ebay Security Issue

A massive security breach has happened in late February 2014 and early March 2014 affecting over 145 million users of the known shopping website eBay

shutterstock_28388293-680x400eBay is the latest victim of a cyberattack — and if you are one of the 145 million users with an active account, or even one of the many millions more with inactive accounts, you may well be affected.

While eBay is urging users to update their passwords immediately (here’s how to do that), many are left wondering what this means for their data and what they can do to keep it safe.

The hackers have used social engineering to be able to access an eBay’s employee’s information and they have stolen user shipping information, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and transaction information.

While they could not steal the passwords because they were encrypted, a good hacker can always use the email address and the password hash (encrypted password) to try to hack into other social networks (like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram) in hope that the eBay account holder has used the same passwords on other websites.

If you are worried that your credit card information stored with eBay might have been compromised, you need not worry as the current compliance regulations ask that if a credit card number is stored, the CV2 number (the number at the back of your credit card) must not be stored, thus making the credit card number just another 16-digit number.

PayPal users’ financial information is stored in an encrypted format on a separate network, eBay noted. The digital payment unit processes 9 million payments a day and serves more than 148 million active user accounts across 193 markets, according to eBay’s website.

What the hackers can do with the data stolen

The eBay database that was compromised isn’t exactly the “crown jewel” of information since it doesn’t contain financial elements, the data gleaned can be combined with other information available across online black markets if the hackers wanted to monetize them. He also said since eBay is “highly trusted,” users might have been more willing to provide the online marketplace with more information.

“It shows that even the best of Internet sites are vulnerable to cyber attacks … you can’t stop this tidal wave,” Ponemon warned.

More than likely the data will be sold on the black internet market to spammers, marketing companies or can be used for identity theft (impersonating another person to the authorities).

 

What you need to do

Immediately change your eBay password. As a security measure, also change your other online passwords for your personal accounts and make sure you use a complex password (uppercase, lowercase, numbers and special characters like $, %, *, ), (, #,@). Do not user your name or birthday as part of the password.
Do not use the same password twice.
Do not store your new passwords in any type of digital format (Google Docs, Email, Notes, Office Online).
Change your passwords regularly. Make them expire every 72 days if you have this option (Hotmail offers it) and if you run out of ideas, you can always rotate the passwords from one account to the other).

If you start receiving unsolicited emails or emails asking you to change your Facebook Password or banking details, report them as spam immediately and do not click on any links.

Is this security breach related to the HeartBleed virus?

The news comes just a few weeks after an encryption flaw called the Heartbleed bug affected many popular websites and services such as Gmail and Facebook. The bug quietly exposed sensitive account information, such as passwords and credit card numbers, over the past two years and went widely undetected until recently.

The eBay security breach is not software related, it is caused by an employee giving out information (possibly without even knowing what he was doing).

“Big companies have incredibly complex environments, with hundreds of thousands of users and systems they need to monitor, which means there are a lot of potential entry points for attackers to target,” Ford said. “And in the case of big companies, they often are targets for attackers because they have a lot of customers and a lot of valuable data. So attackers that are well-resourced will invest real time in casing a large company to find a way in, which frequently involves manipulating the company’s employees or trusted network in some way.”

About Social Engineering

Or how your information can be used without your knowledge

The hackers broke into eBay’s network by compromising a “small number” of employee login credentials, which allowed the attackers to glean access to eBay’s corporate network. You can learn how by watching this short instructional video about Social Engineering on YouTube:

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SEO Tips and Tricks for Higher Page Rank (9)

9. Using Social Networks and Blogs to Increase TrafficBlogging can help boost your online presence

The rise of Social Networks, Blogs and RSS on the web has been driven by individuals feeling empowered to tell their story, communicate feelings, chronicle events or write anything that can think of. This is the age of self-publishing as never seen before and with it comes all the positives and negatives of personal opinion.

According to Metcalfe’s law “the value of a network grows in proportion to the square of the number of users” which essentially means the larger the network the more connections/benefit the users get out of it.

You may love the comments or hate them but with 27% of internet users in the US having been involved, either reading or writing a blog, companies that ignore the messages posted may be doing so at their peril. Blogs are a valuable source of research to understand what consumers are thinking about your brand, latest advertising campaign or products/services.

A web log (blog) is a shared online journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences and interests. Blogs have become legitimate standard business practices and progressive marketers are building strategies around their use to influence a target audience. Many of these selfdeveloped forums are generating significant revenue streams for their creators. Teen networks such
as MySpace.com and Facebook.com have become destinations of choice for an increasingly connected youth culture.
Witness the success of twitter.com in creating large audience pull and drawing advertisers’ media dollars through the public interest in ‘A’ list celebrities and fashion icons. Yahoo! is also including blogs to the search criteria within news, further highlighting the increased interest of consumer opinion, unique insights or footage of events. In addition to using blogs for research, as a feature to your site,
they can increase traffic, membership and your SEO ranking.

Video logs (VBlog), are proliferating as bloggers seek to enhance their messages. Mobile blogs (Moblogs, mBlogs) can be posted directly to from your mobile communication device. Podcasting enables anyone to create their own radio or television show for download to others. And it goes on and on.

At the heart of the technical revolution in the explosion of self-expression via the Web, is a family of standards called RSS and a rival specification called Atom. RSS stands for Really Simply Syndication and allows individuals or web sites to opt-in and receive content or recent changes from other web sites, the most common of which are news, blogs, entertainment, and ecommerce. The technology
behind RSS allows users to subscribe to web sites that provide RSS feeds or syndicated content. For the marketer, RSS will enable you to communicate and publish information that goes directly, avoiding SPAM filters, to users who choose to link to you, at a time that is convenient to them. You will be able to receive feedback on what the market would like to hear about from you and be able to widen your reach through portals like www.live.com.

Even if it’s something as simple as putting press releases in an RSS feed, marketers will benefit from early exposure to distributing information via RSS and receive valuable feedback from key constituents on what types of content they would like to have.

Marketing and Social Networks

For marketers, do we need to know the latest on what is hot on the Social Scene and what is not? If you want to be where the audience is growing, social networks are an absolute. Public opinion is influenced there and your brand will get reviewed, praised, skewered or viral marketed to stardom.

Several ways to get started now include:

Information Blogs

Develop an information blog on your company, product or service. With approval from company leadership, communicate the latest happenings at the company, experiment with ideas and become a Thought Leader on a topic. Remember that your posts will return as other bloggers link to you and what you say is quoted in various ways. For many private companies, this is not a problem but understand that your postings can be used to support everything from contrary opinions to legal proceedings.

The benefits of blogging include reaching an extended audience and in the links that will be added by other bloggers. This increases the relevancy of your site for search engine indexing. We recommend you can get your own blog for free from WordPress or Blogger.

Personal Opinion Blogs

Many top-level executives are using blogs to gain higher visibility in the marketplace. If your strategy is to build key executives’ credibility so that they can be more effective in influencing the media, being invited to speaking engagements and so forth, the use of blogs is complimentary to that.

Online Advertising

Advertising money is pouring into the self-publishing space. The audiences are highly segmented based on the focus of the blog. Cost for ad placement is generally lower than that of mainstream publishing sites due to the relatively new position of accepting media spends. Choosing to move your ad spend to a blog or Social Network should come under the same type of analysis as that of any
other site. You can cash in on all the advertising $ being poured into blogs through programs such as Blogvertise

Build Linked Blog Communities

The American political machines have been at the forefront of developing communities of linked blogs.
This allows the savvy politician to create an increasingly connected constituency to state their support and drive campaign donations. Enabling your employees to develop their own site is a good way to foster a progressive culture. Ownership even within the confines of company policy still creates positive connections.

Join Social Networks

Getting involved in Social Networks has several advantages. First, it helps you understand the space and allows you to meet people who have like interests. Secondly, it enables you to influence the participants when you post your views and positions. Friendster, YahooGroups.com or Linkedln are just some of thousands of examples of Social Networks that you can get involved with.

Enhance Messages with Vlogs

Using video and enhanced multimedia can work like TV to communicate your message. There is no medium like video for communicating emotion to the masses. Vlogs will help drive your awareness and recall to a higher level than text and flat imagery.

With YouTube results getting ranked so highly now through Google, generating video can bring you great exposure. You don’t need to make fancy videos to get these benefits either. Often times the simplest ones are the most popular. I just started using Traffic Gyser to distribute my videos to over 200 video sites. I make very simple videos and with that system I’ve already seen a considerable boost in traffic and rankings. Video is definitely the next big traffic generating strategy in my opinion.

Podcast

Anyone with content can set up a Podcast. Just load up audio files and let people subscribe to them through an RSS feed. Podcasts are great for regularly updated content. Many radio stations are already using or experimenting with Podcast, as are many news led web sites like News.com. Scott Paton’s course on Podcasting is by far the best one for people interested in this area.

Set up RSS Feeds

RSS feeds provide an easy way for companies to syndicate your content and ultimately drive more traffic to your site and increase your brand awareness. You can even set up an RSS feed for the products on your site.
The people over at ShareThis.com setup these 2 cool widgets. The first allows you to setup a bookmark option on your site so people can quickly bookmark it. The second is an RSS button and allows people to get RSS feed from your site. Both are free and take seconds to create. Check them out here.

Legal Issues on Publishing

Every country in the world addresses the legal issues involving public opinion. Ignorance is not a defense and when making comments publicly available, be aware that potential liability issues include among others:

  • Defamation
  • Intellectual Property (Copyright/Trademark)
  • Trade Secret
  • Publication of Private Facts

However, in the spirit of free speech across much of the world… Blog on!

Managing the Message

Is it possible to orchestrate a program aimed at influencing behavior with Social Networking and Blogging? Absolutely. Can we predict what the results will be? Probably not. Word of mouth is the most powerful factor in this medium. Bloggers are notorious for digging into the story until the truth comes out. They don’t suffer lies and mistruths well and will band together to create a firestorm of
unfavorable PR for those who misuse the space.
For a Website wanting to build awareness. Traffic and exposure, the opportunity to use these avenues of marketing is very promising. Remember that the individual rules and the power is in the hands of those who believe in your message.

Preparing for Your Future Online

When pursuing your online opportunities, developing your business plans, setting up your online stores, websites, blogs, and Preparing for Your Future Online, do you have a short term view, a long term view or both?  What is your “Success Strategy”?  Are you doing what everyone else is doing or anticipating where the internet is taking us?  Are you Preparing for Your Future Online…  the Key to Success Online?

When considering things like:

  • The newest news:  Google Print (WebProNews.com Insiders Report)
  • The rumors invading the world of Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) regarding Google possibly changing their affiliate policy.  Everyone’s worried about it, but if they were set up properly they wouldn’t have to (keep reading this article).
  • Google’s ever changing landscapes the average SEO battles to stay on top of.  The efforts to try and anticipate updates and algorithms…  making things more complex than they need to be.
  • The expansion of the internet (InternetWorldStats.com)
  • The efforts to understand PageRank (PR) when the PR of today won’t be here tomorrow.
  • People trying to figure out how to write good sales copy…  but trying to boil it down to one formula when there isn’t one.
  • Debate over how to approach the design of websites and everyone arguing about which method is the best when they don’t take the whole picture into account (The Market; The Future)
  • The revving up of RSS as a way to provide more content on your website
  • Blogs affecting the offline world including politics (CBSNews.com Story)
  • The explosion and importance of forums.  It seems everyone is starting a forum.
  • And a million other things changing and influencing the way we do things now…

Everyone is scrambling to try and figure out the right “Success Strategy” and what direction to take with their business, websites and marketing.  We are all looking for the Key to Success.  But there is no right way…

You see not only is the internet vast and changing and developing rapidly, but everyone’s products and services can be and should be approached differently.  Markets very and situations demand different strategies.  But most importantly, will the things you’re doing today work in 1 year, 5 years or 10 years?

Are We Planning for the Future?

Many of us listen to what’s happening now, but what about 5 years from now?  Who is going to be still in business 10 years from now?  What works now will be obsolete.  Will you be left behind or be riding the wave as it grows?

Those who are prepared to adapt and have built a digital infrastructure for their business that anticipates the future will survive.  You can’t be static.  You can’t invest a lot of time and money into something inflexible that may be replaced by another technology next year.  We must understand what’s happening and what to anticipate.  You have to understand the big picture to make the right choices about your business online.

You can use many of the methods today and do very well short term, but you must have an exit plan.  You must move as the internet moves.  An important Success Strategy is having an exit plan.  This plan might be deciding that you will pursue an opportunity for 2 years, and then you will sell that business and have another one waiting in the wings.  It’s an important Key to Success Online if you want a long term presence.

The Internet’s Reflection

The internet in the future will be a reflection of the off-line world.  It isn’t yet, but it’s coming…  Why do I think that?  I believe that because the structure of the offline world has been developing for thousands of years and it works.  It’s in a continuous state of change, but the basic structure is in place.

To draw a comparison:

 

OFFLINE: If you want free information, where do you go offline?  The library…
ONLINE: Eventually you will find that same information available online.  Some of it is, but it will get better as you can see by Google’s activities.
   
OFFLINE: If you want a new book, magazine or other fresh information, where do you go?  The bookstore…
ONLINE: You already have bookstores online.
   
OFFLINE: If you want information about fishing, where do you go?  The library…
ONLINE: Eventually the online library.
   
OFFLINE: What if you want to buy a fishing rod?  You go to a fishing store…
ONLINE: You go to a fishing store.
   

How about Music, Electronics, or Office Supplies?  You can find them all online and offline.

Many people are worried about a move like “Google Print”.  A deal involving the libraries of five of the world’s most important academic institutions including:  The full libraries of Michigan and Stanford universities, as well as archives at Harvard, Oxford and the New York Public Library.  Why are you worried?  You didn’t anticipate this?  Never get too used to your environment, especially online.  Even offline markets change, products develop, and the technology improves… so will the internet except it will be magnified.

I believe the internet has several dimensions:  Leisure, Educational, Consumer, and Business to name a few.  All of these will develop side by side eventually catching up with the offline world and then pushing forward and getting better into the future.  The Key to Success Online is to understand how it’s all coming together and building your business to join that movement.

We must all understand that we just invented the wheel… so much more is to come.  The offline world and the online world will become seamless in years to come. It will be exciting to watch and be a part of.  Your Success Strategy should integrate the wheels of change.

So you must stop thinking in one dimension.  You must look beyond the present and understand how the changes might effect you.   You can’t fight the changes, but you can anticipate them.

What Exactly Do We Need to Worry About?

Some of you won’t have to worry about your products.  For instance if you sell jewelry, chances are people will still want jewelry in 10, 20 or 30 years.  But you do have to be flexible enough to move with the webs development.

Others of you will have to prepare a contingency plan.  You will have to decide how long your product will work for you and have another one ready to launch to take its place.  This is especially important for those involved with digital products.  Better yet, you should have multiple products and streams of income to roll with the changes.  If one drops off it won’t matter.  You’ll have others in place and another one ready to launch.

Too many of us think we only need to find one opportunity when in reality we must find one and look for another.  And again the best way to provide security is to have multiple product lines or sources of income.  We must not only work hard to develop the business your in, but prepare for the day that business might not be profitable…  the Key to Success is to anticipate that change.

 The Speed of Change and the Importance of Education

There is a difference online as far as the speed that business changes.  Things can change overnight.  Google only has to change one little thing in their algorithm to put someone out of business or launch someone else into success.

If you choose to pursue online opportunity, you must understand that your environment is in a constant state of change.  Just like anyone involved with technology, you will have to always be educating yourself.  Continuous education will help you be prepared and ride out the storms to come.  Education must become a routine.  It is another important Success Strategy.

Conclusion

There is a lot of opportunity online.  The Key to Success is understanding how the game is played.  You must have the future in mind.  Without a plan and a focus on the future you will find failure much sooner than later.  With a plan for the future and your eye on the future you will anticipate the failures, expect them, adapt and survive.

There is not one opportunity that is going to make you rich and let you sit back, relax and just collect your money.  There is the exception to that rule…  You could get lucky, but it’s unlikely.  You’re probably going to have to work hard, plan smart, and keep your eye on the ball.  And don’t worry about “Google Print”.  It was going to happen anyway…  Google is just poised to do it faster and better than the rest.

How to get backlinks

You’ve got your site uploaded and finally working – now you want to “force” Google Spiders and potential customers to come to you.
“Gimme Traffic, and lots of it!!”
You will probably have heard of the common term Indexing. It’s really just a method to get Backlinks. Just remember that Backlinks are kings of cool in terms of indexing and traffic.
Backlinks are links from other pages/sites to your page/site and they are sometimes referred to as Inbound or Incoming links.
This is akin to a popularity contest, the more links going to your site the better. Google and the other search engines think all these people like the site because they are linking to it, so they are forced to agree they like it too, and index it – whoopee – more traffic, more eyeballs on site!!

However, remember that Backlinks are only useful if the site linking to you is already indexed itself! So, by leading the bots that regularly visit these already indexed sites straight to your site you’re speeding up your own site’s indexing process.

Linkbuilding Methods

Before I show you a method of getting Backlinks while you watch it happen – here are a few working ideas which you can use as routines to build Backlinks regularly yourself, which will in turn get your page indexed, in most cases at a pretty rapid pace. If you’re already indexed this can continue to improve your position in the search engines or cause the search engines to crawl more of your pages and get more of your site indexed.

Blogging – Jackpot! This is another great way to get Backlinks. When you write a blog, Google knows about it practically before you’re done writing it.
Google and other search engines visit Blog sites too many times in a day to count. You can use Blogger.com free of charge, or safeguard your investment by setting up a WordPress Blog on your own domain / Web Hosting.
When you make a blog posting and casually drop in your site with a link to it, you’ve actually created a Backlink. Any blog host that is of any worthiness is indexed in Google and the other Search Engines.
Almost all methods of getting Indexed quickly rely on Backlinks and getting them easily. Blogging is a great way, as is having your friends link to you if they already have indexed sites.
Below are some reputable Blog sites that could be of great use to you. Don’t put a blog on every single one of them, or at least don’t put a blog on every one as well as using the future methods I am going to talk about. It can do more harm than good if you overdo it and appear to Spam any of these sites.

For a similar reason I’m not including a clickable link below!
BUT – Six good sites to Blog to about your own Site are: – www.
1. Blogger.com
2. Blogspot.com
3. 360Degrees.com
4. Spaces.msn.com
5. MySpace.com
6. Xanga.com

There are many, many, many more Blogging sites. Some are for just general Blogs and others are for specific types of Blogs. Do some research and you’ll find a lot more with Google etc. Blogging, combined with Pinging, may be the most useful and successful way to get indexed.
It can all be free and really valuable when it comes to getting indexed, and getting indexed quickly. I won’t cover Pinging in this short introduction but I must touch on RSS.
RSS – Really Simply Syndication: – It’s a way to let the search engines and blog hosts know when you update your page or blog on the spot. While RSS alone is useless, when you make use of it with your blog or page it’s just another tool in the arsenal of indexing that you can readily take advantage of.
This isn’t a fully comprehensive guide, it’s an introduction to some important principles and methods to get you geared up so you know what you’re doing and why! The one sure thing about RSS is that it really does work. Always try to include RSS feeds and go out of your way to ensure your methods make use of them.
See the site at www “dot” feedage.com for a really useful RSS Directory.
Social Networking: – Bingo, another great source of valued links!
In addition to Blogs you should always include at least a small circle of linked Social Network Sites for your main Keyword Site(s). I’m not going to cover this in detail here, it’s a big topic. However, for your immediate guidance I strongly recommend you research using: – www.

1. facebook.com
2. hubpages.com
3. mybloglog.com
4. friendster.com
5. hi5.com
6. squidoo.com

Be sure to follow this up as the Social Sites are already well crawled and spidered by the search engines and carry high rankings. How does this help?
– eg if you set up a Squidoo Lens around just one keyword phrase for the site you link it to, and make it a valued Lens (see instructions in Squidoo.com on this), then it will be well ranked on Squidoo and will also be well placed for the search engines because of the ranking that Squidoo carries itself. This will get you indexed rapidly and prove a real traffic driver, a FREE TRAFFIC DRIVER. Duplicate this for 3 or 4 of your keywords on Squidoo,
repeat that for HubPages etc, etc……… and Bob’s your Uncle!!
Of course there are hundreds of sites besides Squidoo and HubPages so as these two become known and “busy” try some of the less well known sites (Google them yourself) and follow the age old principles:
1. Track your activity
2. Check what’s working, tweak what’s not
3. Select the best (this is the Rinse!)
4. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

For any SEO enquiries, please email us on http://www.carra-lucia-ltd.co.uk/ContactUs.aspx