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5 ways to keep your social media accounts safe from hackers

Social media is such a critical part of business these days, making it extremely vital that you keep your accounts safe. Imagine if someone gained access to your accounts? It would be devastating and it could potentially have a severe negative impact on your business.

Things like:

  • Stealing your account and changing the handle in order to take your hard-earned followers.
  • Sending out compromised links to your followers.
  • Attempting to phish personal information from your customers.

If you haven’t thought of it before, here are 5 ways to secure your social media accounts and protect both your privacy and security.

  1. Always enable the two-factor authentication method: While two-factor authentication has been around for several years, it is in recent times that it has become extremely popular. To access your social media account, the two-factor authentication makes you enter another piece of information. 2FA, or multi-factor authentication, is said to be more secure than passwords and hence, gives you peace of mind, even if hackers steal your social media account passwords. In fact, cybersecurity professionals claim that two-factor authentication can also protect your accounts if you have malware on your system.
  2. 2.  Do not click on shortened URLs: Think twice about clicking on shortened links, even if you receive it from a trusted source. Sometimes, you may end up doing it, but if your antennae go up, close the web page without clicking anything on the page. This move will protect you from clickjacking that hackers use to gain access to social media profiles and other sensitive information.
  3. Use HTTPS to log in to your social media accounts: Do not use any other URL to log into your social media account. Make sure you use HTTPS URLs to access your accounts. This will prevent information from being accessed while it is being transmitted in the cyberspace. Use VPN as an added security measure as well when browsing the web.
  4. Change your social media accounts’ passwords regularly: Get into the habit of changing your social media account password every month. Create an alphanumeric password and make sure you use a different one for each account. Avoid using passwords like names, dates of birth, and other such information that hackers can get access to easily and compromise your social media accounts.
  5. Be selective in third-party applications: When you use a third-party application, such as a social media post scheduler, they will require access to your account. Make sure you are only authorizing legitimate applications to gain access. And be sure to read the details of what exactly you are authorizing the particular application to gain access to.

Social media sites are a wonderful networking and communications platform. However, social media accounts can be hacked if you don’t take the right security precautions. Besides having suitable anti-malware software, follow these ways to secure your social media accounts.

Facebook to remove its chat feature for groups

Facebook has recently made a lot of changes to its platform, with the change in image size in mobile news feed being the prominent one. However, the Californi-based company has announced to remove the chat facility from its Groups.

The chat feature for Facebook Groups was introduced last year with the sole purpose of allowing Group members to communicate with each other in real-time. However, the option to start a Messenger chat in a Group was taken away on August 16th and the rest of the shutting down process will be completed by the 22nd, as mentioned above.

After 22nd August, all the current chats in the Groups will be archived and will become read-only.  These chats will not be phased out completely though as members would still be able to search for the chat in Messenger and read the conversation history. The options to write a new message and add a participant to the Chat will no longer exist, unfortunately.

A big change to note is that Group Chats in Messenger shall not be affected by this move and users will still be able to start a group chat with whoever they are connected to on Messenger.

The new move has its fair share of pros and cons. Although the facility provided an opportunity to stay connected with fellow members, some users felt annoyed being added to random Group chats. Now only time will tell will this move be fruitful for Facebook or not in the long run.

These are the 10 things i would do inorder to manange a fanpage …

1) Firstly would be attracting fans mainly because the more the better it is to interact

2) After getting the fans which will build up subsequently i will focus on the content of the fanpage

3) The content of the fanpage should be such that people should feel like commenting on it ,

For eg : which were the first 3 songs did you listen on your i pod this morning etc etc…

Read the rest of this entry »

Do’s and Dont’s of SMM marketing

Social media has indeed changed the face of marketing. Radio, TV, and print ads move over – online interaction is the way of the future. However there are a few pointers any new startup should keep mind –

* Start with a proper plan, not tactics
* Grow your customer base quickly
* Set specific goals
* Welcome participation, feedback and co-creation
* Connect with customers easily
* Benefit from word-of-mouth advertising
* Actively participate in online forums and air your views
* Don’t feed readers a sales pitch; let the user community decide how great the product is

And, what should be best avoided –
* Do not be pushy or overtly ‘salesy’ in messaging and communications
* Don’t broadcast useless information on social media sites
* Avoid being fake in any way
* Above all, remember that social media is about the C’s: Conversation, Connections, Community, Consumer, Collaboration and Content.

From blogging, news aggregation to social networking and Twitter presence, if you invest time wisely in social media, the rewards will be readily visible.

Trust factor is another aspect that makes viral marketing powerful. Which is more likely to influence whether or not you buy a product, a friend recommending the product or a marketer telling you to buy the product? The answer is obvious– your friend holds more influence.

Facebook and the new Q&A

Yahoo Answers was the first Q&A site that i was exposed to. When it had started, it was exciting to see for any given question, you always had someone answering it. Someone who has the expertise or the experience in answering the question. Then there was the country editions that were started. Each country had their own Q&A sites like India had Rediff Q&A. This was the time, when we were just graduating from Chat systems to better and easy interactivity to off beat questions.

Need to be social
The intent of an individual to be – social – You create a social networking site. All sites began to gather momentum to

Then you provide people to become ego-massagers through interaction – You create the sharability feature

Then you provide them with resource of information – Search – via Google, first, then via Bing

and now bring in more interaction and kind of AI – through Collaborative research, big competition to Vark and Yahoo Answers.

What Next?
Google Answers has shut down!! But they bought Vark, where they wanted to integrate the real time and social search in a way that it becomes more sharable

FormSpring – Another Social QnA which created a whole new way of leveraging Facebook, Twitter and even Blogging platforms.

Even though there are so many social platforms that are available to answer your query. But the best part is that there is an inherent quality in us that we want answers, provided we have the right questions.

Geo Location – FourSquare trend catching on!!

Foursquare = pure genius. It’s odd how genius can manifest itself in ways that, on seeing, you realize were right there all the time. Foursquare is one of these manifestations. There is nothing particularly difficult to imagine or do in the concept or execution of Foursquare, yet for some reason, not even Google was able to achieve location-based networking that is this clear and successful, even though they had the feature available. So did Twitter. Cheers to Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai for that one! Despite Google buying Crowley’s initial idea, Foursquare turned out more efficient than imagined.

Combining social networking, SMM and social gaming, Foursquare is one ingenious application. Foursquare gives you multiple reasons to visit that bar around the corner. Or the one at the opposite end of town, for that matter. Not only do you gain game points for visiting it, chances are that the bar has a special offer for Foursquare users who check in there and you know by a single glance at your phone, that your friends are hanging out there.

What’s more, if you visit the same place more than anyone else on Foursquare, you get a ‘Mayor’ badge – and probably free drinks too in the offline world, once the venue starts recognizing Foursquare and your loyalty to the website and the venue. This is of particular gain to the bar-owner – he knows, simply by putting his business on Foursquare, how many different people visit on any day, the regulars if any. The gaming part practically pulls people to the business.

Daniel knows that going to Red Shoes is going to get him game points, and he is going to have a great time doing it. It’s a win-win situation for him (unless he is broke). Also, if the Red Shoes bartender makes an amazing Cosmopolitan, Nina knows through a recommendation Stacy put on Foursquare – and now she also knows where she is going to be dancing away her birthday night. Foursquare combines 3 of the things youngsters are most excited about today : nightlife, friends and achievement. Party, know where your friends are and get a mayor badge for it. What adds up here is that, you are standing on hill road, and want to know, where we can go and have a nice economical burger, someone has already added the tip that you can check it out at Hearche Bakery.

Amazing psychology combined with technology that is not very difficult to comprehend = great concept and execution. The success of Foursquare is an admirable feat, especially with regard to geo-location, a scene that has been stumbling for a while. There was a missing link there – so I know where you are?

Augmented Reality

Slick, touch-responsive, elucidative glares have long been a feature of science-fiction. The suave, dashing spy strides down a bus New York street and pauses before a man with an impassive, phlegmatic expression. Cut to the hero’s glares: a blinker appears on the top-left corner for a few seconds, after which a list drops down the screen. The suspect’ stats – vital and otherwise – have just been sourced ‘from the database’.

In a few years – heck, now, probably – these glares will be reality. Augmented reality (AR), actually. That’s the technology these glares use. Augmented reality superimposes graphics, audio and other sense enhancements from computer screens onto real time environments. What is most impressive about this, is that AR’s information is given according to subjective needs. (If you want eco-friendly bags, that’s what your AR-instrument will point you towards, in the mall.) While Pranav Mistry’s Sixth Sense technology is the most popular and promising aspect of AR today, there are also gaming, wikitude and numerous other possibilities.

This will take convenience to a new level – Look at a lake and know if it’s too deep, cold or toxic to swim in. Calorie-count will appear as soon as you look at food. Military operations will be aided greatly by AR – blueprints, night vision, detection of weaponry – all at the touch of a screen. Surgeons will have an objective, unimpeded view of the area of surgery, with constant indicators on a single screen. Not to mention that looking at a person brings up all their information on the internet.

Which begs the question: do I *want* a stranger to see the details of my Facebook and Twitter pages? Will I have the same attitudes to the guilty culinary delights if I start using AR calorie-counts? (I know I can stop using AR if it makes me guilty, but will I ever eat Tiramisu again?). Yeah, I want the Indian Army to know the enemy’s actions like it knows cricket scores, but do I want the enemy to know the same about India? Is it really a good idea to be peering at a virtual screen every few seconds?

When AR does make an appearance in the lives of the masses, it will be extensively powerful and correspondingly dangerous. However, like all other technological progress today, it will march on regardless. Preventing a virtual Hiroshima-Nagasaki is up to the users. The choice is yours are you willing to be part of the revolution as a user or as a creator?

Trends in Social Media Marketing in 2010

Mobile will gain in Social Networking – people will start using cell phones more extensively for social net working needs. Fall in rates, more competition between mobile service providers, and the most anticipated 3G spectrum will fuel this growth.

Digital divide of the online and offline world will come together – there would be more explosion of interest based meet ups – feng shui, dog lovers

Social Networking will not be just a few handful of early adopters, but this time the voice would be much louder and the reach would be larger and more amplified

On the applications and websites the “coolness quotient” will move to more “utlity quotient”. The coolness will attract but then utility will make the stick around and keep coming back for more!!

One thing that might be negative or should be used with caution will the aspect of Peronsal Privacy and copy of content without giving acknowlegement to the user, specially true in case of blogging.

More celebrities will start engaing with their fans online, will use this tool not only to promote their movies, but also the causes that are close to their heart. Fans will be excited to have a tweet reply from their favourite celebrity or celebrities’ symphatasies on their fan’s loss.

From a more business perspective it would become micro-tagetting, mass-prsonalization and interest based profiling of users and demographic profiling of users would be a passe.

Facebook, Twitter will stagnate, next big thing would foursquare.com, are you on it yet or be left behind.

This article was featured in the DNA here

Social-Network Users’ data at risk:

Researchers find a way to identify individuals in supposedly anonymous social-network data. One way for social networks to make money is by sharing information about users with advertisers and others who are interested in understanding consumer behavior and exploiting online trends.

Social networks typically promise to remove “personally identifying information” before sharing this data, to protect users’ privacy. But researchers has found that, combined with readily available data from other online sources, this anonymized data can still reveal sensitive information about users.

In tests involving the photo-sharing site Flickr and the microblogging service Twitter, the researchers were able to identify a third of the users with accounts on both sites simply by searching for recognizable patterns in anonymized network data. Both Twitter and Flickr display user information publicly, so the researchers anonymized much of the data in order to test their algorithms.

The researchers wanted to see if they could extract sensitive information about individuals using just the connections between users, even if almost all of the names, addresses, and other forms of personally identifying information had been removed. They found that they could, provided they could compare these patterns with those from another social-network graph where some user information was accessible.

Data from social networks–particularly the pattern of friendship between users–can be valuable to advertisers. Most social networks plan to make money by sharing this information, while advertisers hope to employ it to find a particularly influential user and target her with advertising to reach her network of friends, for example.

The researchers say that it is fairly easy to find non anonymous social-network data: the connections between friends in many networks, such as Twitter, are made public by default.

Orkut and its new Look

Orkut has introduced a completely new get up facing competition with Facebook. (via Orkut Blog)

Orkut - New Look

Orkut - New Look

The new look is a mixture taking elements from MySpace the new default color theme, updates is a are very Facebook element and last one also the see the notification like the one in gmail.

What would have made a difference and probably switch the evolved internet users back to Orkut would the integration of status updates via twitter, friendfeed and any other RSS compatible links.

Primarily, Orkut being very popular in Brazil and India, they should have added some very specific themes which are contextually relevant to Brazilians and Indians respectively. Plus, the usability has also become easy in the sense that a person does not need to wait for new tab or window to open. Personally, i always liked Orkut, since it was the first social networking site that i was introduced to and that time, till date I dont like chatting, so Orkut was a welcome relief to be connecting with friends and at the same time, we dont need to give them instant responses.

Even though, you have the chat facility in Orkut, the video chat may not be all that successful, since we are still facing with low bandwith and the major population who is accessing Orkut, might still be using Dial up, so then the chances of using video chat again, diminishes.

With the new feature, you might just have a slight increase in the usage and interactivity on Orkut, but then a lot of people in groups have already shifted to Facebook and now adopting to Twitter. Dont see all of them shifting or spending time on Orkut, untill they make some drastic changes, not just theme colour. They should also look into adding some more community features and connecting with the people on the communities.