Malware Primer: Deciphering the Digital Devils

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Google News, test

You’ve probably heard the terms “virus,” “malware,” “spyware,” and others all used interchangeably. However, these are actually all different types of bad software. The blanket term for software that harms your computer is “malware.” If you paid attention in Latin class, you’ll know that “mal” is a prefix that means “bad” and “ware” simply refers to any type of computer program.

The second-most-popular term that gets thrown around is “virus.” A virus is pretty much the same as its biological counterpart, but on the computer. It attaches itself to files on your computer, replicates itself and spreads itself out to as many computers as possible. It can attach itself to the hidden parts of your hard drive, system files, or even random files that contain data valuable to you. Quite often, they spread through executable files. If you see a file that ends in “exe” where you didn’t expect it to, don’t open it. It’s probably a virus. Be sure to run a scan on it.

Spyware is another term people use a lot. Spyware does what it sounds like – finds out your information without your knowledge. Spyware can arguably do the most amount of real-world damage to the everyday user. It can discover your credit-card information or other personal info that can be used by hackers. It can go undetected for a long time – that’s the way it operates. Not all anti-virus software can catch spyware though, as the code that it uses is significantly different. Use something like MalwareBytes to regularly check up on it.

ScareWare is relatively new on the field of malware. It tricks you into downloading something that looks like an antivirus, and then tells you that you have hundreds of viruses that you have to pay to remove. Chances are, however, the only virus is the program that is telling you that you have a virus. The best chances for removing this virus, if your other programs haven’t caught it, is simply to Google the name of the software and see how to remove it. Many security programs haven’t quite figured out how to deal with these yet. Your best defense is simply not to download any programs that you can’t verify are legitimate.

The final type of Malware that is often mentioned is a Trojan Horse. This software allows your computer to be controlled remotely. It’s unlike a virus in that you have to be tricked into installing it but, once installed, you might never know. Hackers use PCs with Trojan Horses for their own ends – proxy servers, attacking websites, or even sending out spam. Make sure your antivirus is up-to-date and you should be able to stay safe from these.

There are of course many other types of viruses, but the methods for protection essentially remain the same: practice safe browsing and keep your antivirus updated.


Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, an on-site computer and laptop repair service for consumers and businesses. Andrea is the writer of two weekly columns, Computer Nerds On Call a nationally syndicated column for Scripps-Howard News Service, and Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She regularly appears on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, Good Morning Arizona and MORE Good Day Portland, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle and gadgets.

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Malware Primer: Deciphering the Digital Devils

The Best Smartphone Apps for Business Owners

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Google News, SEO News, test

Smartphone apps are one of the easiest ways to integrate technology into your small business. Regardless of your phone’s make and model, it is likely there are thousands of apps available that could be helping you to run your business more efficiently. The apps listed below are some of the best apps available to small business owners. Best of all, many of them are free or cost just a couple of dollars. Whether you are taking notes for later, grabbing a file you left at the office or reviewing documents, your smartphone can provide most of the functionality of your desktop or laptop. These apps can help you to keep track of tasks and access information when needed.

QuickOffice
With support for most major Microsoft Office file types, this app makes it easy to view spreadsheets or documents without having to head to the office. Editing and saving of files is supported as well to provide a full-featured solution.

Evernote
Evernote allows you to store and organize images, text, audio files and virtually any other type of data you can imagine. Built-in character recognition instantly turns receipts and invoices into searchable documents and collections can help to keep relevant information bundled and easy to access. Support for Windows, MacOS and Web access ensure you always have access to your files.

LogMeIn
This remote access app makes it simple to access your business computers from anywhere you have Internet access. Installation is as simple as installing the program on the computer and, in most cases, configuring a username and password. Once the install is complete, you can control nearly every aspect of your computer from your Smartphone. This is great for those times when you forget to bring a file home, need to access information in the field or want to perform backups while away from the office.

Dropbox
This cloud storage solution makes it easy to store and share files over the Internet. With the Dropbox app, anything stored in your Dropbox is automatically saved to your phone as well. User access rights make it easy to share files with clients or collaborate on projects with staff. When combined with QuickOffice, Dropbox makes it possible to retrieve and edit virtually any business form or document you might need.

Payment Processing
Mobile payment processing makes it easy to create invoices, send receipts and accept check or credit card payments using your smart phone. Most payment processors offer specialized apps for their services. If your business does not already have a payment processing agreement, the following apps are great ways to take advantage of this new technology.

They use card readers that plug into the headphone jack of your Smartphone. Simply swipe the card, have the customer sign using the touch screen and pay a small fee per transaction. Payments can be processed using Wi-Fi or cellular data plans to ensure you are always able to accept payments in nearly any location.

Square
Intuit GoPayment
PayPal Mobile

Networking

Networking is an important part of any business. Whether you are expanding your customer base, seeking investors or simply connecting with businesses in your area, the amount of business cards that you obtain can pile up quickly. These apps offer simple ways to enter business card information into your phone. By using character recognition and your Smartphone’s camera, you can create a new contact and store the information on their business card in just seconds. Sharing a digital copy of your contact information with newly created contacts makes it easy to exchange information with contacts and ensures they always know how to reach you.

LinkedIn
CamCard
WorldCard Mobile

Communications
The communication benefits of a Smartphone extend far beyond voice calls and text messaging. These apps provide a variety of communication benefits and possible cost savings for any small business.

K9 Mail
With support for most major email service protocols and a wealth of configuration options, K9 Mail makes it easy to keep track of your email from your smart phone. Color tagging, customized notifications and a minimalistic user interface provide endless ways to find the most efficient settings for your needs. A variety of widget and home screen notification options make checking your email or drafting new emails as easy as a few taps of your screen. Updates can be performed over both Wi-Fi and cellular data connections to ensure that you are always up-to-date on any communications.

Skype
Video chat and VoIP services are changing the way the world communicates. Skype makes it easy to leverage these technologies for big business benefits. Using Skype VoIP services allows you to place calls without using your cellular minutes or to call international numbers at reduced prices. Video chat allows you to communicate with clients, collaborate with staff or speak with investors in a more personal way than simple e-mail or phone calls. These features require a high-speed Internet or cellular data connection to function smoothly. If you are using them on cellular data, monitoring your data usage is recommended.


Emily Joseph is a writer for QualSight. When Emily has free time away from work or writing, she spends her free time keeping up with the latest tech gadgets in the industry.

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The Best Smartphone Apps for Business Owners

Facebook EdgeRank: Why 15% or Less of Your Status Updates are Shown to Fans

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Google News, Social Media News, test

A major development on the Facebook platform is the introduction of EdgeRank, a ranking formula that determines which posts are displayed on the News Feed of fans and friends. This algorithm filters and prioritizes the posts your fans will see and the order in which they are shown on their News Feed.

This article describes EdgeRank and how it affects your Facebook activities? Facebook had to introduce a ranking algorithm to reduce the amount of clutter displayed on people’s News Feeds.

To overcome the effects of EdgeRank, you need to understand how to create and manage the updates you post on Facebook, how to time these updates and how to engage with fans and friends using Facebook features like Likes, Share and Comments. Unless you fully embrace the concept of engagement, your status updates will simply not show up on the News Feed of your fans.

What Is EdgeRank?

EdgeRank is a Facebook algorithm that controls which status updates are displayed in each user’s News Feed. EdgeRank not only filters what posts are displayed, it also sorts and prioritizes the order in which they are shown.

To start, let’s clarify the term edge as the ranking formula itself is based on this rather esoteric term. We shall clarify its meaning in an easy-to-understand manner.

As it applies to Facebook, every interaction a user performs that produces a piece of content is known as an edge.

For example, the following user actions are in themselves known as edges:

* Posting a status update.
* Uploading a photo or video.
* Listening to a song.
* Changing the classification of a fan or friend.
* Clicking, liking, tagging, sharing, commenting and befriending people.

Every one of these actions generates an edge which, depending on its EdgeRank score, may be displayed in a user’s News Feed. Looking at the actions shown in the above list, you can already see that EdgeRank monitors your engagement and this, to a large extent, determines if your status updates will be shown on the News Feed of your fans and friends.

Now, let’s examine a more scientific definition of EdgeRank.

EdgeRank is measured by the aggregation of three separate factors which, on account of the terminology used, may seem a little difficult to grasp.

Affinity (u). This essentially tracks your interaction with fans. Each action produces a different weight that measures the effort involved which, by itself, demonstrates the level of interest a user has in the content posted. Posting and commenting produces a higher score than clicking or liking. Using Facebook parlance, the affinity score is also based on how connected a user is with an action. The more you interact with a particular person, the more connected you become.

Edge Weight (w). Each edge category has a different weight (score) which determines what type of content Facebook considers valuable for posting onto the News Feed of fans and friends. Highest on their ranking is videos, photos and links. The more comments, likes or shares a post update accumulates, the higher its edge weight.

Recency (d). This factor relates to the “time decay” of status updates. As a post ages, it loses points. It is assumed that Facebook adjusts the recency score based on the time elapsed since the user last logged into Facebook and also how frequently
the user is active on Facebook.

Like the Google algorithm that determines page rank, the precise equations contained in the EdgeRank algorithm are not publicly known and you can assume that the algorithm will change and evolve over time. However, the above explanations should give you a reasonable insight into the factors that determine whether particular posts will show up in your News Feed as well as those of your fans.

Finally, do not assume that you can check, measure or calculate EdgeRank because there is no general score. You can, however, measure the effects of EdgeRank by using the Facebook analytics tools to see how much engagement from other users your posts accumulate. A separate chapter in my book describes the Insights analytics feature.

How to Improve Your EdgeRank Score

If you market your brand, product or service on Facebook, you need to consider how you can best improve your EdgeRank score. The reason is simple. Unless you pay attention to EdgeRank, the majority of your fans and friends may never see your status updates.

According to the latest available research, only 6% of your fans will interact with your content (Napkin Labs)

Facebook recently claimed that only 15% on your fans will see your status updates on their newsfeed.

Acquiring Likes has, in itself, become a fairly meaningless activity although you need to reach 400 likes in order to see certain data in Insights. “The more the better” approach is not the target you want to chase. Fostering engagement with your fans should be your principal goal as this is the only way to improve your EdgeRank score.

Here’s the mindset you need to adopt when you post updates, photos or videos in Facebook:

* Don’t try to trick the EdgeRank formula to rank your content higher. Instead, create content that motivates your fans and friends to like, comment and share the content.

* Aim to create a community of followers.

* As is the case with the Calls-To-Action items you embed in sales letters and/or squeeze pages, you must TELL people what to do or they won’t do it. Clearly state what you want your fans to do. “Leave a comment below”, “Click Like if you agree”, “Click the Share button now”. Every action your fans take will improve the Affinity score of the EdgeRank algorithm and this will increase the number fans that see your post in their News Feed.

Pages Feed (November, 2012 Update)

Facebook has responded to mounting criticism from users who want to see all status updates posted by pages the have liked.

Commencing mid-November, 2012, a new menu item was added to the left-hand column of the News Feed page.

You can enable this function in order to see all status updates from pages you have liked. However, if you have a large number of Likes, you may well be overwhelmed by the amount of clutter on your News Feed.


Article by Alex Backlund. His Kindle eBook “Facebook Marketing: Your Social Media Campaigns Using Facebook’s 2012 Additions” explains in detail all the new promotional and advertising Facebook has introduced so you can better reach your target audience.

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Facebook EdgeRank: Why 15% or Less of Your Status Updates are Shown to Fans