Archives March 2019

The future of video marketing

Over the past few years, the videos have played an important and central role in the marketing strategies of companies – they have been transferred from the TV screen to the Internet and also the video sharing platforms, consumer computers, phones, tablets with all sorts of screens and sizes.
The human brain is programmed to receive the most content through its vision, much from when compared to text content and that’s one of the main reasons why the video plays and will continue to play an increasingly important role in the marketing strategies.

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Today’s daily lives of consumers are so busy that it is of huge importance for advertisers to be able to attract and retain their attention. All marketing techniques, strategies, and metrics that we know and use would not make sense and efficiency if we do not have quality content. Nowadays anyone can shoot a video with their phone, but is it good enough to attract the attention of others? The answer is actually now and to create a good video that has an effect on the others, it is necessary to apply a number of techniques, knowledge and planning that can be learned and achieved just after hours of practice and experience.
The video ad givs some of the best results as a marketing format. Conversions from video advertisements are actually times higher than other traditional formats. Video views have the ability to convert directly into final conversions and sales as well. and that’s why it’s no coincidence that video marketing is a major and key part of content marketing

Some new interesting facts about SEO, which may surprise you

Some new interesting facts about SEO, which may surprise you

The SEO is an important part of every digital marketing strategy and no matter if you are familiar with SEO or just a beginner, we prepared below some new interesting facts, which you may not know and could surprise you.
If you have a video on your site’s home page, this can double the chances of getting to the first page of GoogleThink about what YouTube has achieved in the past year – the most popular video sharing site ranks second between the search engines. And indeed if we check the statistics many of the users like video and prefer the video content and according to some recent surveys, videos have a 41% higher CTR than texts. Just think about what will happen in the SEO aspect if you integrate a YouTube video on your home, keeping in mind that YouTube is actually owned by Google …
Google+ is one of the highest social ranking factors
No matter that it’s still not that popular like Facebook, you shouldn’t consider excluding your Google+ page from your digital marketing strategy. Keep in mind that interactions on the Google+ network directly affect Google search rankings and this help to increase the organic traffic to your site.

Not all search engines use links as a ranking factor
Yandex for example – the most popular search engine in Russia, is among the search engines, which do not include the links in their ranking algorithms. In the future it’s considered that the importance of the links as a ranking factor will decrease or will be excluded at all in more search engines.

Google will rank the events based on their popularity
The reason for such a decision will be the fact that that many different events are taking place in a given region over a specific period of time, making it difficult for consumers to choose from. Such ranking algorithm will help the users to find the most appropriate event.

Only 2 of the 10 most popular web sites on the web are content-related
According to the ласт year’s ranking, the most popular platforms and websites in the world web are: Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo, Amazon, Wikipedia, Twitter, Bing, eBay and MSN. If we check them closer, we could find that only Wikipedia and YouTube are content-oriented – the others do not exclude content, but they are like a channel for information than rather than providing it in the traditional way

Some facts about Facebook and its power like marketing instrument

There is no doubt that Facebook is one of the most popular and influential social media that connects people all around the world.
Nowadays, without any hesitation, we can say that besides being one of the most successful tools for communicating and sharing stories with friends and family, this social media has become also an indispensable marketing and business tool.
We gathered below some interesting facts and figures that could convince you of Facebook’s performance, so you could consider it when expanding your digital marketing strategy and online business:
– According to a research, nearly 80% of people who “like” a particular product on Facebook then buy it

– Some 20% of people buy different products online by clicking on Facebook ads

– Big companies such as Apple think of a client being more valuable if he has a Facebook page compared to another who does not. The reason is that this client has a connection with a larger audience and can recommend this product to them, playing the role of the company’s mini ambassador. 

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– There are countless Facebook pages dedicated to different brands, stores, online business companies, small, independent businesses, and more. These pages increase the number of fans by using various promotional techniques such as games, competitions, attractive offers and discounts. This is useful not only for promoting the business, but also for creating a true group of clients.
– About 75% of people who “like” the product will recommend it to their friends by “sharing” the Facebook page.
– A large number of smaller businesses use Facebook to promote their products. This helps them reach a wider audience almost for free. Social media is an extremely important business tool … photos, descriptions, clips – all can be uploaded and shared on Facebook. It is also useful as you can get feedback and customer feedback. With such a variety of benefits, it is no coincidence that over 86% of people think that Facebook is an important marketing tool that should not be overlooked.
– It is increasingly common for customers to share on their wall a product or service they are happy with.
– Over $4 billion is Facebook’s entire profit from advertising products and services. This figure is expected to increase.

Domain Name Expirations: What You Need to Know

Website Domain names are the primary address a person or a business reserves to establish and distinguish themselves on the worldwide web. This name acts as a billboard, alerting potential customers of who you are, where you are, and what goods or services you provide. A website without a domain name cannot be found since it is not only the storefront sign, but also the doorway into the shop.

So, do domain names expire? Selecting the perfect domain name for your business can be a lengthy process that costs a good amount of your time, effort, and money. But once it’s yours, it’s yours until it expires. So, imagine this process: you get your domain name and link it to your website. You then spend months, if not years, building your brand around it. If successful, people begin to associate your product or service with the domain name. That domain is now an integral part of your business and the way people find you on the internet. Then, you log in one morning and receive a message that your domain has expired. All the hard work, all the time and money invested in building your brand around your domain name and domain name extension is simply not associated with your brand anymore. At this point, your expired domain name is up for sale and available to the highest bidder.

One of the scariest things that can happen to any website owner is discovering that their domain name expired. This business tragedy can and does occur more often than you might think, and it can be absolutely crippling. Not only does someone else get to inherit all the goodwill you have instilled and associated with that brand, but now you have to rebuild and rebrand from the ground up. While there is something to be said for resilience, it is best to save yourself the worry and stress over losing your domain name because it expired. Below, we will discuss the reasons why your domain might expire without your knowledge and then what happens when a domain does expire.

Reasons domain names might expire

It is all too easy to overlook the fact that a domain name registration is a temporary thing. Even though at the time, the domain name is yours, and could be for years, there is still a chance for that domain to pass out of your control. There are a variety of ways this might occur:

  • Renewal reminder notices: If you have switched off renewal reminder notices, you could be setting yourself up for disaster. While auto emails and notifications can clutter your inbox, they can also be lifesaving. Even if you manually switched off renewal reminders (for whatever reason), Domain.com will begin sending reminders by email to your listed email address approximately 30 days from the domain expiration date. We guarantee you will receive at least two reminders before the expiration date and one within five days after expiration. So, pay attention to your inbox, or alter your settings to flag the words, “expiration,” or “renewal,” to ensure you don’t miss these important reminders.
  • Auto-renew is not enabled: By going by your account information and switching your domain name to auto-renew, you save yourself from possibly forgetting. When auto-renew is in use, it will automatically renew your domain name prior to the expiration date, generally a day before expiration. This feature will continue to run and auto-renew unless changes are made or if there are issues with your billing information.
  • Outdated billing information: When you lose a credit card, or it expires naturally, it is easy to forget all of the sites, services, and subscriptions you have tied into that specific card and had previously set to auto-bill. In such cases, the last thing on your mind will be to update the billing information on a domain you rented a years ago and then set to auto-renew. If you do lose or obtain a new credit card, be sure to comb through your bills and see what will need to be updated with proper billing. With Domain.com, if your auto-renew runs into an issue with billing, we will try multiple times to send alerts and reminders that the payment was unsuccessful and that the billing must be updated in order to prevent the domain name from expiring. You may need to manually renew your domain if it is less than 15-days before expiration.
  • Multiple domain providers: The more you spread out your domains, the easier it is to forget about them or mix them up, especially if you have invested in a plethora of different website domain names. It is all too possible to have a domain name slip through the cracks and expire because they were scattered across registrars. At Domain.com, we suggest you consolidate your domains into one service. By doing so, you have all of your domains concentrated in one place and linked to one billing account. It makes it much easier to make payments, check domain name expiration dates, or make alterations from a centralized platform.
  • Contact email connected to domain: At Domain.com, we encourage you to begin using your brand new domain email address as your primary email source. This is a great thing, except when it comes to domain expirations. If you select your domain email in order to manage the domain name it is linked to, you create a dilemma in that if you forget the account’s password, you will be unable to enter the email in order to retrieve the forgotten password. Further, if the expiration date does pass, you will not be able to use that email during the renewal grace period. For this reason, you should think about adding a secondary email address to your account.
  • An expired organizational email address: A problem we encounter all too often with the process behind registering a domain name is that a person will use a work or school email account that requires them to still be actively involved with those organizations in order to access the email account, such as a work, or club email. So, if a person registers a domain name with such an email then graduates school or leaves their job, they will no longer have access to the email address associated with the domain name. In many cases, it will be impossible to be re-granted access to that email due to security issues or a deletion of the account as a whole. While it may still be possible to renew your domain without logging into the account, it makes life far harder on you and increases the likelihood that you miss a domain expiration alert.
  • Waited too long to renew: Even though they may have received ample renewal reminders or alerts, some people simply wait too long to renew their domain and pass the point where anything can be done to remedy the situation. On the day of expiration, be assured, you will lose the domain name ownership.
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What happens when a domain expires?

There are a variety of steps that will occur during a domain name expiration:

Step 1:

Domain expiration alerts: Prior to domain name registration expiration, Domain.com will begin sending reminders to you via email. At least two alerts will be sent before expiration, and one within five days of expiration.

Step 2:

Domain name registration expires: If the domain has not been renewed by the owner prior to the expiry date, the domain’s status will be changed to what is called a Renewal Grace Period. Under this status, you can still renew the domain name without incurring additional fees for a grace period of thirty days. As early as one day after expiration, your domain name will be deactivated and replaced with a parking page indicating the domain name has expired, and other services you have associated with the domain name may no longer function.

Step 3:

Renewal grace period ends: Once this period ends, the expired domain name’s status is changed to Registrar Hold. During this thirty-day period, the original domain owner may pay a redemption fee as well as the renewal fee.

Step 4:

Registrar auction: While under the registrar hold status, the registrar tries to sell the domain name in an option auction to the highest bidder. If it does indeed sell, the highest bidder will then have to wait the full thirty days of the registrar hold before they own the domain name. If the original owner decides to renew during this period, the bidding fee is refunded and the original owner retains control of the domain name. If the original owner does not renew the domain name and the thirty days pass, the auction winner is transferred control of the domain name.

Step 4b:

Closeout sale: If the domain name is not purchased at auction or renewed by the original owner, a registrar will often list it as a closeout sale, where it can be bought for a cheaper ‘buy it now’ price, on top of the domain name registration fee. If a name is bought during a closeout sale, the registrar hold period remains applicable, which allows the original owner the opportunity to regain ownership within the thirty days.

Step 5:

Redemption period: After the registrar hold ends, and if the domain name has neither been purchased nor renewed, the domain name is released back to the registry. Upon release, the domain name is put under redemption period status, meaning it cannot be changed or deleted for thirty days. During this time period, the original owner can pay the redemption fee, plus the renewal fee in order to restore the website and the email.

Step 6:

End of registry grace period: If this grace period ends without the domain name being renewed, it will then be put under the status of pending delete. If no actions of restoration occur on the part of the original owner, registry or registrar, the domain will eventually be deleted. This deletion will then release that domain name back for general registration.


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Keep your domain name and website up and running

Domain names play a crucial on the virtual marketplace. Choosing a creative domain name is a time-consuming and important aspect of giving your business the tools to thrive. Such an investment is essential for success, which is why a domain name expiration can be a demoralizing and business-crippling issue, that is only made worse if a competitor manages to snatch up your domain name. All the time and effort spent on building that brand and linking it to the domain name might be all for naught.

The best way to prevent this issue is to do everything in your power to prevent such a disaster from occurring in the first place. This includes regularly checking your email and spam folders for renewal notices, setting personal alerts of expiration, always ensuring that your domain’s billing info is up to date, and setting your account to auto-renew. If you take the right steps, you can save yourself a serious headache, so, do not be anything less than proactive when it comes to one of your domain names possibly expiring. With the right infrastructure in place, this should never be an issue

5 Reasons Why Ecommerce Is So Important For Your Business

From startups to small businesses right through to huge brands, there are a huge number of companies that can benefit from their own ecommerce website, where they can sell their own products or services. In todays competitive and convenience focused society, no longer do consumers want to venture to the high street in order to buy items, instead consumers want to shop from their own homes, making ecommerce a flexible solution for both businesses and buyers. 

If you’re still on the fence about launching an ecommerce store then look no further, here’s the top 5 reasons ecommerce is so important for your business and just how you can benefit from moving online this year!  

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Can Broaden Your Brand 

Ecommerce is an ideal way you can take your brand from a traditional brick and mortar store to an innovative, well loved brand. By offering great products 24 hours a day along with online customer service, blogs and social media, no longer is your business one singular store, with an online presence your business can be the home of your products and the general home of your business, allowing you to fully expand your product ranges without having to worry about moving locations or worrying about not being able to expand your business.   

It’s More Convenient  

An online store is available all day, every day meaning your customers can visit your store at all times, no matter what their schedule might be. These days people don’t always have the time to physically go shopping, instead more and more people are choosing to shop online to find the items they want or need and if your business can offer this for your customers there’s no you shouldn’t appeal to a wider range of customers all looking for a convenient and flexible experience.  

Increase Your Reach 

Due to the internet’s accessibility, millions of people across the world can view your website at any time, meaning that for those looking to expand their businesses and reach out to a larger audience, you have many more opportunities to do so. Compare the amount of people you can reach through a website to the amount you can reach through a high street store or local advertising, there’s no reason you shouldn’t look at taking your business online if you’re looking to improve your reach.  

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Gives You Marketing Opportunities 

Your website is one of the best marketing tools your business has, not only can the use of SEO when building your site lead to more chances of your business getting found in search engines, but a huge number of marketing techniques can also work alongside your website, including pay per click advertising, your social media marketing and your email marketing, all of which can include links back to your website.  

Scalable 

As your business grows it’s very likely you’ll want to grow your product range and your target audience, as well as develop your business for customer requirements and consumer demand. An ecommerce site let’s you scale your business accordingly, allowing you to add more lines, add more payment options and even grow when you choose to ship to, without having to worry about changing your location or moving to a larger premises like you might with a brick and mortar store.

Ecommerce offers business a whole range of opportunities, from marketing opportunities to increasing your products ranges to generating more sales and with an optimised and well developed website you can not only achieve these goals but also offer your customers  a round the clock, convenient service, that can boost your business.

Are you looking for an ecommerce solution? Why not speak to our team to find out more?

How do I know if the internet on my phone is 2G, 3G or 4G

There are always symbols that appear on your screen at the top which signifies which internet facility are you currently availing. I’m mentioning them below in points.

  • ‘G’ stands for GPRS i.e. General Packet Radio Service and is the slowest in comparison to all other standards. It is used in the GSM i.e Global System for Mobile or we can simply say 2G.
  • ‘E’ is an extension of GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and is called EDGE i.e. Enhanced Data(rates for) GSM Evolution. It is correspondingly a little faster than GPRS, but still uses the old GSMor 2G.
  • ‘3G’ stands for UMTS i.e. Universal Mobile Telecommunication System and is the successor to the GSM and much faster.
  • HSPA i.e. High Speed Packet Access is a 3rd Generation (3G) technology based on UMTSstandards offering faster data download speeds at the cost of upload speeds. The HSPA family of technologies is quite large, covering High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA), and Evolved High Speed Packet Access (HSPA+).
  • ‘H’ stands for HSPA family members like HSDPAor HSUPA.
  • ‘H+’ stands for HSPA+. Both use the UMTS.
  • H is faster than 3G and H+ is faster than H.
  • 4G (Fourth Generation) stands for LTE (Long Term Evolution) and is the fastest.
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If any of these symbols appear on top of your mobile screen. Now you can know which internet facility you are currently using.

Feel free to message me if any query.

Peace

How To Check People Tracking your Facebook Account.

How To Check People Tracking your Facebook Account. Different Facebook users check other users profile for different reasons. Most of these reasons are security unwise and may cause damages to the user in question. I’ll be teaching youdifferent working methods to trace all your friends who viewed your Facebook profile. Please note that these methods can be used to track Facebook profile visitors

Recently, there has been a huge demand for tricks to track Facebook profile visitors. Although, there are applications, software and web extensions that claim to solve this task, only a few of them actually work correctly.

I’ll be taking you through three (3) simple and easy methods of checking your Facebook profile visitors.

Different Facebook users check other users profile for different reasons. Most of these reasons are security unwise and may cause damages to the user in question. I’ll be teaching youdifferent working methods to trace all your friends who viewed your Facebook profile. Please note that these methods can be used to track Facebook profile visitorsHow To Check People Tracking your Facebook Account

1. Using Facebook Profile Visitors Web Browser Extension

Web browser extension is one of the easiest, working and most popular methods to find out who visits your Facebook profile.

Steps to download and use extensions

  1. Download the Google Chrome extension from HERE
  2. Click on “Add to Chrome” button at the top right corner to download and install the extension. When the installation is finished you’ll get a pop up saying, “Extension is added to Chrome”.
  3. Now visit Facebook and log in to your account. Look for a new option that says “Visitors” on the blue navigation bar on top of the homepage. This option is available only after the Social Profile View Notification extension is successfully installed on your browser.
  4. Click on the “Visitors” option and you will see a list of people who visited your profile.

How To Check People Tracking your Facebook Account

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2. Using Facebook Profile Visitors App for Android

Lately, many developers have also created applications for viewing who visits your Facebook profile. With those apps installed, you can track people who visit your profile more frequently.

Steps to download and use the android app

  1. Download who viewed my profile fromHERE
  2. Launch the recently installed application and tap on the option “Connect to Facebook”.
  3. Enter your Facebook username/email ID and password in the pop-up window to log in to your account. Their apps are highly secured so you don’t have to worry about misuse of your credentials.
  4. Now you’ll be prompted to give permissions required to track your profile visitors.
  5. Click “Allow” to give these permissions to the app. If you deny any permission then you won’t be able to proceed and the process will stop automatically.
  6. As soon as the app is linked to your Facebook account you will see a list of Facebook users along with their name who have visited your profile recently.
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3. Using Facebook Profile Visitors App for iPhone

For iOS devices, there is a separate app called “Social Fans” because of their security complexity. Social Fans is designed for social media fans who wish to have control all their social accounts and stay updated at all times.

Steps to download and use Social Fans app

  1. Download and install Social Fans on your iOS device from HERE
  2. Launch the app and click on “Connect” tab in front of a Facebook option.
  3. Here you can see who likes your pictures, who tags you in their posts, which friend has liked your photos most, and of course, who visits your Facebook profile frequently.

How to track your partners mobile phone without permission

Tracking your partner’s phone is ethically wrong. But if you have a strong suspicion that your partner is having an affair then it’s better to know for sure that your assumptions are true or not otherwise it will create havoc in your life. So, at that time tracking your partner’s phone seems to be the only choice. We advise you not to track it without the permission of your partner, though if you need the permission of the company to do so, here are some useful ways to learn how to track your partner’s mobile phone without permission.

mSpy

mSpy is credited as one of the best monitoring apps. It is compatible in android, iOS, Mac OS and Windows. The charge for installing mSpy in any device is $29.99 which is comparatively lower than others and it comes with 10 days money back guarantee. mSpy claims to be 100% undetectable. It can track the location of your partner along with having access to his / her text messages, call history, emails, calendars, address book, photos and videos. You can limit incoming calls in your partner’s phone along with monitoring Internet activities and reading instant chat messages.

How to Track your Partner’s Mobile Phone without Permission - mSpy
Source: getjar

SpyBubble

SpyBubble is one of the most trusted and powerful apps when it comes to tracking other devices. It is compatible with Symbian, android, Blackberry, Windows and iOS. If you want to install it in your partner’s phone then you have to buy it for $49.95. You can track your partner’s calls, messages, location, email, URLs along with having full access to his/ her phone book.

How to Track your Partner’s Mobile Phone without Permission - SpyBubble
Source: prospybubble

Mobile Spy

The Mobile Spy app is available for $49.97 and is used by parents to track children or can be used to track ones partner too. It is compatible with android and BlackBerryphones. Its premium plan allows monitoring and commanding the target device live. Its other features are tracking location, locking or unlocking the device with a siren alarm which is optional, email tracking, phone call information, photo log, alerts you when there is some prohibited activities going on in the target device along with lots of other features.

How to Track your Partner’s Mobile Phone without Permission - Mobile Spy
Source: phonespyonline

The Truth Spy

With a small fee of $16.99, The Truth Spy can be easily installed in your partner’s phone. It is completely stealthy and hides itself extremely well while working continuously in the background. After setting it up in the target mobile. The Truth Spy will send all the information through a secure online portal into your personal account.

How to Track your Partner’s Mobile Phone without Permission - The Truth Spy
Source: thetruthspy

iSpyoo

The iSpyoo app is compatible with Android and iOS devices. It can be installed with a small fee of $22.99 and can stealthy provide the basic information like location and call logs of the target device.

How to Track your Partner’s Mobile Phone without Permission - iSpyoo
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5 Methods hackers use to break into your bank account

hackers-bank-account

With so many users making the jump to internet banking, it’s no wonder that hackers are on the hunt for login details. What may be surprising, however, are the lengths that hackers go to in order to access your finances.

Here’s a look at how hackers target your bank account and how to stay safe

These days, you can manage all of your finances from your smartphone. Usually, a bank will supply an official app from which you can log in and check your account. While convenient, this has become a key attack vector for malware authors.

Fake Apps

The simpler means of attack is by spoofing an existing banking app. A malware author creates a perfect replica of a bank’s app and uploads it to shady third-party sites. Once you’ve downloaded the bad app, you enter your username and password into it, which is then sent to the hacker.

App Hijacking

The sneakier version of this is the mobile banking Trojan. These aren’t disguised as a bank’s official app; they’re usually a completely unrelated app with a Trojan installed within. When you install this app, the Trojan begins to scan your phone for banking apps.

When it detects a banking app being launched, the malware quickly puts up a window that looks identical to the app you just booted up. If this is done smoothly enough, the user won’t notice the swap and will enter their details into the fake login page. These details are then uploaded to the malware author.

Typically, these Trojans also need an SMS verification code to complete the hack. To do this, they’ll often ask for SMS read privileges during install, so they can steal the codes as they come in.

How to Defend Yourself

When downloading apps from the app store, keep an eye on the amount of downloads it has. If it has a very low amount of downloads and little to no reviews, it’s too early to call if it has malware or not.

This goes double if you see an “official app” for a very popular bank with a small download count—it’s likely an imposter! If you’re interested in learning more, be sure to read our guide on how to avoid Trojans.

Likewise, be careful with what permissions you give apps. If a mobile game asks you for SMS read permissions with no explanation as to why it wants them, stay safe and don’t allow the app to install. Never install apps from third-party sites, as they’re more likely to contain malware.

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2. Phishing

As the public becomes savvy toward phishing tactics, hackers have escalated their efforts to trick people into clicking their links. One of their nastiest tricks is hacking the email accounts of solicitors and sending phishing emails from a previously-trusted address.

What makes this hack so devastating is how hard it would be to spot the scam. The email address would be legitimate, and the hacker could even to talk to you on a first-name basis. This is exactly how anunfortunate home buyer lost £67,000, despite replying to an email address that was previously legitimate.

How to Defend Yourself

Obviously, if an email address looks suspicious, treat its contents with a healthy dose of skepticism. If the address looks legitimate but something “seems off,” see if you can validate the email with the person sending it—preferably not over email, in case the hackers have compromised the account!

3. Keyloggers

This method of attack is one of the quieter ways a hacker can gain access to your bank account. Keyloggers are a type of malware that records what you’re typing and sends the information back to the hacker.

That might sound inconspicuous at first, but imagine what would happen if you typed in your bank’s web address, followed by your username and password. The hacker would have all the information they need to break into your account!

How to Defend Yourself

Install a stellar antivirus and make sure it checks your system every so often. A good antivirus will sniff out a keylogger and erase it before it can do damage.

If your bank supports two-factor authentication, be sure to enable this. This makes a keylogger far less effective, as the hacker won’t be able to replicate the authentication code even if they get your login details.

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4. Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Sometimes, a hacker will target the communications between you and your bank’s website in order to get your details. These attacks are called Man-in-the-Middle(MITM) attacks, and the name says it all; it’s when a hacker intercepts communications between you and a legitimate service.

Usually, an MITM attack involves monitoring an insecure server and analyzing the data that passes through. When you send your login details over this network, the hackers “sniff out” your details and steal them.

Sometimes, however, a hacker will use DNS cache poisoning to change what site you visit when you enter a URL. A poisoned DNS cache means that https://ift.tt/2GHRpjewill instead go to a clone site owned by the hacker. This cloned site will look identical to the real thing; if you’re not careful, you’ll end up giving the fake site your login details.

How to Defend Yourself

Never perform any sensitive activities on a public or unsecured network. Err on the side of caution and use something more secure, such as your home Wi-Fi. Also, when you log into a sensitive site, always check for HTTPS in the address bar. If it’s not there, there’s a good chance you’re looking at a fake site!

If you want to perform sensitive activities over a public Wi-Fi network, why not take control of your own privacy? A VPN  service encrypts your data before your computer sends it over the network. If anyone is monitoring your connection, they’ll only see unreadable encrypted packets. Picking a VPN can be difficult, so be sure to read our guide on the best VPN services available.

5. SIM Swapping

SMS authentication codes are some of the biggest problems for hackers. Unfortunately, they have a way to dodge these checks, and they don’t even need your phone to do it!

To perform a SIM swap, a hacker contacts your network provider, claiming to be you. They state that they lost their phone, and that they’d like a transfer of their old number (which is your current number) to their SIM card.

If they’re successful, the network providers strips your phone number from your SIM and installs on the hacker’s instead. This is achievable with a social security number, as we covered in why 2FA and SMS verification isn’t 100% secure.

Once they have your number on their SIM card, they can circumvent SMS codes easily. When they log into your bank account, the bank sends an SMS verification code to their phone rather than yours. They can then log in to your account unimpeded and drain your account.

How to Defend Yourself

Of course, mobile networks typically ask questions to check if the person requesting the transfer is who they say they are. As such, to perform a SIM swap, scammers typically harvest your personal information in order to pass the checks. Even then, some network providers have lax checksfor SIM transfers, which allowed hackers to easily perform this trick.

Always keep your personal details private to avoid someone stealing your identity. Also, it’s worth checking if your mobile provider is doing their part to defend you from SIM swapping. If you keep your details safe and your network provider is diligent, a hacker will fail the identification check when they try to SIM swap.

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Keeping Your Finances Safe Online

internet banking is very convenient for both customer and hacker alike. Thankfully, you can do your part to ensure you’re not a target of these attacks. By keeping your details safe, you’ll give hackers very little to work with when they take aim at your savings.

If you’d like to know more on keeping your finances safe on the internet, try our guide on buying goods safely online.

Here’s why you really shouldn’t use your phone on the toilet

Go on admit it, there’s a good chance you’re reading this article on the toilet.

Whether it’s falling down an Instagram rabbit hole or catching up on the latest Twitter debate (the one about how many towels we should own was particularly divisive), us Brits are never far from our smartphones, so much so that we even take them with us when we go to the loo.

Recent research carried out by MoneySavingHeroes found that a whopping 61 percent of men and 37 percent of women regularly use their phone on the toilet.

More than half of Brits use their phones on the toilet [Photo: Getty]
More than half of Brits use their phones on the toilet [Photo: Getty]

In a further survey 40% admitted to using their mobile phone while in the bathroom at work and just 20% of those said they clean their phone afterwards. Gross right?

While it might seem like the ultimate in multitasking, using your phone while otherwise, er, engaged could actually have some pretty serious consequences for our health.

Germs, germs, germs

For a start the bathroom is a hotbed of germs, which can easily be collected on your digi friend.

Initial Washroom Hygiene swabbed smartphones and found that average reading across all the mobile phones was 1479.

Just to give you an idea of how germ-y this is, a reading of over 500 units from an object indicates a high level of contamination, 200-500 is the normal range, and under 200 is low.

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“Our phones are a common reservoir for potentially harmful pathogens and bacteria, and we know that people are prone to using them while visiting the washroom,” explains Dr Colm Moore area technical manager for Initial Washroom Hygiene.

“This is especially alarming when you consider that up to 80% of all infections are transmitted by touch. So when people use their phones and put it in close proximity to their mouths when on calls, they are potentially increasing the likelihood of picking up an illness.”

While many of the pathogens found on phones can be harmless, some can lead to some pretty nasty health ailments.

Previous research papers have indicated that some of the most common pathogens found on mobile phones are: Staphylococcus – the most commonly found strain is staphylococcus aureus – a common cause of skin infections including abscesses, respiratory infections such as sinusitis, and food poisoning.

Other strains of Staphylococcus could also feature on your phone screen and these can cause diseases such as meningitis, sepsis and urinary tract infections

Then there’s the Coliforms (including E. coli) and Enterococcus, which tend to indicate that other pathogenic organisms of faecal origin may be present. Eugh!

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Even if you’re not using your phone on the loo, if you’re still holding it while you’re going in and out of the bathroom, that’s enough to put bacteria on the phone particularly if you haven’t yet washed your hands. 

And it isn’t just germs we need to be wary of while enjoying a little loo-time with our smartphone.

While many of us use the toilet as some a kind of time-out from life and an opportunity to catch up on your phone-min, too much scrolling in the sanctuary of the bathroom could have an unexpected impact on your bottom. Hello haemorrhoids! 

According to some experts staying on the toilet for an extended period, say while you’re engrossed in Insta-stories, can put unnecessary pressure on the rectum, which some believe can cause haemorrhoids.

But before you vow never to use your phone on the loo ever again, Dr Kevin Barrett, a GP and chair of the The Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology (PCSG), says we may only really be at risk of the r’hoids if we’re constipated.

“It was thought for a long time that sitting on the toilet for a long time might make haemorrhoids more likely, but studies carried out have not shown a significant risk of this happening,” he says.

Instead he says the risks of using your phone on the toilet are more likely to come from a reduction in circulation to the legs (in very extreme circumstances this might lead to the development of a deep vein thrombosis), or from the contamination of your reading material [ie your phone] with poo. See above.

Who doesn’t take their phone to the loo with them? [Photo: Getty]
Who doesn’t take their phone to the loo with them? [Photo: Getty]

Bathroom ban?

So what’s the solution? Soren Kenner co-author of OFFLINE: Free your mind from smartphone and social media stress suggests making the toilet a phone-free zone. 

“Leave your phone out of the loo, not just because of the hygiene factor but also because you do not want to install a habit that equates the loo with giving yourself a free rein social media-wise,” he advises.

“If you allow that to happen pretty soon you could find yourself spending more and more time there simply as a form of escapism. If you want to a better relationship with your phone, turn off notifications and keep it out of the loo, out of the bedroom, out of meetings and away from the dinner table.”

But if we’re just not ready to go phone/loo cold turkey?

“Hand hygiene is vitally important,” says Dr Moore. “Think about the number of times you touch your phone each day. Every time you do so, you could potentially collect and spread microbial activity.

“Washing your hands regularly is one of the most powerful steps people can take to help prevent the spread of bacteria and illness. We recommend washing your hands at least five times a day, as well as every time you use the washroom. And of course, it helps to give your phone a regular clean with an antibacterial wipe.”