-based advertising. There’s no harm in trying after asking for permission.   It’s stupid to send email to all the people  The key to this predicament is to have a very discerning eye on who to email and who to not email. Better look for some metrics on how to know which group of people would give you high ROI or return on investment.  The Real Deal with Building Opt-in List  After clearing the fog regarding email marketing myths, here’s how one can benefit from employing the power of email marketing campaigns – building an opt-in list.  However, building an opt-in list is not a piece of cake particularly for the uninitiated. Here is a roundown of tips on how to succeed in this kind of marketing endeavor.  1. Strategic Collection of Data  Know which information from your audiences will help you in lowering expenses and/or make sales flourish. Devise a tactic to make people voluntarily provide you with the information necessary to create higher conversion.  Overload of data is not good. Ask only for opt-in, with their full name and email addresses. Make sure that the profiles that you gather are updated to aid in improving the relevance, timeliness and satisfaction from each deal you make.  2. Good Implementation   Is everything making sense so far? If not, I’m sure that with just a little more reading, all the facts will fall into place.   Old adage says it all – ‘action speaks louder than words’. This easily translates to the difficulty one has to undergo during the execution of his or her email marketing efforts. It’s a good thing that various methods, often low-cost, abound to hasten and facilitate the building up of one’s opt-in database.   Tracking your email marketing results can pose great hardship, too. Technology and relevant sources should be employed in making this aspect of your marketing a lot manageable. Your high traffic groups of opt-ins with the greatest result should be taken noted of.   The following are the most widely used methods to leverage channels without overspending:  1. Make use of websites.  It is an excellent tool for data collation and providing you with relevant info regarding your email offers. Use forms that solicit your visitor’s email address and consent.  2. Make use of print ads, brochures, TV, radio and direct mail.  These are the more popular ways of marketing aiming to lead traffic to one’s site. You may want to ask for signups for email services. Make your website more visible through these media. Offering free electronic newsletters and or rewards program can do well in making it easy to win the nod of your audiences, too.  3. Maximize your sales force.  Customer service associates can help a lot in making you benefit more from your email correspondence. Sales people with proper education on how to aid you in this endeavor can very well contribute to higher ROI. Techniques like offering account updates and special programs through email can easily land you those lists of valuable visitors.  4. Don’t make your point of sale pointless.  Forms for signup located at cash registers and other high-traffic and highly visible spots can be very excellent venues for your business to collect email addresses. Notification of upcoming sales through their email addresses and names can coax them to supply you with the information you need.  5. Conferences or trade shows can work, too.  Giveaway offers or entries on sweepstakes are great for opt-in to volunteer their contact details.   These tactics should be applied with adequate caution and should focus on earning the trust of your opt-in list instead of simply collating data for your sole own benefit. Always make sure that the forms that you will use and other methods that you will employ will not necessitate too much fuss to subscribe. This is for people to not be annoyed during the process of data supplication.   With that bunch of information, who can ever go wrong with the feat of building an opt-in list?    Now you can be a confident expert on opt-in list. OK, maybe not an expert. But you should have something to bring to the table next time you join a discussion on opt-in list.

Make Money From The Internet

So you are looking at creating an online business but don’t know where to start.

What do I need? What do I do? Where do I find it?

There are already many opportunities online, with many additional new ones coming at you every day. The market is already massive, and yet I heard recently that there are still 1.5 million new people coming online every day! That’s about 45 million potential new customers for you every month! What other market can offer these kind of figures?

So first of all you need to try and get a slice of this market, and build up your customer database. For internet marketing, the only information you really need to get from your customers are a contact name and an email address. With these details, you can then set about marketing your products to them.

Sounds easy? Well, yes, it is fairly simple, but like any new business, there is a learning curve to ramp up, and perseverance will be one of the major factors which will determine your success.

For your initial set up, you will need a product to sell, a web site landing page, and an autoresponder.

Your product can be absolutely anything you can imagine, so that is up to you to decide what it is that you want to sell. You will see many sites selling information or training products, as they are relatively cheap and easy to produce, and can be stored online, thereby avoiding any storage or stock costs as in a traditional business. Other popular physical products are things like health supplements and slimming products, but these will require the purchase and storage of stock.

 Once you have decided on your product, you can then start to market it.

So how do you go about collecting a list of interested people?

For this, you will need a landing page (sometimes called a squeeze page), which is designed to capture your potential new customers. I tend to go for a simple, clean approach with my landing pages, with just enough information on them to encourage the viewer to want more. You can either produce this yourself using one of the many free or paid packages available, or have it produced for you. Again, I prefer to have control over my business, so tend to try and do the majority of these things myself, and it is also much more flexible if you then need to do any changes to your site.

On your landing page will be your autoresponder box for the visitor to enter their name and email address, which will then either lead to a further site giving them more information, or will enable them to download additional information on your product.

Now that you have captured their details, your autoresponder can start to kick in and work for you.

There are free autoresponders available, but I would recommend using Aweber, which is a paid service, as this is renowned as the industry leader, and offers stability and flexibility for your all important customer database. After all, you don’t want to lose your list, once you have built it up, do you?

The purpose of your autoresponder is to feed messages out to your new contact every few days, to try to establish a bond or relationship with them, as it has been proven that people buy from people that they like and trust.

Once you have set up the messages in your autoresponder, it works for you automatically, so that as soon as a lead comes in, the process starts and they receive a series of emails from you over a set period of time.

So there it is. Your online business is up and running, all you need to do now is to direct traffic to your web site, and you will soon have a successful online business!