Why use Anti-Phishing Attack Software to Ensure Cybersecurity?


Phishing

A phishing attack is a process in which an imposter or an attacker sends emails to the users at large claiming to be someone they know or belonging to a brand/ services they use. Most of these emails ask users to share their personal information such as the bank account details, credit card number and pin numbers, or other such information which can lead to identity and financial theft. The emails would also ask the users to open a link or the attached document and download a file. When the user falls prey and performs any of the said actions, the malicious virus hidden in the email will enter their computer. It will provide the attackers access to the computer and allow them to steal the information stored on it without the user’s knowledge.

Over the years, many antivirus software products, spam and malware filters have been developed to detect such emails and prevent the users from being duped. Enterprises have become a hot target for the attackers. Even if one employee in the entire organization would become a victim, the attackers could access and control the entire system of the enterprise.

Almost every enterprise has antivirus software installed along with firewalls, spam filters, and other such email security systems. Yet, a good number of phishing emails slip past the filters and end up reaching the employees. Many employees have been duped and as a result, the enterprises have suffered losses in more ways than one.

If we wonder why, the answer is quite simple. Despite the claims, the traditional antivirus software packages do not successfully detect and prevent all kinds of phishing attacks. With changing technology, attackers are creating innovative methods to slip past the security filters.

What the companies need is phishing attack software that will provide all-round protection by identifying every suspicious and fraudulent email and alerting the users. The attackers not following the old methods of sending easily detectable fake emails. Instead, they are targeting a certain section of employees with highly intelligent email techniques. It is more or less impossible for the traditional antivirus software that relies on a standard database to compare the emails to identify and detect the latest phishing attacks.

If we consider Zero Day Attack as an example, it is one of the newest phishing attacks in the market that doesn’t get detected by most software packages. On average, about 1.5 million new phishing sites and email ids are created. To keep up with the ever-increasing list of fake websites is not a solution. It takes 24-48 hours to create a signature of complex malware, while it takes less than 82 seconds for an employee to fall victim to the phishing attack.

So, we need something uses a different technique to detect fake URLs without spending hours of time on it. Only then can the employees and enterprises be saved from phishing attacks. The latest and advanced phishing attack software used artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to scan and recognize the hidden malicious code in the emails and alert the employees. The most common type of Zero Day attacks are-

  • Microsoft Office Marcos
    • Macros are one of the most helpful tools offered by Microsoft. With one click, the repetitive tasks can be automated, thereby saving time for the employees.
    • When the attacker sends an email attachment with an Excel or other Microsoft file, the macros are coded to install malware throughout the system.
    • Using the machine learning technology, the latest anti phishing software identifies the hidden code and alerts the users about the email be a phishing attack.
  • Malicious Links
    • Embedded links within emails make it easy for websites to share information with their customers.
    • The same feature is used by scammers. They include links that will lead the user to a fake website. The IP address and domain names are similar to the brand they impersonate making it impossible for users to detect it as fraudulent at a single glance.
    • The anti-phishing software uses computer vision technology to read the minute changes in the domain names and also checks the final page which the link leads to.
  • Infected PDFs
    • The attackers take advantage of the features offered by Adobe Acrobat to include malicious software in the PDF files and send them to their victims.
    • The phishing attack software identifies the malware and blocks the email.
  • Embedded Code
    • HTML emails allow employees to include code in the email, which will be executed when the email is opened.
    • The next-generation anti phishing software detects this hidden code and stops it from being executed.

The anti-phishing software works on any device in any location. It can be deployed throughout an enterprise within a matter of minutes.

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Brought to you by David Neeble

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

Why is the Mass Text Messaging Service among the Most Used Services in the Market?


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SMS (Short Messaging Service) is one of the most preferred ways of communicating with customers for business enterprises. Sending an SMS is simple, easy, and cost-effective. Targeting the new audience, expanding the market share, increasing brand loyalty and customer retention are some of the reasons why enterprises choose to use SMS as a major communication channel.

But how do enterprises send millions of messages per day? Sending one message at a time to individual phone numbers using a mobile phone is not an option.

The answer is most business enterprises use an SMS gateway and mass text messaging service to send messages to their customers in bulk. Many companies provide API integration services that will help enterprises integrate their system and database with the SMS gateway to send messages to customers’ phone numbers from a web application.

This makes it easier for them to send messages in bulk with a single click. There are many other advantages of using the API integration services provided by the companies. We will understand some of those in this post.

  • Cost-effective and Easy to Use
    • An SMS gateway allows enterprises to send messages from a computer. The support staff can simultaneously handle the task of sending messages and communicating with customers from multiple computers.
    • The interface is easy to use on both ends. Every mobile phone has the SMS feature in-built in the device. So it becomes very easy for the users as well as business owners to get acquainted with using the SMS as a potential marketing channel.
    • Users with little or no technical knowledge can also open and read the messages sent via SMS. It does not even have any dependency on the internet connection or smart phones.
    • SMS messages do not require an internet connection to be delivered to users. The mobile phone network will do the job effectively.
  • Suitable for Enterprises in Any Industry
    • Business enterprises from any industry can opt for the mass text messaging service.
    • Right from banks and financial institutions to healthcare, retail, travel, food industry, media and entertainment industries, any business enterprise can send messages to customers using these services.
    • The size and volume of the business also do not matter. Small, medium, and large scale business enterprises can opt for SMS messaging services.
  • Send Alerts and Notifications
    • Most enterprises use the bulk messaging services to send timely notifications and alerts to users.
    • Details about order confirmations, packing, shipping, deliveries, cancellations, etc. can be sent to users to keep them updated.
    • Notifications about service and payment due dates, flight and train ticket confirmations, restaurant reservation timings, etc. are a few more examples.
  • Use it as a Digital Marketing Strategy
    • SMS messages can be effective ways to promote and market a brand or a business and increase sales.
    • Capture Attention
      • Capture customers’ attention by sending them attractive deals and discounts.
      • Introduce them to new products or services they might be interested in.
    • Schedule Campaigns
      • Schedule promotional campaigns for the coming days in advance.
      • This will help plan the marketing strategy effectively.
      • Bulk messages can be scheduled in advance and automatically sent to customers on specified dates.
    • Cross-Promotion
      • Cross-promote the brand by sending attractive offers to customers with similar product preferences and purchase history.
      • Gently urge them to try a new brand by sending personalized product suggestions.
    • Exclusive Offers
      • Send exclusive discounts, coupon codes, etc. to special customers.
      • Categorize customers into groups and send exclusive offers in bulk.
    • Email to SMS
      • Messages can be sent from an email to user phone numbers using the API platform.
      • The messages from an email will be converted and forwarded to the selected list of phone numbers in the database.
    • Lead Tracking
      • Include links to the webpages in the SMS. Keep track of the leads generated through the messages to understand the extent to which SMS messages are helping in building the business.
    • Two-factor Authentication
      • Use two-factor authentication to ensure data security.
      • Send One Time Passwords and other confidential information with an added layer of protection.
      • Voice calls Fallback
        • If the OTP fails to deliver during the stipulated time, the voice call fallback option will ensure that the customer receives the OTP before the transaction time expires.
        • The option is auto-routed, and a call will be placed to the customer’s phone number from the system.
      • Two-way Communication
        • Allow customers to reply to messages sent by the enterprise.

Take feedback, ask for confirmations, or let customers initiate a message by providing them with the required codes to send as replies.

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Brought to you by David Neeble

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

6 Ways to Tell if Your Website Was Hacked


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If you have the slightest suspicion that your website is hacked or has been hacked for some time, then that’s probably the case. At that point, you should act as soon as possible. Most of the times, people will complain that their browser is alerting them of the hack when they visit their site. It’s either that or the hosting provider took the site offline. This could reveal one scary truth – the hackers have invaded the site for quite some time now, and they might have done considerable damage. Ideally, you should invest in some security products to safely encrypt your website. You should do anything to avoid hackers and invasive attacks. But first, let’s take a look at how you should check whether your website’s health bar. We’ll talk about outside sources here, taking into consideration that even the most vigilant system administrator could overlook certain aspects.

  • Your browser gives you a warning

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If you or any other visitor stumbled upon this when accessing the website on Chrome, then your site is most probably infected with a healthy dose of malware. For example, this warning tells you that your website has been used as a den for phishing attempts. Links to your website are being sent to other people, tricking them into doing what the hacker wants once they visit the website. How does the hacker achieve this? Malware.

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The same goes for this warning. It’s self-explanatory, I think. Someone has access to your website’s internal structure, and they installed specific malware programs which infect the devices of your visitors.

  • The hosting provider takes your website offline

Your hosting provider might receive complaints from other users that your site is hacked, or their own autonomous screening programs have detected something wrong. Either way, they’ll immediately cut off your website from the internet. Keep in mind that some hosting providers might also format your server to prevent the infection from spreading to other users. It would be good to have a back-up close-by, just in case this happens. After they’ve closed down your website, you’ll usually receive a notification on your email.

  • Google search results show your website as potentially harmful

If you see this message right next to your website on the Google searches, then you’re probably dealing with hackers.

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Sometimes, Google will remove your website from the search results altogether, if they have strong reasons to believe the malware is very risky. At times, they’ll still show it, but accompanied by a warning notification. They’ll either say that “This site may be hacked”, when they’ve noticed strange changes made to the website, or that “This site may harm your computer”, which means they’ve successfully detected the malware and they’re reminding you of this. It’s also possible for your website to display different content in different countries as part of a hack. The only way you can detect this is if you use a VPN to check your website from different countries.

  • Your Malware Scanner warns you of an infection

If you’ve been listening to me and decided to employ a malware scanner, then most likely, this is where you’ll first find out that your site is being hacked. With a malware scanner, the time between the infection and its discovery is kept to a minimum, hence its efficiency and my advice. Check your email daily, so you don’t miss any warnings when they do come.

  • Customer complaints

The truth is, your customers get to use your website way more than you do, and if you have thousands of visitors per day, this could be a very handy warning system. Quite cynical, I know, but it gets the job done. If someone informs you of fishy things related to your website, don’t wait and allow things to get out-of-hand! Take it offline if need be!

  • Google’s Search Console warns you of any infections

This console is the former “Google Webmaster Tools”. The name says enough, I think. Use it to check for any inconsistencies Google may have found when it’s indexing your website. It will even provide you with a few statistics with customer visits. As usual, you’ll receive the notifications by mail. So, if you see something like this, then your website is probably hacked.

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How you can detect a hack before anyone notices

Visiting your website regularly should be your first and foremost prevention solution against malware and hacks. Just make sure to check the code and the databases regularly, and perform a couple of security checks as well. By using a Source Code Scanner, you can inspect all the PHP code and all the other source code to check for any known malware patterns. These programs will either check for any malware signatures that match their database of known infections or compare the suspicious code with a good version of it.

In this way, both old and newer types of malware can be safely detected before the infection gets to spread forth. You can also monitor the site traffic and check for any spikes. These appear when hackers use your website for a spamvertizing campaign. In plain language, they’ll include your link in spam emails which they send to people. Then, they get redirected to the true serpent hiding in the bushes. However, your website will still record a spike in traffic when the users first access the initial link. Searching for these traffic spikes with tools like Google Analytics will cut your time in half, and get you to the bottom of the issue. You’ll quickly have a general idea of whether your website has been hacked or not. Most hacked sites have these traffic spikes, so it’s quite a good hint in that direction.

Conclusion

Keeping your website malware-free is not that hard to accomplish, especially if you proactively search for any issues beforehand. Be vigilant, and you won’t be taken by surprise, that’s the golden rule. Build a routine of constant security check-ups, use Google’s Search Console, and remember to check your email daily for any warning notifications.

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Brought to you by Bogdan Patru – is a cybersecurity news analyst at VPNTeacher. He has a passion for international data policy and how it affects citizens’ privacy.

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

How Artificial Intelligence Is Reshaping Email Marketing (Infographic)


Artificial Intelligence, technology

Email is one of the highest-performing marketing channels around, but it doesn’t mean that developments are no longer possible. Email marketing is proving to be more efficient with the introduction of the latest technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI). Practically all aspects of email marketing are compatible with how AI is supposed to work.

Since AI programs have machine learning features built into them, you can direct your email campaigns to the right audience based on your customers’ past behaviour, activities, and interaction with your brand. As a tool that’s capable of collating data about your email marketing performance, AI helps ensure that you’re able to optimise various elements in your email, from subject line to copy and CTA – so recipients will be compelled to find out what’s in it for them.

The following infographic also examines the role of AI in streamlining your email marketing through automation as well as setting business goals and making projections through data analytics.

How-Artificial-Intelligence-is-Reshaping-Email-Marketing

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Brought to you by Connextdigital

Post submitted by Jess Andriani

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

26 must-know ecommerce stats for 2019


e-commerce-background-design_1223-90

How often do you shop online? Whether it’s a late-night clothing haul or a much-needed replacement part for your vacuum, customers are making more frequent and significant online purchases. As of today, two-thirds of Americans have made at least one online purchase in the past month. But as of 2040, 95% of all purchases are expected to be made online.

With the boom in e-commerce comes a rise in customer expectations. If you’re a retailer, you now need to focus more effort into shipping times, technology, and customer service. Perfecting the online shopping experience for your customers will be crucial if you want to survive and thrive in this changing landscape.

This infographic below covers 26 must-know online shopping statistics for 2019.

ecommerce-statistics

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Post submitted by Karli K.

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Billionaires could solve your money problems.


pexels-photo-259027

With financial woes in the US piling up there is an extreme wealth disparity that keeps growing. According to a Washington Post article, the top 1% of Americans own more than the lowest 90% combined.

At this point, minimum wage jobs do not cover basic needs and $7.25 an hour keeps many working families in poverty while the debt keeps growing. The average American has over $6300 in credit card debt alone. That’s $12.6k for the over 40% of two-parent families in the US that are holding this kind of debt.

Students have been stricken with $1.5 Trillion in student loan debt, a number that has grown markedly over the last few years. The class of 2017 graduated with close to $40k in debt on average!

What could possibly help? Maybe billionaires are the answer. Though most would consider a cadre of billionaires getting together to be the start of a massive global conspiracy if the around 2200 billionaires on the planet decided to use their money for good collectively, what could they accomplish?

Luckily, you don’t have to search too far to find the answer. Below, our friends at Self Lender researched to see what financial good the richest of the rich could do if they just put their pocketbooks to it.

The results are astonishing! With likely less than most of these .00003 per cent of the population spend on a fancy vacation, the group of super-rich could quickly bring the minimum wage up to $15 an hour. Also, a slightly larger investment could eradicate all credit card debt in the US.

The infographic below shows what might happen if you could get every billionaire to give a little bit. In the meantime though, keep paying your premiums.

Billionaires

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Brought to you by our friend at the Self Lender

Post submitted by Emily Campbell

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

Tips to Boost Wifi Signal [Infographic]


How-to-Boost-WiFi-router

Whether you use the internet for work or play, it’s more or less like a culture in our world today. We expect nothing less than fast, reliable internet service but unfortunately, it’s not always the case. Most of us have experienced dead zones, slow internet speeds and long chats with tech support help. Don’t worry; you are not in this situation alone hahaha. That’s why our friends at Panda Security has put together a visual on ten ways to improve your WiFi signal. Whether physical obstacles block your WiFi router, or it needs an extender to provide internet in spotty places, this infographic has tips and tricks to boost your WiFi.

Below is an infographic which outlines how you can boost your wifi signal:

How-to-boost-wifi-signal

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Brought to you by our friend at the Panda Security

Post submitted by Katie Santos

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

 

Four Pillars of Brainstorming


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Whether you love brainstorming or feel intimidated by the process, it’s always great to brush up on your idea generation skills. Coming up with creative ideas on demand is no easy feat, but implementing tried and true brainstorming best practices can help make the process easier. If you’re feeling stuck during a brainstorm, consider implementing the four pillars of brainstorming, a framework created by advertiser Alex F. Osborn in the 1940s. Alex F. Osborn created the term “brainstorm” and developed four pillars that you can use when coming up with new ideas.

By going for quality, withholding criticism, welcoming wild ideas, and combining and improving ideas, you can radically transform the success of your brainstorming sessions. Check out the infographic below from our friends at Fundera that outlines the four pillars and provides actionable tips to improve idea generation. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comment box below.

Brainstorming-ideas-infographic

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Brought to you by Fundera

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

24 Google Doc Hacks & Add-ons to Make Your Life Easier


Google-Hacks

Twenty years ago, collaborating with people in real-time over the internet seemed difficult to understand. Now we do it every day with the click of a button. Google Docs is a powerful tool that makes working with people both near and far a breeze, but do you know how to use it to its full capacity? Go beyond just sharing docs and leaving comments with these 24 Google Doc hacks and add-ons.

Google Hacks Infograph

Excited to save some time? With these hacks you no longer have to manually go through a document and look for duplicates or change the capitalization structure letter by letter. Though these may just seem like minor details, they will make a major difference in productivity!

To keep your files neat and organized on your computer, you can go the extra step and download Google Drive for Mac. This will save and sync your files on both your hard drive and in the cloud, so you have a backup.

You can also download the Google Doc phone application to easily view documents when you’re on the go. If you’re worried about losing internet connection and have to do a last minute edit, you can set particular documents to be available offline. Just click the three dots next to the document’s title and choose “Available offline”. These documents are automatically put in an “Offline” folder.

Staying organized is the key to managing your workload and optimizing your time, and these easy, actionable tips are sure to help you do just that.

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Brought to you by GetVoip

Edited by Temitope Adelekan