5 Tips For Working From Home

5 Tips For Those Working from Home that will help you succeed

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Home Office Space

Working from home is an increasingly popular option for workers worldwide. In fact, many consider this is such an important job perk, that it is worth discussing at interview or at job negotiation stage.

Then, if that option was to become a reality you would definitely want to succeed at your job and, to do that, you would need a “work from home” space that actually works for you.

Likewise, if you are running your own online business working from home, you should implement these tips to make sure your workplace setup is not hindering your progress and chances of success.

With that in mind, I have these 5 tips for working from home that will help you set up a home office, will help you maintain or increase your productivity and avoid some of the common mistakes made by newcomers to the work from home scene.

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Get Started With Changing Your Life Right Now

#1 – Have a Dedicated Space

It’s not practical or realistic to think you can set up for work in a different spot each day, right!

Logging in from the bed, the sofa or the dining room table…….. sure, there is no reason why you can’t move around during your day, in fact that is one of the many advantages of working from home.

But you do need a dedicated place to keep your files, receipts, charging points and a monitor, as well as a quiet area to meet personal callers.

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If you have a guest bedroom with space for a desk, that can be an ideal choice for a home office. Or, if you live in an apartment, you might consider installing a small office space in the living room by adding a good light, a desktop, a power extension and cord – all of which can be picked up quite cheaply locally or online.

Whatever space you choose, make it permanent and easy to access.

Constantly clearing a space and re-organising yourself, will just cause irritation and stress that will not help you.

#2 – Limit Your Distractions

You might think you can glance at TV news every now and then and that may be true. But if you turn up the sound or – far worse – you switch channels to a favourite like Sports Channel, DIY or whatever, you are finished!

Do you really think you can focus with that amount of distraction in the room? Ask yourself – would you do this in front of your boss or co-workers?

Notifications from electronic devices can also be a distraction. They’ll tempt you to check your voicemail, texts, Facebook messages, or Instagram account – a sure way to lose focus.

Try to separate your personal and social communication platforms from your work computer.

Set up alarms or a schedule for stretching your legs and checking your devices – this will ensure you stay focused between those short breaks.

A window with a busy view might not help as it gives your mind more things to process than it needs. Even worse when your space is filled with personal business like unpaid bills, grocery shopping lists or things you need to file.

If at all possible, keep your work space separate from your personal office.

Limiting distractions means asking yourself, ‘Would this be acceptable at head office?’

#3 – Prioritise Ergonomics

No matter where you work, you can only do it if you’re not in physical pain.

If you can, invest in an ergonomic keyboard. These are designed to protect your wrists and hands, something that chiropractors, massage therapists and orthopaedic surgeons think is important.

Just as important – your desk height. Make sure your work surface is not too high or you’ll be holding your shoulders up all day. A small desk with a keyboard tray can be a great investment in your productivity and “work from home” wellness. These are available from local stores and online retailers.

A desk that can be raised is also a great investment as, standing for a good portion of your day can help keep you healthier, aid your circulation and may even prevent weight gain.

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Office chair

Don’t scrimp on your seating either – invest in an ergonomic chair. This will pay dividends in the long run, since comfort equals productivity.

And, get a good light, especially if you do a fair amount of reading or document proofing. There’s no substitute for good lighting.

#4 – Don’t Forget these Essentials

When setting up your space, keep these important necessities in mind:

  • Make sure you don’t have a bright window at your back while working on your computer. Very few shades can compensate for a window’s glare on your screen. Although, you must also remember, natural light can do wonders for productivity (not to mention mood and overall health), so position your work space to get the benefits of a window without the drawbacks.
  • Determine where your nearest power outlets are and make sure you can plug in the many devices you need where you need them.
  • Check and make sure your location has great mobile signal strength or, if necessary, plan on putting in a land line. Make sure you have a strong Wi-Fi connection and that it’s fast enough for your work requirements.
  • Spend a few workday hours at home to make sure your neighbours don’t have super-noisy habits (or dogs) of which you’re not aware.

#5 – Find a Balance: Convenience vs. Lifestyle

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Everything you will ever need…

If you have roommates or a romantic partner, don’t leave them out of the conversation.

If they’re not happy while you’re working, or with where you work, this will affect your focus and therefore your productivity.

Discuss these questions:

  • How often is your room mate home during working hours?
  • Will conference calls or the need for quiet necessitate a change in their lifestyle?
  • Will an office in the bedroom put a crimp in your love life?
  • Will file folders or training manuals feel like clutter?
  • Will a computer desk eliminate the option of in-home workouts?
  • Are someone’s habits going to change when it comes to watching TV, listening to music or having friends drop by?

As I said before, talk to your room mate or partner and resolve any issues or at least get their agreement before starting to set up your work space.

Of course, working from home will also have lots of advantages like:

  • Diesel / gasoline savings
  • Commuting time saved
  • More free time
  • Less demands in the wardrobe department
  • More flexibility

Just make sure your work from home office positions YOU for success.

Implementing these tips for working from home will put you in a position where you can stay focused on your daily tasks, achieve your work goals and maintain good health.

That must be good for you, right?


Well, that’s it for today.

You can also check out these related topics how to start an online business that makes money and how to work online at home.

If you found this information helpful, please share on social media.

Thank you for visiting and do leave a comment below before you go.

Cheers,

Michael

Getting Started At Affiliate Marketing

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Take the leap

Starting As An Affiliate Marketer

Starting an online affiliate marketing business is definitely one of the simplest ways to earn money from your computer and most importantly, since you’re interested in working from home, you can work at times that suit you. So, getting started at affiliate marketing should never be scary or frightening to anybody no matter what their background is.

What does this mean?

Well, it means you can start by doing it part-time and you can keep your day job. It also means you don’t need to eat, breath and live your business in order to make it work – although you will enjoy it and you will get immersed in it.

Also, because it requires very little experience, you can set it up quickly and begin to reap the benefits of having your very own online business, working at you own pace, while still learning the ins and outs of growing that business.

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An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula…click on image

You might say you hate selling? Well, that’s what being in business is all about, so you outlook on sales and selling will change – one of the great things about affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to go door-to-door or make any of those annoying cold calls to qualify you as an efficient marketing affiliate.

It’s all about recognising who you are, what are you interests or passions in life and changing your mind-set to seeing yourself as a business person. Yes, a business person who happens to do their business online from home. You will have to clear your head and sort through your junk (de-clutter your brain) in order to see the opportunities in front of you. Otherwise, you may miss great chances to make something big from something small and then blame it on other factors.

If you wish, go there right now and check it out for FREE as a Starter Member……..you have nothing to lose, right!

Is An Online Affiliate Business Hard Work?

It does take hard work and commitment, especially when you are new to the online business environment. However, you will find it thoroughly engaging and enjoyable and, if you do it right, you can continue to earn money from your work for months and years to come.

If you are looking to do the bare minimum for huge benefits, or looking for some get rich quick scheme, this information will not benefit you.

However, if your goal is to start a business from home that is flexible and enjoyable, then an online marketing affiliate business may be just what you are looking for. Nowadays you can easily start an online business that is based on your passion or passions, your skills and what you see as your purpose – and that business will be sustainable to meet the needs of your current and future customers.

You can start your business on a part time basis to begin with and in time, you may want to expand it into a full-time business – that will largely depend on how much you put into it.

Related topic: Why Become an Affiliate Marketer?

Affiliate Marketing

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Affiliate Marketer-Click Image to start

As a newcomer, you basically have to know that it comes down to these:

  • You set up a website (very easy to do these days)
  • Decide On A Niche – a niche is an area in the marketplace where a specific group of people have a shared interest…..examples, mountain climbing, losing belly fat…..
  • You find related products that you like.
  • Through promotional techniques (there are hundreds of ways) you go about attracting visitors to your website, sales pages, ads and/or social media accounts
  • Some of those visitors will buy the products you promote and you will earn a commission (usually 35% to 50%) – some programs offer more and some offer less
  • Then you get your money deposited into your account.

Those are the basics.

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How to start an online business…

 

There will be many opportunities for you to jump on when you decide to start you affiliate marketing home based business. The biggest areas that people are willing to pay for are Health & Wellness (in particular losing weight), Personal Development, Dating and All Things Money (making more, saving, crushing debt etc).

For example, many companies such as Amazon, Walmart and Target have affiliate programs. Meaning, you can apply for registration and approval as an affiliate. Once approved, you can set up a way to drive visitors to your website where you promote specific products from that store with a banner or a link on your webpage and when a visitor clicks, it takes them to the sales page of the merchant. In this case it would be Amazon, Walmart or Target, and if they make a purchase, you earn a commission.

Digital products such as ebooks, online courses or anything of the like are virtual programs that can be downloaded online. These have a higher payout commission because there is really no inventory or shipping costs to carry by the merchant. Some of the most popular digital product affiliate suppliers are Clickbank, CJ and Shareasale – some of which also have physical products you can promote.

Now, there are dozens of other companies that offer affiliate programs. These are just examples I put out there because they are well known companies. The choice will be yours and you will fine-tune your decision once you embark on your own research.

Affiliate Marketing is One Of the Easiest Home Internet Businesses to Start

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Online Office!

Becoming an affiliate marketer has a lot of opportunities and layers, for that reason I couldn’t possibly post the entire contents of what I’ve learned so far – because you’d be reading this page forever. What I can tell you is that I will give you my best summary that will help you decide if this online business idea is good for you. Hopefully it will push you to expand your horizons and earnings as you explore more.

So let me break it down on how this business works.

Make a decision you are going to start a marketing affiliate business, make a strong commitment and promise yourself that you will stay focused.

In the beginning of this post, I talked about the idea of doing this business at your own pace and that is one of the great things about this type of business. However, you must be productive while you are working on it.

One of the bad habits that afflicts many would be affiliate marketers is that they start to lose confidence and or focus. They then go on one of those information seeking sprees and often jump into one of the many online Scams that promises them the world. Or, they let go of the dream altogether.

Make a commitment that you will make this work and stick with it.

Decide On A Niche

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Everything you will ever need…

A niche is an area in the marketplace where a specific group of people have a shared interest. For example, on Powerful Affiliate, all the pages and posts are about or related to affiliate marketing.

Ideally, it should be something for which you have a passion, something you have experienced and something you like talking or writing about.

You don’t want a Niche that is too broad or too narrow. Say for example, you set up a website on the general theme of “personal development”, now that might be too broad for you as an individual as you will have to compete with some serious players and companies with huge resources for marketing.

On the other hand, picking a general theme like “how to lose belly fat” or “fresh water fly fishing” might be just right as either one is targeting a specific enough group in a particular market.

Get Your Website Up and Running

You will need to set up a website through one of the many platforms such as WordPress.com, WordPress.org or Blogger where you will be able to start publishing content – that is pages and posts. I use WordPress.org and pay for a domain name and hosting.

Although not recommended, you could put up a simple website using a free platform just to get a feel for the process. Be wary however, a free website can be pulled from under you because you don’t own it and there will be certain rules you must follow – so examine all their terms and conditions first.

Related topic: Build A Website From Scratch For Free

Find Products to Promote

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Social Media

Once you decide on your niche, start looking at relevant companies and searching their webpages to see if they offer affiliate programs……sometimes the affiliate link is found on the footer of a website. Get on their emailing list and start familiarising yourself with their business and products to see if they would be a comfortable fit for your website and your long term business.

Companies with affiliate programs will give you a unique affiliate link with your specific “affiliate ID”. You can then place that link on your sales pages, blogs, ads or social media content and you will then get a commission when a visitor to your website follows that link and makes a purchase.

One great advantage is that many of these companies have what they call long term “cookies” which will give you a commission even when the visitor makes a purchase at a different time. These cookies are just pieces of tracking software that track referred sales for a period of time. That way, if the company offers 90 day cookies, the visitor that you first referred can go back and make a purchase within that 90 day period and you will earn a commission on that sale. Some companies offer lifetime cookies – these are fantastic – because you can make ongoing commissions from that visitor as long as they remain a customer of the linked company and continue to make purchases, even though you only referred that customer once.

Another area where there is serious earning potential is membership products – when a customer purchases a membership, could be for one year or more, and you make a commission every month that person pays for their membership.

Is that great business or what?

And remember, any product purchased as a result of following an affiliate link, costs exactly the same as if that product was purchased directly from the supplying company.

Publish Content Consistently

You will have to publish content on your website that is enticing to visitors and also informative. If you decide to put up a blog or a website of some kind, not only should you keep it fresh and updated for your visitors but also for search engines like Google and Bing who love fresh and new content.

In addition, you should get your visitors excited and wanting more from you. This develops trust and eases the way to purchasing products you promote. The more loyal your following is, the more sales you will make.

Content is a term that is used to describe not only the information you put up on your site, but also the emails you send to your customer list, social media updates, ebooks, courses, videos, podcasts and a whole bunch of things that will get your name out there and help your brand grow.

Your aim is to become the authority or the “go to” website for a particular niche.

Pages and Posts

In the simplest terms, writing pages and posts basically means that you are going to publish relevant, informative topics on your website in a way that encourages visitors to stay and explore your website and, hopefully, click on your affiliate links.

This could be as simple as publishing a very informative blog post, a review of a product or building a landing page with snippets that make the website visitor feel like they’ve found what they’ve been looking for.

Creating content, in the form of pages and blogs, is a skill that must be learned but with practice, most people get the hang of it and soon begin to test what works and what doesn’t work for their particular business.

Start Promoting

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Start Promoting

There are many ways of getting traffic to the products you are promoting and one of the quickest and least expensive ways is blogging.

When you start to publish blog posts, you’ll promote your posts all over social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and many other sites. Not only will that spread your message but it will also build relationships with other key players online who can give you more exposure.

Other methods include, video marketing, pod-casting, article marketing (which doesn’t pull the weight it once did but some people still swear by it), email marketing and social bookmarking sites. You can also participate in forums, leave comments on other blogs and write press releases.

Those are just a few traffic building strategies, as you get more experienced you will learn other methods of getting visitors to your promotions and you’ll learn and tweak according to what works best for your business.

 Build a List of Subscribers

You will also want to use an email marketing service or what they call an autoresponder provider like Aweber or Mailchimp that will allow you to have sign-up forms – like the one at the end of this page – so that you can collect emails and keep in touch with your subscribers.

This establishes a rapport with them and you can send them promotions, along with other valuable information, directly to their inbox. Do not, however, get into the habit of just sending promotions. People want valuable information they can use – any promotions you send should add to the valuable information you’ve already sent.

Track and Test Your Promotions

There is software you can install on your website such as Google Analytics or other paid services where you can track, not only your website visitors but also the clicks. That way you can test your promotions and your marketing efforts to ensure you are making the best income and that you continue to increase your affiliate sales.

An Online Affiliate Business As an Income Stream

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Too much money!!!

Even though you don’t necessarily need a website to start with affiliate marketing as you can promote your affiliate products through other means, it is a highly recommended option for growing your affiliate based business.

First of all, you’ll learn how to be an entrepreneur and maybe eventually outgrow affiliate marketing as your main source of income and make way for you to explore other business models.

As you build credibility and your expert status on a particular subject, you can even write a book and get invited to speaking events if you wanted to. Many online business owners make a nice living doing keynote presentations at networking events. Some speakers make $500 to $20k a pop depending on their expertise and demand. Plus, you can add other income streams such as coaching, consulting, or even sell advertising space on your website and newsletter.

Having an affiliate online business can earn you enough to work from home but it takes time to make it into a full-time business. For me, right now, it’s a nice little side business. I have a few streams of income from both online and offline activities so, at this moment in time, I run my online business part-time.

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An Internet Millionaire’s secret formula…click in image

You know what, it’s nice to check my inbox and find an email that says something like this “you’ve made an affiliate sale today!” And the best part is, it happens round the clock, whether I’m working on my website, attending to a client, sleeping, playing golf or just relaxing……..hard to beat that!


That’s it for now, I hope you found this post informative and useful.

Don’t forget to leave a comment in the box below.

Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you again soon.

Cheers,

Michael.

Internet Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

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All of us can make mistakes…..

When I first got involved in affiliate marketing, all I wanted was to just make money and make it fast.

Like a wild animal just released from captivity, off I went in every direction, trying everything, with no real plan and no idea of the mistakes I was making that could very well damage my chances of succeeding at internet marketing.

Having completed the fantastic and amazing training with Wealthy Affiliate and having gained significant experience of both affiliate marketing and helping other new affiliate marketers, I have come to the conclusion that there are 7 particular mistakes new affiliate marketers make.

So, you ask, what are those particular internet marketing mistakes to avoid?

Ok, here goes…..

Particular Mistakes Made By New Marketing Affiliates

# 1 – Selling Rather Than Helping

Yes, the word “marketing” does imply “selling”, but for the most part of our daily routine, our job as an affiliate is not to sell — that is the job of the sales page our affiliate links lead the visitor to.

When I first started, my overwhelming (and totally naive) impulse was to fill my pages with words and links that screamed “BUY THIS NOW!”………unfortunately, that didn’t help the reader learn WHY they should have / buy this product. I only wanted them to click a link which would hopefully lead to a commission for me.

Potential buyers want to hear what other people think about a product before making a decision to buy that product or not — that’s why the reviews on Amazon products are so powerful. Those reviews are genuine reviews from people who have absolutely nothing to gain whether someone buys the product or does not buy the product.

When we talk more like an unbiased reviewer rather than a high-pressure salesperson, we will find we make more sales and people will come back for advice on other products in the future.

# 2 – Too Many Affiliate Programs / Products!

This is another big mistake I made when starting out — joining any and every affiliate program I came across. While I absolutely do believe in cultivating multiple streams of income when working online, there is a point where you have too much to deal with and it becomes unmanageable. Choose your affiliate programs wisely and don’t overload yourself.

# 3 – Not Testing The Merchant’s Performance

Whenever I choose to promote a particular Merchant’s offer, I do put myself in the shoes of a potential customer and opt in to test the Merchant’s follow up performance.

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An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula…click on Image

I learned this the hard way.

Nothing breaks a reader’s trust more than being led to a promotion that does not live up to its sales pitch and promise. Again, check it out, put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and see what will happen if they follow your advice.

# 4 – Not Tracking

This was another mistake I made when I first started out. I was and still am fond of promoting Amazon products on the pages and posts of my websites, but I was forgetting to check which affiliate links were successful and which were not.

Why is this a mistake? Put simply — when you make a sale, you want to know WHERE the sale came from. This enables you to know which pages are converting well so you can grow and scale that campaign.

Amazon is very user friendly in this regard so you will have no problem seeing what is working well and what is not working so well.

Yes, making any commission is fantastic, but knowing where and how you made that commission is what makes you a better marketer. It lets you grow and scale your campaigns — as opposed to working blindly.

# 5 – Not Comparing Similar Products

One of the best converting tactics I use to sell affiliate products online (especially physical products from Amazon) is to compare the “main” product with two other similar products.

When people are in buying mode for a physical product, they tend to have their options narrowed down to 2 or 3 and need help making the choice that is best for them.

By comparing the “3 Best Products”, I am not only helping my visitors make a choice, but I also have my affiliate links there for THREE products instead of just one! What’s not great about that?

Over time, when I track my web pages, I will be able to see which products are most interesting to visitors and then move the best converting products to the top of the page or rearrange the layout to help the visitor and gain maximum benefit.

Comparison or Review web pages are not only very popular and helpful for visitors, they are also very profitable for you.

# 6 – “Make Money” Online Products

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People often complain online that they can’t make a dime from online marketing. Then, when you visit their website they are promoting an online product that will “make you rich” followed by an affiliate link.

Now, obviously, that’s a contradiction!

It happens all the time. Please, don’t do it.

If you’re new and you want to promote products in the Make Money Online arena, do not make false claims that it made money for you. In fact, don’t make false claims at all, ever!

Yes, of course, talk about the benefits of the product/training — maybe even why it sounds awesome to you — but don’t try to trick people. You will ruin your credibility.

# 7 – Losing Focus…“Oh I must check out that lovely shiny thing over there!”

This is the biggest downfall for any new affiliate marketer. In fact, it can cause really big issues for seasoned affiliate marketers as well.

Oftentimes, you will be working on one particular thing when, all of a sudden, something “shiny” comes through your inbox or is mentioned in a forum you frequent. Then off you go chasing some new idea to make money online.

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An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula…click on Image

Ignore these “shiny things” that are sure to fly by on a constant basis. They will just distract you from your current project/campaign. One completed and profitable campaign is worth so much more than 50 almost half-finished campaigns or projects.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is a business that requires self-motivation and focus.

For many of us, these are learned skills.

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Everything you will ever need…

Once you are aware of the the mistakes that can be made and how those mistakes can cause a loss of sales and profits, you will be better able to control your performance and build a sustainable, profitable, long-term, online business.

So, best of luck out there!!


You will find more helpful information at The Wealthy Affiliate University Review and why become an affiliate marketer, so go there now or go to how to start an online business that makes money.

 

I hope you found this article helpful, either way, please leave a comment below.

Looking forward to seeing you here again.

Cheers,

Michael.

Is Affiliate Marketing Worth The Effort

Affiliate Marketing Continues To Grow

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Online Affiliate Marketing

Over the last 15 years, Affiliate Marketing has evolved from something that was a mere tool for companies to extend their reach online, to something that is a vital part of their actual businesses.

To such an extent that today, many businesses rely solely on affiliate marketing to build their brand, their exposure and their revenue. So, the answer to the question “is affiliate marketing worth the effort” is a resounding YES.

If you are a company with an online presence and you don’t have an affiliate program in 2018, you truly don’t have a proper online presence. It’s that simple.

With Affiliate Marketing, you have a lot of opportunities online in 2018, more so than I have ever seen. This will continue over the coming years as the Internet continues to grow, as people are more connected more often and as more and more companies continue to invest most of their marketing budgets into affiliate programs for their online sales.

Affiliate Marketing in 2018, is it Any Different?

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Online Office!

Okay, time for a quick break down of affiliate marketing.

First, what is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting another companies product or service in exchange for a commission. There are 100,000’s of affiliate programs that you can join, choose products, promote them and then get a commission on every sale.

At the core of an online business, you have a product and you have a consumer.

Connecting these two items is YOU, the affiliate (and your affiliate link).

CONSUMER => GOES THROUGH AFFILIATE LINK => BUYS PRODUCT => YOU GET $$ COMMISSION

At the core, that is where affiliate marketing is. Obviously there is a bit more to it than this, like, how do you find and attract consumers, but the process of making money as an affiliate is not any more complicated than this.

That is what you learn here at Powerful Affiliate. When you understand the proper processes of choosing a niche, building out your website and becoming an authority within any niche of your choice – you will truly be able to capitalise on this business model which will remain largely unchanged for many years to come.

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How to start an online business…

7 Things You Need to Know About Affiliate Marketing in 2018

There are many things that you should be aware of prior to heading into affiliate marketing. In fact, I have 7 things that I want you to know before you enter into the affiliate marketing world.

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An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula…click on Image

# 1. Affiliate Marketing is Growing at the Fastest Pace ever.

It is estimated that the affiliate marketing industry will be worth $5.97 billion by 2019.

# 2. All Major Online Brands Are Built on Affiliate Marketing.

Amazon, Apple, HP, Best Buy, Etsy… you name it. Without affiliate programs, and affiliates, these companies would have WAY less market share online. The likes of Amazon, built their empire on affiliates, it is rare these days – when doing research on a product or service – that you don’t come across an Amazon affiliate site.

# 3. There Has Never been this Many Affiliate Programs.

Every year, there are more and more affiliate programs as companies see the opportunity to carve out such a vast marketing team online. There are 20-30 huge affiliate networks alone, with 10,000’s of affiliate programs not to mention all of the 10,000’s of independent affiliate programs.

# 4.There Are Over 500 Million Products You Can Promote as An Affiliate.

Yes, you read that correctly. There are over 500 MILLION products that you can promote online! This subset of products only continues to grow, not to mention the 100,000’s of online and offline services that also have affiliate programs.

If you are not an existing Affiliate Marketer, you should read the Powerful Affiliate pages “The Wealthy Affiliate University Review” and “Why Become an Affiliate Marketer” – these will help you decide if it’s for you, well worth reading now or after you finish here.

# 5. People Are Moving Their Spending Online at a Faster Pace Than Ever.

I personally spend most of my money online now, shifting away from offline businesses. I know it can be considered bad not to support local, but I personally would rather support online (being an Internet entrepreneur) in particular when the prices are better, the selection is unparalleled, and when I know affiliates and fellow Internet entrepreneurs are benefiting from it. This trend is ONLY going to continue.

# 6. Almost Every Sale Online Has An Affiliate Behind It.

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Everything you will ever need…

That is correct, almost every purchase that you make online has in some form or another an affiliate behind it and earning a commission. Whether you are doing your Christmas shopping on Amazon or you are buying a service to help you build a business, there is almost certainly an affiliate reaping the rewards of a commission. Isn’t that just brilliant?

# 7. Affiliate Marketing Will Never Die.

Back around 2002, there was an underlying fear that affiliate marketing was a temporary thing. Logically it didn’t make sense that such an incredible business model would die so, as time went by, major marketing teams for some of the biggest product launches ever, started piggy backing on the idea of affiliate marketing.

So, affiliate marketing is here to stay. It has grown every single year since 2002, creating the greatest opportunity of our lifetime. As offline jobs are being reduced because people are not shopping as much offline, affiliate marketing continues to grow with online sales.

Shipping is getting much faster and more reliable, so people are happy to spend more and more of their spending budgets online.

Why Companies Cannot Live Without Affiliate Marketing

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Marketing Affiliate – FREE Starter Membership

Companies like Amazon have grown and exploded their sales online because of their focus on their affiliate program at the core of their marketing.

Instead of spending BILLIONS on marketing their products/services (by the way, they have over 488,000,000 products on their network now), they leverage millions of affiliate marketers through their affiliate program, Amazon Associates.

Just think of it this way, if you were an Online Business, would you rather hire an advertising executive and a 3-4 person marketing team full time (which would carry costs of say $300,000 per year) or would you rather have potentially 100,000’s of marketers working for you on a performance basis where you only have to pay them based on the actual tangible sales?

A marketing executive cannot guarantee results. In fact, most don’t achieve the expected results, they are incredibly expensive and then encourage a company to spend outrageous amounts of money on advertising. An affiliate marketer will not get paid if sales don’t happen, so there is ZERO risk to a company to take on new affiliates.

The model is so brilliant that EVERY major corporation now understands this. Plain and simple, Affiliate Marketing drives Internet Sales……..

So, that’s it for now.

Go HERE to get more information and HERE to get started as a marketing affiliate.


I would love to get your thoughts on this post, so please leave a comment in the box below.

Thanks for visiting, do call again for more updates.

Cheers,

Michael.

 

The Top 10 Small Business Mistakes

All Of Us Make Mistakes!

the-top-10-small-business-mistakes
Where did I go wrong?

We all make mistakes but the people who thrive from their mistakes are the successful ones. They are the ones that “Never go back.”

Now, what does that mean?

Let’s see, ask yourself a few questions:

What do you think are the top 10 small business mistakes?

Have you ever made a bad business decision?

Did you learn a valuable lesson from that bad business decision?

I bet you did and the good thing is, once you learned that lesson, you will never go back and you will never do it again.

So you then ask yourself, what are the key “lessons” or “awakenings” or “doorways” that successful people go through that forever change how they do things, which propel them on to succeed in business, relationships and in their life?

the-top-10-small-business-mistakes
An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula…click on Image

Dr. Cloud, who is an acclaimed leadership expert, psychologist and best-selling author, began to study such awakenings and researched them over a number of years.

Although life and business have many lessons to teach us, Dr. Cloud observed 10 “doorways” of learning that high performers go through, never to return again.

Would You Like To Know Those 10 “Doorways”?

OK, here we go…..

Successful people never again…

# 1 – Return to what hasn’t worked.

Whether it’s a job or a broken relationship that was ended for a good reason, we should never go back to the same thing, expecting different results, without something being different.

# 2 – Do anything that requires them to be someone they are not.

In everything we do, we have to ask ourselves, “Why am I doing this? Am I suited for it? Does it fit me? Is it sustainable?” If the answer is no to any of these questions, you better have a very good reason to proceed.

# 3 – Try to change another person.

When you realise that you cannot force someone into doing

the-top-10-small-business-mistakes
Marketing Affiliate – Click for FREE Starter Membership

something, you give him or her freedom and allow them to experience the consequences. In doing so, you find your own freedom as well.

# 4 – Believe they can please everyone.

Once you discover that it truly is impossible to please everyone, you begin to live purposefully – trying to please the right people.

# 5 – Choose short-term comfort over long-term benefit.

Once successful people know they want something that requires a painful, time-limited step, they do not mind taking that painful step because it gets them to a long-term benefit. Living out this principle is one of the most important differences between successful and unsuccessful people, both personally and professionally.

# 6 – Trust someone or something that appears flawless.

Naturally, we are drawn to things and people that appear “incredible.” We love excellence and should always be looking for it. We should pursue people who are great at what they do, employees who are high performers, dates with exceptional people, friends who have stellar character, and companies that excel.

But when someone or something looks too good to be true, he, she, or it is. The world is imperfect. Period. No one and no thing is without flaw, and if they appear that way, hit pause.

# 7 – Take their eyes off the big picture.

We function better emotionally and perform better in our lives when we can see the big picture. For successful people, no one event is ever the whole story. Winners remember that—each and every day.

# 8 – Neglect to do due diligence.

No matter how good something looks on the outside, it is only by taking a deeper, diligent, and honest look that we will find out what we truly need to know: the reality that we owe ourselves in order to make a decision to proceed or not to proceed.

# 9 – Fail to ask why they are where they find themselves.

One of the biggest differences between successful people and others is that in love and in life, in relationships and in business, successful people always ask themselves – what part am I playing in this situation? Said another way, they do not see themselves only as victims, even when they are.

# 10 – Forget that their inner life determines their outer success.

The good life sometimes has little to do with outside circumstances. We are happy and fulfilled mostly by who we are on the inside. Research validates that. And our internal lives largely contribute to producing many of our external circumstances.

powerful-affiliate
How to start an online business…

And, The Converse Is True:

People who are still trying to find success in various areas of life can almost always point to one or more of these “doorways” as a reason they are repeating the same mistakes.

Again, Everyone Makes Mistakes…

Everyone, without exception, will make mistakes – even the most successful people out there. But, what achievers do better than others is recognising the patterns that are causing those mistakes and then never repeating them again.

In short, they learn from pain—their own pain and the pain of others.

Something To Remember!

A good thing to remember is this: pain is unavoidable.

But, repeating the same pain twice when we could choose to learn and do something different, then pain is certainly avoidable.

You know, we don’t need new ways to fail….the old ones are working just fine!”

Our task, in business and in life, is to observe what they are, and never go back to doing them again.

For existing businesses and those of you who are thinking of starting your own business – the top 10 small business mistakes, “lessons”, “awakenings” or “doorways” – whatever term you prefer to use, will be of huge benefit.


the-top-10-small-business-mistakes
Become a Marketing Affiliate – Click for FREE Starter Membership

Something else that will be of huge benefit is my #1 recommendation for anyone thinking of entering the online business world.

Also beneficial, when you are ready, check out the other pages and posts on this Powerful Affiliate website, start with How To Start An Online Business That Makes Money where you will also find links to the current most popular articles.

I can assure you, that will be time well spent.

So, that’s it for now, I am going to leave you to it.


Thanks for visiting and do call back for regular updates.

the-top-10-small-business-mistakes
An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula…click on Image

Any comments or suggestions are very welcome – see comment box below or you can contact me directly.

Cheers for now.

Michael.

Why Businesses Fail To Succeed

Many Businesses Will Fail!

why-businesses-fail-to-succeed
Insolvent Business

It’s a sad fact of life that many businesses are doomed to failure and a business is most vulnerable at the startup and early stages.

If you stop to think about it, this is quite surprising.

After all, a person who decides to start a business is usually experienced, bright, confident and happy to devote their valuable time to their business. So you would indeed wonder why businesses fail to succeed.

powerful-affiliate
How to start an online business…

Even though they will have learned that the startup mortality rate in any business is very high, they are still happy to challenge the existing players in the market because they feel they can do as good a job or do an even better job than those existing players they intend competing with.

They will be well-informed, they will have some experience and expertise in that business area and they will be prepared to devote their time and energy into developing their business.

Unfortunately, not every business person is capable of tacking the multiple challenges involved when starting their own business. Although, the very fact that they have kick started their business from scratch, shows they have abilities which most of their colleagues lack – which is no mean feat in itself.

So, why do they fumble?

why-businesses-fail-to-succeed
An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula…Click on Image

While failed businessmen are happy to trot out the same old excuses, I feel it’s usually not because of these particular three reasons:

  • external market circumstances
  • because they were technically incompetent
  • because they ran out of money

I think, in truth it’s usually an ego problem………………………………….which means their immaturity comes in the way of their success.

Many entrepreneurs think of themselves as being supermen or superwomen.

They believe they should be able to handle everything themselves and when problems arise, and you and I know there will always be problems, often they are not willing to ask for advice or help until it’s far too late.

And that, my friend, is a fatal error.

An error that can put a business out of business overnight.

Yes, I know what you are thinking and you are right in thinking the way you do – this should be such an easy problem to solve………. all you would have to do is point out the deficiencies and him or her would then be able to fix them.

But, of course, it’s very hard for a person to identify and accept their own faults. The very fact that they’re emotionally immature may mean they don’t have enough self-awareness or don’t even realise what skills they are missing.

They may refuse to confront reality until it’s too late. Then they go around scrambling trying to turn things around, frustration sets in, morale goes through the floor and the entire house of cards comes tumbling down…………which is so sad.

Emotional maturity is a highly desirable trait for anybody going into business.While this is not easy to gauge, I think someone who is experienced and who has seen some of life’s ups and downs will, most likely, be emotionally resilient and willing to reach out for help when things go wrong with the business and will not think it’s below their dignity to ask for that help.

powerful-affiliate
Everything you will ever need…

I think it is also very sad, especially when I know there is an exceptional amount of professional training, help and support available at little or no cost. All of which, I believe, should be undertaken as part of any new business startup process and thereby avoid many of the preventable problems that arise.

Let me give you an example, an aspiring businessman or marketing affiliate can sign up as a Starter Member with a company called Wealthy Affiliate and it will cost them nothing……….yes it will cost nothing.

Wealthy Affiliate provides exceptional professional business training and support that is way better than anything else that’s available out there.

They provide  this at two levels – Starter Member Level and Premium Member Level……………….see image below:

why-businesses-fail-to-succeed
Starter and Premium membership options

The aspiring businessman or marketing affiliate can take advantage of the free Starter Membership to see for themselves the exceptional levels of training and support that are available and, if they wish, go Premium when they are happy and ready.

It would be a huge tragedy if they did not avail of this option, especially if it’s their immaturity that is causing them to shoot themselves in their very own foot.

Believe me, and I would not mislead you or anybody else on a matter this serious, all the help and support that will ever be needed is available directly when they become a member at Wealthy Affiliate.

So, take my word for it and sign up as a Starter Member HERE – it’s free, so you have nothing to lose.

Otherwise, if you are not quite ready yet, here at Powerful affiliate you will find a huge amount of information that will help you decide.

Check out how to start an online business that makes money where you will also find links to the current most popular articles.

And, don’t forget to get “An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula“…

Take your time, make sure you have a really good look around my website and contact me if you want any help or clarification.

Well, that’s it for today.


Thank you for visiting.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below, I do love getting feedback!

Cheers for now.

Michael.

 

 

Marketing Affiliate Advice

Helpful Marketing Affiliate Advice Is Always Goodmarketing-affiliate-advice

After reading my pages on “The Wealthy Affiliate University Review” and  “why become an affiliate marketer” you will have a good grasp of what is involved and the benefits of affiliate marketing.

However, if you think you will get rich over night by selling affiliate products online then you are wrong.

I am not here to mislead you and I will never promote a get rich quick scheme or similar as I know they just don’t work. There are thousands of those and scams out there who will promise success overnight or within a few weeks and they will take your money without hesitation…..do not go there, run in the opposite direction.

marketing-affiliate-advice
An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula…click on Image

Truthfully, affiliate marketing is definitely an excellent way to make money online but it’s also highly competitive. Successful affiliate marketing comes from knowing your market needs, learning how to promote your products, finding out what works and what doesn’t work and adjusting your promotion strategy accordingly.

So, as we all love a helping hand, for you, I have a some marketing affiliate advice on what I would call a proven successful approach and which is based on the personal experience I and others have gained over time in this business.

So, here we go!

# 1 Only Choose a Small Number of Good Products

The first mistake a lot of affiliate marketers make is that they register with too many different affiliate programs and try to promote everything and anything. Pursuing affiliate marketing in this way can become very overwhelming and will result in product promotion being poor across the range of products.

In order to succeed, all you need is a small number of good products to promote. Try to understand the market needs and look for products that fit comfortably with the purpose and content of your website.

# 2 Use Several Traffic Sources to Promote Products

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Social Media

A lot of affiliate marketers just put the promotional ads up on their website. There is nothing wrong with this approach and it must be done but there are many other ways to promote your products and attract visitors to your website…….like Facebook, Twitter etc; which will increase your exposure and presence on the internet while simultaneously promoting your products and increasing sales.

The more targeted traffic you can send to your sales page the better your chances of making money.

Google AdWords can be used to drive targeted traffic to a sales page. You simply make an ad in your AdWords account then use your affiliate link in the target page URL of the ad. Obviously, you will have to continuously measure the conversions and see if the campaign cost is less than the campaign profit in order to keep the campaign running but I am sure you get the idea.

# 3 Test, Measure and Track Your Affiliate Campaign

Using different product promotion strategies is highly recommended, so you can figure out what is working and what is not. Try to test and measure the performance of each campaign then act on the findings and adjust your campaign accordingly.

Changing a few things here and there can increase your profit dramatically. Make sure to place the banner ads on different areas of your site’s pages. Some positions will make the ads more noticeable than others.

Most affiliate programs will give you basic stats that you need but there is nothing stopping you from also using your own conversion tracking software. There are many options available out there, for conversion tracking software, that you can use to track your affiliate campaign.

# 4 Research the Demand for the Product

the-wealthy-affiliate-university-review
Do your research…

If you try to promote a product that is in low demand then, chances are, you are not going to get many sales no matter what your strategy is or how hard you try.

So it is a good idea to spend a bit of time researching and finding out if a product that you are thinking of promoting is a product that your audience needs.

If your website is getting decent traffic numbers, you could conduct an online survey and easily get input from your visitors.

# 5 Stay Current with New Methods and Techniques

Affiliate marketing is a very competitive field and people are always coming up with new techniques. Try to stay current with these new techniques and market trends otherwise you will fall behind your competition.

# 6 Choose the Right Merchant

When you promote a product you also promote the person or the company who is behind that product, so try to choose wisely.

You don’t want your visitors to go and buy a product following your advice and then come back unhappy. Do you think that this visitor will come back to your site and take your advice again? Most likely not and this can hurt your business credibility in the long run.

Usually, companies that offer good products backed up with good customer service will have better customer satisfaction, so try to stick with promoting products from those companies.

# 7 Use Helpful Tools

powerful-affiliate
Everything you will ever need…

If you are serious about affiliate marketing then try to find tools that will help you be more efficient. There are many helpful tools out there but you can make your life  lot easier by joining the one affiliate company that I recommend.

This company provides everything you will ever need in the form of websites, training, support and, perhaps most important, a fantastic sense of “community” among its members.

You can try it as a Starter Member and build a website from scratch for free.

Yes, you heard me correct, for free and you will get two free websites with training and support.

So you have nothing to lose, right.

This company will not suggest there is a quick and easy way to earn an income online as a marketing affiliate or that you just hope and pray that visitors will buy the products you are promoting!

What they will do, is put you in control of your destiny with all the training and support that you will need for success as a marketing affiliate.

You will be shown how to put a structured plan in place and how to operate as a marketing affiliate BUSINESS – now that is the way to succeed and that is the way to generate a long term sustainable income from your efforts as a marketing affiliate.

These seven pieces of marketing affiliate advice will serve you well and, as you travel down this path to affiliate marketing, you will get more advice and guidelines to help you on your way, so do not be afraid – sign up now as a starter member for free…….that includes two free websites – so nothing to lose, right.


If you are not quite ready to avail of this opportunity right now, you can check out the other pages and posts on Powerful Affiliate starting with how to start an online business that makes money – here you will find links to the current most popular and most important articles.

Ok, that’s it from me for today.

marketing-affiliate-advice
An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula…click on Image

I do hope you found this helpful…..you can also check out a recommended book “An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula” by clicking on the image.

Please leave a comment or suggestion in the box below as I love getting feedback.

Cheers for now,

Michael

Best Internet Security Antivirus Software

Internet Security Is Critical

Heimdal PRO has the answer.

best-internet-security-antivirus-software
Heimdal PRO

Great deals available HERE

Heimdal Pro protects you from cyber-criminal actions by employing an advanced web scanning engine to keep you safe from notorious data and financial stealing malware, such as Zeus Gameover (P2P) and CryptoLocker. That is one reason why Heimdal is renowned for having the best internet security anti-virus software.

Persistent, Multi-layered Protection

Heimdal PRO will actively protect you against the most advanced forms of malware around the clock. The intelligence behind it enables Heimdal to filter out threats before they reach your system. It will catch what your antivirus can’t block and it will keep you up to date on how it’s constantly closing vulnerabilities in your system. And if you’re travelling with your computer, your protection will travel with you.

powerful-affiliate
How to start an online business…

Hassle-free & No Slowdowns

Cyber security is a need-to-have, but sometimes you just don’t have the time for it. We understand. That’s why we made Heimdal PRO so easy to use that you’ll forget it’s installed. It’s light on your system too! You can automate software updates and an essential part of your protection, which is blocking advanced malware. And you can even set up your own proxy as an additional layer of protection.

See where a man just got indefinite jail time for refusing to decrypt two hard drives.

Also, before we go on further, have a look at this Video:

Layer 1 – Advanced Web Scanning Engine

Cryptoware Detection & Blocking

Cryptoware or ransomware is currently one of the most dangerous cyber threats on the web. This type of malware will encrypt the data on your drive and ask for ransom to unlock it. Heimdal PRO will spot and block cryptoware strains like Cryptolocker or TorrentLocker before they encrypt your data.

Malicious Look Up Blocker

Heimdal PRO looks for infected pop-ups, toolbars and other forms malware on each website you visit. If it finds them, it blocks the website. As simple as that. This keeps your system safe from adware, spyware and browser hijackers, which are frequent threats.

Anti-phishing Protection

Phishing attacks are a common method cyber criminals use to harvest your sensitive data. Heimdal PRO keeps your data safe because it checks every website you visit. If it spots a phishing attempt, it will block the website before it can lure you into its trap. This also works if you unknowingly click a malicious link in an email.

Shield Against Website Malware Distribution

online-security
Online Security

Even legitimate websites can spread malware (unknowingly, of course). Attackers often infiltrate these websites by infecting banners or by script injections. Heimdal PRO identifies these threats and blocks them before they compromise your system. Sometimes, Heimdal will only block the infected banner or web page, so you can still access the rest of the website.

Internet Traffic Filtering

Cyber criminals are very good at disguising their infected websites so visitors can’t tell they are rogue. But they can’t fool us! Heimdal PRO checks every web destination you visit to see if it’s safe. If it’s unsafe, it will display a block page, to keep you safe.

Pervasive Protection

Heimdal PRO ensures that you are protected everywhere you take your computer with you. It’s the perfect supplement for your antivirus solution, which offers reactive protection. Heimdal PRO works proactively and constantly to make sure your system and data are safe.

Personal Dashboard

You get full control over your Heimdal PRO settings in your personal dashboard. This is also where you can find detailed statistics and an overview of the vulnerabilities in your system. Easy, user friendly and effective.

Layer 2 – Traffic-Based Malware Detection

Zero Day Malware Protection

Zero Day vulnerabilities are security holes that appear in an application that the app maker is not aware of. Cyber criminals rush to exploit it before an update is released. Heimdal PRO protects you from these type of attacks based on deep knowledge of cyber criminal infrastructure. Heimdal protects you from Zero Days by blocking the communication between your system and the infected web pages, servers or other malicious online locations.

PC Lockdown

Some cyber attacks are especially powerful. If a cyber criminal or malicious software tries to compromise Heimdal, communication between your system and infected servers will be blocked immediately. This prevents data leakage and the infection from escalating.

Extensive and Specialised Malware Database

Heimdal PRO relies on a specialised malware database which harbours information about malicious infrastructure. Because of this Heimdal PRO can shield you from financial malware threats which are often very sophisticated. Extensive knowledge about 2nd generation malware, such as, CryptoLocker, Dridex or other advanced variants, is also included for your protection.

Security Against Advanced Exploit Kits

Exploit kits are malicious toolkits that attackers use to take advantage of vulnerabilities in your system. These exploit kits help spread malware and often go undetected by traditional antivirus products. Some don’t even drop files on your system, so they’re very difficult to spot. But Heimdal PRO can catch and block them because it knows where the attacks come from.

Online Banking Security

Financial transactions are the main target cyber criminals aim to compromise. That’s why Heimdal PRO checks your Internet traffic in real time to identify such threats. If it does, Heimdal immediately blocks financial malware from sending sensitive data, such as passwords or credit card details, to malicious servers or websites.

Active Protection Against Data Leakage

Some types of malware will try to harvest confidential data, such as credit card information and passwords, to use them against you. Heimdal PRO identifies these data leakage attempts and blocks the transfer. This way, your sensitive data never leaves your system and remains safe and sound.

Layer 3 – Automatic Software Updates

Automatic

Forget about all those update pop ups on your computer! Let Heimdal PRO take care of keeping your software up to date automatically. It will install updates as soon as they’re available, so you’re never exposed to cyber attacks that target your apps.

Free Support

Looking for help? Just go to our support page and find product guides and answers to the most frequent questions asked. Also, our team is just one email away. Easy and effective!

Silent Vulnerability Blocking

Cyber criminals exploit security holes in outdated software in 85% of attacks. Heimdal PRO will install updates in the background and will never interrupt your work. That means that you can enjoy enhanced protection without lifting a finger.

Fast

Attackers move quickly when a vulnerability appears, so they can hit before a solution is applied. But Heimdal PRO moves even faster. It scans your system for outdated software every two hours and delivers the update as soon as it’s available.

Patched Software

Here is the list of vulnerable applications Heimdal PRO monitors and updates for you:

  • Adobe Shockwave
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Adobe Flash Plugin
  • Adobe Air
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • VLC
  • Microsoft Silverlight
  • QuickTime
  • Skype
  • Thunderbird
  • and 15+ others

If you have an online business or if you are just concerned about internet security, Heimdal Security Pro is the best option for you.

I use it myself and have had no problems whatsoever.

So, you can get it Here now.


Wealthy Affiliate

powerful-affiliate
Wealthy Affiliate

Are you already a member of the Wealthy Affiliate community?

If not, you can now check out the other pages and posts on Powerful Affiliate starting with how to start an online business that makes money – here you will find links to the current most popular and most important articles.

Or, right now, You can join as a starter member for free…….including two free websites – so nothing to lose, right.


That’s all for today.

Thanks for visiting.

I hope you found this helpful.

If you have any comment or suggestion, please leave it in the box below.

Take care and be careful.

Cheers,

Michael.

Best Ransomware Protection

Ransomware Attacks

best-ransomware-protection
Online Hacker

Online security seems such an abstract and distant field, where other people get hurt, but somehow you stay safe, either by luck or internet savvy.

However, the truth is, it could happen to anyone and it might even have happened to you in the past.

They say that nothing beats learning from experience, but sometimes it’s best to learn from other people’s experience rather than your own and this is one of those opportunities.

See where a man just got an indefinite jail time for refusing to decrypt two hard drives.

Now, lets have a look at this video:

Here is the first in a series of stories about real people whose system was compromised by cyber criminals and what they learned about the best ransomware protection.

 

best-ransomware-protection
Infected Computer

#1. The mom whose laptop was locked down by a ransomware attack

Two days before Thanksgiving, Alina’s mother got hit by a ransomware attack. 5,726 files got locked by CryptoWall, an encryption malware so powerful it is technologically impossible to break open.

Alina’s mom contacted the attacker through the ransomware’s communication feature and told her she can either pay to get her files back or lose them forever. Despite backing up her files 6 months ago, she decided that losing half a year’s worth of photos, documents and other files was too much, and so decided to pay the ransom.

The price to unlock her files was 500$ in the first week and 1000$ if it went into the second week, after which the files would be deleted. Payment was being done in Bitcoin, an obscure and unfamiliar process which she had to learn on the fly.

Because of a major snowstorm that closed down the banks, Alina’s mom couldn’t pay the ransom in the first week and ended up having to plead with her attacker to not increase the price to 1,000$. Surprisingly, he accepted and gave her the key to unlock her files.

MY mother received the ransom note on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. It popped up on her computer screen soon after she’d discovered that all of her files had been locked.

Ransom Note

Your files are encrypted,” it announced. “To get the key to decrypt files you have to pay 500 USD.” If my mother failed to pay within a week, the price would go up to $1,000. After that, her decryption key would be destroyed and any chance of accessing the 5,726 files on her PC — all of her data — would be lost forever.Sincerely, CryptoWall.

powerful-affiliate
How to start an online business...

CryptoWall 2.0

CryptoWall 2.0 is the latest immunoresistant strain of a larger body of viruses known as ransomware. The virus is thought to infiltrate your computer when you click on a legitimate-looking attachment or through existing malware lurking on your hard drive and, once unleashed, it instantly encrypts all your files, barring access to a single photo or tax receipt.

Everyone has the same questions when they first hear about CryptoWall:

Is there any other way to get rid of it besides paying the ransom? The answer is No — apparently it is technologically impossible for anyone to decrypt your files once CryptoWall 2.0 has locked them. (My mother had several I.T. professionals try.)

Should We Pay A Ransom To Criminals?

But should you really be handing money over to a bunch of criminals? According to the Internet Crime Complaint Centre, a partnership between the F.B.I. and the National White Collar Crime Centre, this answer is also no.

“Ransomware messages are an attempt to extort money,” one public service announcement helpfully explains. “If you have received a ransomware message do not follow payment instructions and file a complaint.”

Right. But that won’t get you your files back. Which is why the Sheriff’s Office of Dickson County, Tenn., recently paid a CryptoWall ransom to unlock 72,000 autopsy reports, witness statements, crime scene photographs and other documents.

Can These Attacks Be Stopped Legally?

Finally, can law enforcement at least do something to stop these attacks in the future? By Law, probably not. Many ransom ware viruses originate in Russia and other former Soviet bloc countries. The main difficulty in stopping cyber criminals isn’t finding them, but getting foreign governments to cooperate and extradite them.

By the time my mom called to ask for my help, it was already Day 6 and the clock was ticking. (Literally — the virus comes with a countdown clock, ratcheting up the pressure to pay.) My father had already spent all week trying to convince her that losing six months of files wasn’t the end of the world (she had last backed up her computer in May). It was pointless to argue with her. She had thought through all of her options; she wanted to pay.

Only, paying turned out not so easy; the CryptoWall hackers take only Bitcoins.

Making The Ransom Payment

Picture the kind of early-adopting, hoodie-wearing member of the technocracy totally comfy with the idea of a cyber currency neither backed nor issued by any central bank or government. Now picture the opposite of that. That is my mom.

Having never so much as purchased an app in her life, my mom had no idea how to buy Bitcoins. Luckily,  her ransomers had anticipated this problem and included a link to a step-by-step guide, complete with pictures.

best-ransomware-protection
Credit Javier Jaén
She’d managed to make a cash deposit via Bank of America to the unique Bitcoin “wallet” provided by her ransomers, but since Bitcoin’s price is extremely volatile, her payment had already fallen $25 short by the time it arrived. (Credit and debit payments can take up to six days to process.)

The fastest way to send the extra $25 was to make a direct deposit at an A.T.M. that handled Bitcoin transactions. That’s where I came in. Coin Cafe, the Bitcoin provider my mother had chosen, had an A.T.M. in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, not too far from where I lived.

The Bitcoin A.T.M. was not easy to find. It was housed in the second floor hallway of a cooperative work space, tucked inside an old Nynex phone booth. On one hand, I appreciated the winking irony of this sight gag. On the other hand, Fidelity Investments this was not.

Inside was a little white box with no buttons, just a screen, a camera eye and a money slot. I scanned in the QR code my mom had sent me. The machine whirred to life. “Balance query in progress,” it announced. This query remained in progress for the next 20 minutes during which I left three messages on Coin Cafe’s voice mail before abandoning the booth to get some coffee and walk around in the rain.

The fourth time I called, a human being answered the phone and told me the problem had been fixed. I hurried back to the A.T.M., scanned in my QR code, sent some Voldemorts $25 in crisp bills and called my mom. The whole experience had not done much to allay my misgivings about Bitcoin; what did allay them was Mike Hoats, the nice bearded man Coin Cafe sent over to fix the A.T.M.

We got to talking after I made my payment, and he told me that, while no one at Coin Cafe believed people should fund criminal activity by paying the ransom, their job was to broker the purchase and sale of Bitcoins, which, like cash, could be used for any purpose. CryptoWall had thrust them into the unwitting role of ransom ware advisers, coping with grandmothers crying on the phone at the thought of losing all their photos or small-business owners whose family income was on the line.

Coin Cafe didn’t like profiting from the victims (according to the company, these transactions are in the low single digits as a percentage of its total business), but they were downright mortified to learn that CryptoWall had anointed them as one of their Bitcoin providers of choice, with praise for their “fast, simple service.” That’s how my mom found out about Coin Cafe — from her ransom note.

This referral is only one of the handy services CryptoWall provides to ensure a more seamless customer experience. Others include the ability to “decrypt one file for free” and a message interface one can use “in case of any problems with payment or having any other questions.” What next, I wondered. Twenty percent off when you refer this malware to a friend? Frequent virus cards? Black Friday ransom specials?

They Don't Have To Pretend They're Not Criminals!

“I think they like the idea they don’t have to pretend they’re not criminals,” Chester Wisniewski, a senior security adviser at the computer security firm Sophos, told me when I reached him in Vancouver by phone. “By using the fact that they’re criminals to scare you, it’s just a lot easier on them.” They don’t have to hire a professional translator to get their English perfect, Mr. Wisniewski explained, or engage in any of the baroque subterfuge required of someone pretending to be a Nigerian gentleman farmer who just needs a little help claiming his inheritance.

In addition to being criminals, these peddlers of ransom ware are clearly business people, skillfully appropriating all the tools of e-commerce. From branding (CryptoWall is a variant of a fearsome earlier virus called CryptoLocker, which was shut down last year) to determining what they can extort (ransom ware hackers have tested the market with prices as low as $100 and as high as $800,000, which the city of Detroit refused to pay in order to have its database decrypted), these operators are, as Mr. Wisniewski put it, part of “a very mature, well-oiled capitalist machine.”

It’s also an incredibly lucrative machine: Some experts estimate that CryptoLocker hackers cleared around $30 million in 100 days in 2013. And more than a million PCs worldwide have been hit with the CryptoWall virus.

Even after reading through numerous descriptions of CryptoWall 2.0 as “the largest and most destructive ransom ware threat on the Internet” and “an enormous danger for computer users,” I still couldn’t help thinking this was mainly a problem for moms who persist in using big, boxy PC computers and small-town police departments. Mr. Wisniewski quickly dismissed that notion. Although CryptoWall has primarily affected Windows computers and Android cellphones so far, there is no technological barrier that prevents the virus from infiltrating Macs like mine. And when it does, Mr. Wisniewski chuckled, I should expect the ransom to be a lot higher.

So What Can We All Do To Protect Ourselves?

Keep our computers backed up on an independent drive or by using a cloud backup service like Carbonite, take those software update and “patch” alerts seriously and, most of all, Beware the Attachment. (Remember: Brand-name businesses like J. Crew or Bank of America will rarely send you an attachment.)

Of course, this advice arrives too late for my mom and, it appeared, her payment had arrived too late as well: By the time I got home from Greenpoint, her CryptoWall ransom had been raised to $1,000.00 and the $500 in Bitcoins she had deposited had vanished. In a panic, she wrote to Mike Hoats asking for advice. What he told her sounded crazy to me - Use the CryptoWall message interface to tell the criminals exactly what happened, be honest, in other words.

So she did. She explained that the virus had struck the same week that a major snowstorm hit Massachusetts and the Thanksgiving holiday shut down the banks. She told them about the unexpected Bitcoin shortfall and about dispatching her daughter to the Coin Cafe A.T.M. at the 11th hour. She swore she had really, really tried not to miss their deadline. Then a weird thing happened - her decryption key arrived.

When I shared the news with Mr. Hoats, he was jubilant. “That is great news, truly!” he wrote. “Whoever these yahoos are, they have some little shred of humanity.”

But Mr. Wisniewski had a more pragmatic take. “From what we can tell, they almost always honour what they say because they want word to get around that they’re trustworthy criminals who’ll give you your files back.”

Welcome to the new ransom ware economy, where hackers have a reputation to consider.

Is There Anything That Can Be Done If I Am Attacked?

What to do you do if your computer gets infected with ransom ware: do you pay up or try to find an alternative solution?

If you’re not ready to give up the fight, we have something that might help.

In the past few weeks, I’ve combed the web for decryption tools and I can tell you that it’s a never-ending process. It’s close to impossible to build up a complete database, because things change on a daily basis.

As new types of ransomware emerge, researchers decrypt some strains and others get new variants. There are tens or hundreds of them. Just like in a cat and mouse game, the chase never stops.

If this graphic would be filled out with the 2016 discoveries covering Q2 and Q3, you’d need a bigger screen to see this.

best-ransomware-protection
Ransomware Discoveries

Source: CERT-RO

Believe it or not, there is a silver lining to ransomware’s popularity: the quality of the malicious code is steadily decreasing. As a result, cyber security specialists can crack the code faster and give victims a change to retrieve their data without further funding attackers.

Unfortunately, low quality ransom ware also endangers the affected data: one error in the code and it can all be erased instead of encrypted - but that’s a story for another time.

Let’s get to the point, because, if you’re reading this, it’s likely that you don’t have too much time on your hands. If you couldn’t avoid a ransomware infection, let’s see if you can help fix it.

As a disclaimer, you should know that the list below is just a starting point. Use it, but do a bit more research as well. Safely decrypting your data can be a nerve-wrecking process, so try to be as thorough as possible.

We’ll do our best to keep this list up to date, but it’ll probably never be definitive. Contributions and suggestions are more than welcome, as we promise to promptly follow up on them and include them in the list.

Some of the decryption tools mentioned below are easy to use, while others require a bit more tech knowledge to break. You can try asking for help on one of these malware removal forums, which feature tons of information and helpful communities.

Without further ado, here it is – the list that will hopefully help you get your data back from the prying hands of cyber criminals.

Ransomware Decryption Tools – an ongoing list

7even-HONE$T decrypting tool
Agent.iih decrypting tool (decrypted by the Rakhni Decryptor)
Al-Namrood decrypting tool
Alpha decrypting tool
Bart decrypting tool
Chimera decrypting tool + alternative 1 + alternative 2
Crypren decrypting tool
DeCrypt Protect decrypting tool
Mircop decrypting tool + alternative

 

As you may have noticed, some of these decryption tools work for multiple ransomware families, while certain strains have more than one solution (although this is rarely the case).

From a practical perspective, some of the decryptors are easy to use, but some require some technical know-how. As much as we’d want this process more simple and easier, it doesn’t always happen.

No matter how much work and time researchers put into reverse engineering cryptoware, the truth is that we’ll never have a solution to all of these infections. It would take an army of cyber security specialists working around the clock to get something like this done.

But being pragmatic doesn’t mean adopting a pessimistic outlook. In fact, if you apply the simple steps we outlined in the the anti-ransomware security plan, you can avoid this kind of attacks and their consequences.

Even if cyber criminals do manage to infect your PC, you can just wipe the system clean and restore your latest backup. No money lost and, most importantly, no important information compromised! So, please, please back up your data. Not tomorrow, not this weekend, not next week. Do it today!

I hope that it will solve some of your ransomware-related problems. Moreover, please think about sharing the simple principles outlined in the the anti-ransomware security plan, with your friends and family. It could spare them the negative experience of being a cyber attack victim.

Check out the current amazing Deals From Heimdal Security to enhance your PC Security above all normal Anti-Virus protection.


Wealthy Affiliate

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Wealthy Affiliate

Are you already a member of the Wealthy Affiliate community?

If not, you can now check it out in the other pages and posts on Powerful Affiliate starting with how to start an online business that makes money - here you will find links to the current most popular and most important articles.

Or, right now, You can join as a starter member for free.......including two free websites - so nothing to lose, right.


That's it for today.

Thank you for visiting.

As always, I love to get your comments or suggestions so, please use the comment box below or, if you prefer, Contact Me.

Stay safe out  there.

Cheers for now,

Michael.

Advance Fees Scam

Nigerian “419 Scams”

advance-fees-scam
Cyber Criminals

An Advance fees scam occurs when the victim pays money to someone in anticipation of receiving something of greater value—such as a loan, contract, investment, or gift—and then receives little or nothing in return.

The advance fees scam, also commonly known as “Nigerian” scams, have been around in various forms for decades. In fact, they predate the Internet and email. The scams are also called “419 scams” after the appropriate part of the Nigerian criminal code.

Nigerian scammers still use surface mail and faxes as well as email and social media.

General Variety of Advance Fee Scams

The variety of advance fee scams is limited only by the imagination of the con artists who offer them. They may involve the sale of products or services, the offering of investments, lottery winnings, “found money,” or many other “opportunities.”

Clever con artists will offer to find financing arrangements for their clients who pay a “finder’s fee” in advance. They require their clients to sign contracts in which they agree to pay the fee when they are introduced to the financing source.

Victims often learn that they are ineligible for financing only after they have paid the “finder” according to the contract.

Such agreements may be legal unless it can be shown that the “finder” never had the intention or the ability to provide financing for the victims.

How the Scam Works

advance-fees-scam
Scam

The scam works like this. You receive an unsolicited message that masquerades as some manner of business proposition, request for assistance, notice of a potential inheritance or opportunity to help a charity.

As described in general above, there is a seemingly endless array of cover stories that the scammers use in order to draw potential victims into the con.

In spite of this diversity, virtually all of the scam messages share a common theme. The messages all claim that your help is needed to access a large sum of money, usually many millions of dollars.

The scammers use a variety of stories to explain why they need your help to access the funds.

Examples of Advance Fee Scam Stories

They may claim that the climate or legal issues preclude them from accessing funds in a foreign bank account and request your help to gain such access.

They may claim that your last name is the same as that of the deceased person who owned an account and suggest that you act as the Next of Kin of this person in order to gain access to the account’s funds.

They may claim that a rich businessman, who has a terminal illness, needs your help to distribute his wealth to charity.

They may claim that a soldier stationed overseas has discovered a cache of hidden cash left by a fleeing dictator and needs your help to get the money out of the country.

An alternative type of advance fee scam uses messages claiming that recipients have won a large sum of money in an international lottery. Victims are asked to send advance fees and personal information – supposedly, to allow the processing of prize funds for sending to the winner. In reality, there is no prize.

Typically, advance fee scammers will send many thousands of identical scam messages to email recipients all around the world. It only takes a few recipients to fall for the claims in the messages to make the operation pay off for the criminals.

The Bait

advance-fees-scam
Bait used!

The messages offer to let you keep a significant percentage of the funds in exchange for your assistance. This percentage is the bait that the scammers use to entice potential victims deeper into the scam.

Once a recipient has taken the bait and initiated a dialogue with the scammers, he or she will soon receive requests for “fees” that the scammer claims are necessary for processing costs, tax and legal fees, or bribes to local officials.

The scammers will warn the victim that these advance fees must be paid before the funds can be claimed and secured.

In reality, the supposed funds do not exist. The major purpose of these scam messages is to trick recipients into parting with their money in the form of the advance fees.

Fraudulent requests for fees will usually continue until the victim realises he or she is being conned and stops sending money. In some cases, the scammers gain enough information to access the victim’s bank account directly or steal the victim’s identity.

What to Do With an Advance Fee Scam Message

If you receive one of these scam emails, it is important that you do not respond to it in any way. The scammers are likely to act upon any response from those they see as potential victims.

Although it can be educational and even entertaining to “bait” advance fee scammers, such endeavours should only be attempted under controlled conditions.

advance-fees-scam
Trash

These scammers are unscrupulous and unpredictable criminals. There have been violent attacks, abductions and even murders associated with advance fee Nigerian scams and the criminals that run them should not be trifled with.

The best thing to do with these scam messages is to simply delete them.

What To Do If You Have Submitted Information

If you have supplied banking and credit card details, personal information, and/or copies of identity documents such as your driver’s licence and passport to the scammers, then you could become a victim of identity theft. You must report everything to your nearest Law Enforcement Agency.

What To Do If You Have Already Given Money

Unfortunately, there is probably very little you can do to recover any money you have already sent. The first step is to cease all communication with the scammers and do not, under any circumstances, send them any more money or information.

It is not uncommon for advance fee scam victims to fall into an escalation of commitment trap and continue to send money to the scammers even after they have been told they are being conned.

This is because victims can become desperate and are unwilling to let go of the vain hope that the scheme that they are involved in is legitimate after all and that they will eventually get their promised windfall.

If you have sent money to scammers, you should inform your local law enforcement agency as soon as possible.

Also, take steps to protect your identity by accessing information about identity theft published by the Federal Trade Commission (US), ScamWatch, (Australia) or ActionFraud (UK).

Tips for Avoiding Advanced Fee Scams

advance-fees-scam
Help Tips
  1. If the offer of an “opportunity” appears too good to be true, then it probably is. Follow common business practice. For example, legitimate business is rarely conducted in cash on a street corner.
  2. Know who you are dealing with. If you have not heard of a person or company that you intend to do business with, learn more about them. Depending on the amount of money that you plan on spending, you may want to visit the business location, consult with your bank, an attorney or the police.
  3. Make sure you fully understand any business agreement that you enter into. If the terms are complex, have them reviewed by a competent attorney.
  4. Be wary of businesses that operate out of post office boxes or mail drops and do not have a street address.
  5. Be suspicious when dealing with persons who do not have a direct telephone line and who are never in when you call, but always return your call later.
  6. Be wary of business deals that require you to sign nondisclosure or non-circumvention agreements that are designed to prevent you from independently verifying the bona fides of the people with whom you intend to do business. Con artists often use non-circumvention agreements to threaten their victims with civil suit if they report their losses to law enforcement.
  7. Although many still originate from Nigeria – hence the generic term “Nigerian scam” – it is certainly not only Nigerian based criminals that send them. In spite of the longevity of this type of scam and the large amount of publicity that it has received, many people around the world are still being conned out of substantial sums of money.

That is a serious problem, so be careful.


Wealthy Affiliate

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Wealthy Affiliate

Are you already a member of the Wealthy Affiliate community?

If not, you can find out more by checking the other pages and posts on Powerful Affiliate starting with how to start an online business that makes money – here you will find links to the current most popular and most important articles.

Or, right now, You can join as a starter member for free…….including two free websites – so nothing to lose, right.


advance-fee-scam
The Laptop Millionaire…click on image

So there you have it for today.

Thank you for visiting.

I love getting feedback, so please leave a comment or suggestion in the box below – or, if you prefer, contact me.

Cheers for now.

Michael.

Identity Theft Protection Tips

What Is Identity Theft?

identity-theft-protection-tips
Identity Theft by credit card!

Identity theft occurs when someone assumes your identity to perform a fraud or other criminal act.

How Can Criminals Get “My Identity”?

Criminals can get the information they need to assume your identity from a variety of sources, including by stealing your wallet, rifling through your trash or by getting your credit or bank information. They may even approach you in person or by telephone or on the Internet and just ask you for the information. That is why I want to give you some identity theft protection tips that will definitely help keep these criminals away.

Can I Stop This Theft?

In reality, the sources of information about you are so numerous and so available that, in truth, you cannot prevent the theft of your identity if a criminal is determined enough to get it. Now, before you panic, let me assure you, that does not mean YOUR identity will be stolen.

Let me also assure YOU, that you can greatly minimise the possibility of identity theft happening to you if you follow these identity theft protection tips which I will go through with you.

Before going any further, I do want to personally assure you that my opinion is non bias and that I am in no way connected to or affiliated with any security or identity theft prevention services.

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How to start an online business…

Identity Theft Protection Tips:

  • Never throw away ATM receipts, credit statements, credit cards, or bank
    identity-theft-protection-tips
    Identity Thief!

    statements in a usable form. If it’s paper, tear into small pieces or shred, for credit cards and the like, cut into pieces with a scissors or shred.

  • Never give your credit card number over the telephone unless you make the call.
  • Reconcile your bank account monthly and notify your bank of discrepancies immediately.
  • Keep a list of telephone numbers to call, if you ever need to report the loss or theft of your wallet, credit cards, etc.
  • Report unauthorised financial transactions to your bank, credit card company, and the police as soon as you detect them – do not delay.
  • Review a copy of your credit report at least once each year. Notify the credit bureau in writing of any questionable entries and follow through until they are explained or removed.
  • If your identity has been stolen, don’t forget to ask the credit bureau to print a statement to that effect in your credit report.
  • If you know or ever hear of anyone receiving mail from credit card companies or banks, in the names of other people, report it to local law enforcement authorities immediately.

At first glance, these might seem like a lot to take on board or even remember but, you know what, we all need to take responsibility for our own security and I think these are all very easy steps to take in order to help protect ourselves – what do YOU think?

In addition to protecting your identity, they will also give you peace of mind by lessening any worries or fears you might have about identity theft.

identity-theft-protection-tips
An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula…click on Image

So, be careful and stay safe………


Now, if you wish, you can check out the other pages and posts on Powerful Affiliate starting with how to start an online business that makes money – here you will find links to the current most popular and most important articles.

Or, right now, You can join as a starter member for free…….including two free websites – so nothing to lose, right.


As always, I would love to get your comments or suggestions in the box below or, if you prefer, Contact Me.

Thanks for visiting, please call again as I am constantly adding new information which will be of interest to you.

Cheers and do take care.

Michael

 

 

 

How To Avoid A Phishing Scam

What Is Phishing & How Can I Avoid It

how-to-avoid-a-phishing-scam
Phishing scam!

Many of you will not remember a world without the “Internet”. Is that mad or what?

Long, Long Ago!!

Think about it, surviving without the iPhone or even Mobile Phones as they were called or laptop, hard to imagine I know, but it’s not that long ago!

Then it’s not hard to imagine, that once the Internet came into being, Cyber Criminals, as they are now called, were not far behind.

These cyber criminals, using their malicious software, started to infect online businesses and individual accounts which were part of the developing networks being created and spreading all over the world. So, it is important that we familiarise ourselves with this problem and find out how to avoid a phishing scam.

Nowadays

Nowadays, Internet services and websites make our daily lives that much easier by facilitating the payment of bills, shopping, making online reservations, working from home online, earning money online, communicating with each other and, of course, how we carry out our duties in our workplace.

You can now do any of these actions from any place in the world. Borders, boundaries and human limitations have been largely eliminated in order for us to have access to almost any information……….our lives have become so much easier!!

powerful-affiliate
How to start an online business…

Cyber Criminals

how-to-avoid-a-phishing-scam
Cyber Criminals!

Unfortunately, we can say the same thing about Cyber Crime. All communications require a “connection” and these connections have been compromised again and again. The internet will always be vulnerable to these so called “cyber criminals”.

These days, more than ever before, cyber criminals can reach into our private lives, our personal communication devices, our homes and our work offices. There is an ongoing battle between high powered Technology Giants and cyber criminals –criminals who are becoming more and more sophisticated and technically aware of developments within the telecommunications industry.

Malware Scams & Phishing Scams

Criminals use various methods and tools:

Malware Scams – Traditional malicious software that attacks the vulnerabilities that are present in almost all the current programs and apps (even in the popular Windows operating systems).

Phishing Scams – These start with you getting a message by email or through a social network. Complicated, ingenious Phishing Scams are often deployed from unexpected regions of the world, where the Law and justice can’t easily reach the perpetrators.

The most common situations where you become vulnerable to Malicious Software (Malware Attack) or a Phishing Scam take place when you:

  • Shop Online
  • Open your emails
  • Access Social Media Networks

Therefore, in order to protect ourselves, we need to know what are the most popular schemes and techniques used by cyber criminals to obtain our private information and financial data.

Never forget, their final target is always your money and there is nothing they won’t do to get at it.

Phishing Email Scams

Phishing scams start with a communication made by email or on social networks.

Typically, you will receive messages from Cyber criminals who try to trick you into giving them your login credentials – for your bank account,

how-to-avoid-a-phishing-scam
Did YOU get a phishing scams on your PC?

social network, work account, cloud storage or any other personal data area they think might be valuable to them.

To disguise their intentions, the phishing emails will seem to come from an official source – it could be a bank or other financial institute, but could also be a delivery company or social network representative.

By doing it this way, they are hoping you will click on the links contained by their messages and thereby access a website that looks legit, looks like the real one – but is actually controlled by the cyber criminals. You will then be sent to a fake login access page that resembles the real website and, if you’re not paying attention, you may well end up giving away your login credentials and other personal information.

In addition and in order to increase their success rate, scammers will deliberately create a sense of urgency in the message. They’ll tell you a frightening story of how your bank account is under threat and how you really need to access it as soon as possible via a web page where you must insert your credentials in order to confirm your identity or your account.

Again of course, the provided link will only lead you to the fake web location and not to your real login page. After you fill in your online banking credentials, cyber criminals will use them to breach your real bank account or to sell them on to other interested criminals.

This is one of the main scamming techniques used to spread financial malware and data stealing malware. Realistically, there isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t be well prepared for any such attempts. However, even if you install a good antivirus program, there is no better way to stay safe from this threat than to avoid the initial infection phase.

So, How Do I Avoid Getting Caught In The Phishing Net?

how-to-avoid-a-phishing-scam
Nice FISH….does not cause a problem like Phishing does!

A – Sender Details  

First thing to check: the sender’s email address.

Look at the email header – does the sender’s email address match the name and the domain?

Spoofing the display name of an email, in order for it to appear as if it is from a “brand name”, is one of the most basics phishing tactics.

Example: An email from Amazon that comes from “noreply@amazon.com” is legitimate. But an email that looks like it is from someone at Amazon but was sent from a different domain, like the email in the picture below, is most certainly not from Amazon.

how-to-avoid-a-phishing-scam
Sample Phishing Email

Check and compare the headers from a genuine valid message that you have from the same source with those on the suspect message.

  • If they don’t match:
  • Don’t click on anything
  • Don’t download any attachment.

Here is a tool for experts – You can also analyse the email header and track IP using this tool.

If you are using Gmail – You can turn on the authentication icon for verified senders. This way, you will see a key icon next to authenticated messages from trusted senders, such as Google Wallet, eBay or PayPal. Unfortunately, only a few domains are currently supported by this program, but hopefully it will extend in the future.

Another verification method available for Gmail users – Check whether the email was authenticated by the sending domain. Open the message and click on the drop-down arrow below the sender’s name. Make sure the domain you see next to the ‘mailed-by’ or ‘signed-by’ lines matches the sender’s email address. Find out more about it here.

It will look like this:

how-to-avoid-a-phishing-scam
Sample

The second thing to check: the address the email was sent to.

Look at the To and CC fields. If the email was sent to old or wrong addresses, it may indicate it was sent to old lists or randomly generated emails.

B – Message Content

how-to-avoid-a-phishing-scam
Lies & more lies

Clue number one – They ask you to send them or verify personal information via email. Or, they are asking for information which the supposed sender should already have.

Clue number two – They are likely to play on your emotions or urgency. As a general rule, be suspicious of any mail that has urgent     requests (e.g. “respond in two days otherwise you will lose this deal”), exciting or upsetting news, offers, gift deals or coupons (especially around major holidays or events, such as Black Friday or Christmas).

Clue number three – They claim there was some sort of problem with your recent purchase or delivery and ask you to resend personal information or just click on a link to resolve it. Banks or legitimate e-Commerce representatives will never ask you to do that, as it’s not a secure method to transmit such information.

Here’s an example of PayPal phishing:

how-to-avoid-a-phishing-scam
Example of Phishing using PayPal Logo

Clue number four – They claim to be from a law enforcement agency. Law Enforcement Agencies never use email as a form of contact.

Clue number five – They ask you to call a number and give your personal details over the phone. If this is the case, search for the official correspondence from the company and use the phone number provided by them to verify if this is true.

C – Message Form

First rule -Beware of bogus or misleading links. Hover your mouse over the links in the email message in order to check them BEFORE clicking on them. The URLs may look valid at a first glance, but may use a variation in spelling or a different domain ( .net instead of .com, for example). Thanks to the new generic topic-level domains that were introduced in 2014, spammers and phishers gained new tools for their campaigns.

Some Scams use JavaScript – Other phishing scams use JavaScript  to place a picture of a legit URL over a browser’s address bar. The URL revealed when hovering with your mouse over a link can also be changed using Java.

Second rule – Look out for IP address links or URL shorteners. They can take a long URL, shorten it using services such as bit.ly, and redirect it to the intended destination. It’s hard to find out what’s on the other end of that link, so you might be falling into a trap – better be safe than sorry. Useful Tools – Check a redirect with this Redirect Checker from Internet Officer, to see where it’s leading to. Or screenshot the page remotely using Browser Shots.

Third rule – Beware of typos or spelling mistakes. This used to be the norm, but it’s no longer as common.

Fourth rule – Beware of amateurish looking designs. This means images that don’t match the background or look formatted to fit the style of the email. Stock photos, photos or logos uploaded at low resolution or bad quality.

Fifth rule – Beware of missing signatures. Lack of details about the sender or how to contact the company points in the phishing direction. A legitimate company will always provide such information.

D – Attachments

Look out for attachments. They can attach other types of files, such as PDF or DOC, that contain links. Or they can hide malware or they can cause your browser to crash while installing malware.

The latest Kaspersky Labs reports show that in Q3 of 2015 there’s been an increase in phishing using attachments and “A particular feature was a new trick used in phishing emails – in order to bypass spam filters they placed the text of the email and fraudulent link in an attached PDF document rather than in the message body”.

E – External Links / Websites

Let’s assume that you already clicked on a link from a suspicious email. Is the domain correct? Don’t forget that the link may look identical, but use a variation in spelling or domain.

Before submitting any information on that website, make sure that you are on a secure website connection. You can easily check that by looking at the link:

Does it start with “https” or “http”? The extra “s” will mean that the website has SSL. SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer and is a method to ensure that the data sent and received is encrypted. More legit and safe websites will have a valid SSL certificate installed.

Another way to check that, is to look on the left of the web address: is there an icon of a closed padlock? Or is the address highlighted in green? This will indicate that you are visiting an encrypted site and the transferred data is safe.

F – Helpful Tools

Use browsers that offer built-in phishing protection. In general, there are two ways to detect phishing websites – Heuristics and Blacklists.

Heuristic Method A heuristic method analyses patterns in URL, words in web pages and servers in order to classify the site and warn the user.

Blacklists Google and Microsoft operate blacklists. Google integrated them with Firefox and Chrome, so a warning message will appear before entering a phishing website. Microsoft is integrated with Internet Explorer and Edge.

You can also install browser add-on’s and extensions designed to block phishing attempts. Read more tips on this subject on Tech Support Alert.

Conclusion

Online scams have been developed using increasingly sophisticated means to deceive users, especially in the rich Western countries.

According to FBI, online scams have increased over the last 10 years and the total losses doubled in the recent years, affecting both private individuals and large scale businesses. For this reason, cyber criminal activities are now subject to federal investigations and are treated as a very serious problem that affects us all.

For an extended list of common fraud schemes discovered and analysed by FBI, you can check this article.

You may think that you can’t be fooled by these online scams, since some of them are quite hilarious, such as the one promising to send you money or the one where the scammers pretend to be FBI agents. However, some stories are so convincing for the potential victims that it is difficult to know how to deal with them. Since some scams are so well organised and convincing, and the people behind them are so difficult to catch, we need to always keep our guard up. So, keep checking this site and others to stay informed about the latest scamming strategies.

Have you come across any of the above scams while browsing or in your email inbox? What were the most convincing ones?

Example of an Ethical, Legitimate Website – Wealthy Affiliate.

Please visit this Wealthy Affiliate website by clicking HERE. If you have ever thought about earning an income online using a method that is legitimate, ethical and successful, then this website is for you.

You can begin as a starter member- click Real Ways To Make Money Online – and build your own website, with full support and at no cost…..yes you read it correctly…..FREE.

A Premium option is available and will be offered later on if you want to progress to multiple websites, more features and more training.

Finally, I would love to hear your comments – please use the comment box below or, if you prefer,Contact Me.

Thank’s for visiting.

Cheers for now and do take care out there.

Michael

 

Ways To Avoid Internet Scams

Numerous Internet Scams For Anyone Not Prepared

ways-to-avoid-internet-scams
Is it a SCAM?

You know things can go wrong, even in the good times a genuine business can get into trouble and go down, but nobody, absolutely nobody, likes to discover that they have become another victim of a SCAM.

There are so many great online business’s out there but, if you want to learn how to make money online working from home and also find ways to avoid internet scams, there is one business in particular that I recommend.

I have reviewed that business separately – please click HERE. That business, which is really more like a community, will give you all the help and training that you need.

Unfortunately, there are also thousands of very dodgy characters and scams out there.  A lot of them are internet investment scams or internet based online training scams, I’m not even going to try and list all of them or even some of them.

To help YOU more, I believe it will be a lot better to help you avoid these scams by giving you a number of possible situations that you should avoid – I mean avoid like the plague.

I don’t claim to cover every possible scam situation, rather I will be giving you some tips or pointers that will make you even more alert than you would normally be, regardless of the scam situation concerned.

So, if you are ready, here we go:

No Risk, Sure Thing!

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Looks risky to me!!!

When you get a proposal from someone that uses words like

“Guaranteed” or “No Risk” or “Sure Thing” or “Can’t go Wrong” be very, very cautious. If they follow up with “you will earn an ongoing substantial income” well, just cut the call or run away.

Affinity Fraud – A Like Minded Person!

An unsolicited approach from a person who claims to have the same hobby, religion, country or whatever, may well be false and be used to get you to “drop your guard” for affinity fraud. Affinity fraud is a bit like investment fraud where the fraudster preys upon members of groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, language minorities, the elderly, or professional groups. The fraudsters who promote affinity scams frequently are – or can do a really good job of pretending to be – members of the particular group they want to scam.

New Technology Development!

ways-to-avoid-internet-scams
Is it real?

While this does happen, it’s probably unlikely you will be approached by an individual “out of the blue” and if you are approached, then it may be for a “new product” that is unproven, untested and possibly does not exist. Again get out of there.

Online Videos – Don’t Believe Everything You See!

Well, this article from The Sun will give you a good idea why! When I first saw this I thought, surely, people have more sense! Surely people can’t be that stupid! Anyway, here goes:

Apparently, some new iPhone 7 owners watched an online You Tube video which demonstrated and tricked them into thinking a headphone jack could be added to their new handset by drilling a 3.5mm hole in the position where the headphone jack would normally be! The new iPhone 7 does not have a headphone jack, as it is designed for use with bluetooth headphones.

This fake You Tube video, claiming to show users how they could get the headphone jack, went viral and many new iPhone owners damaged their new phones by following the instructions from the video! These, and I quote  The Sun,

” Clueless users then complained their phones had stopped working after falling victim to the prank. Furious James Ceja commented on the video: “I tried this and ended up with display destruction and it not working… I really committed the biggest mistake of my life by watching this video.”

David Iriarte added: “A friend of mine told me it worked for him, but my iPhone won’t turn on after I drilled the hole for the jack. “I checked and it was the 3.5mm drill, so I made no mistake there! What happened? Any of you have the same problem?”

Toekneechair questioned: “Ok I am sure it’s in the comments somewhere but my friend told me to ask what size drill bit am I supposed to use? “Also I don’t have that clamp thingy, can I or my friend hold it while we drill? I don’t want to ruin my phone. “Thanks for all the help guys…”

Click here to view the video http://bit.ly/2cVBBMx

Well, what do you think, would you fall for it? I would certainly hope not.

You Tube is truly amazing, with solutions and videos for almost any task you care to mention, so people visit You Tube looking for solutions all the time. That sense of trust may well be one of the reasons why these people were “tricked”, although, personally I think they were just stupid.

Anyway, you might say this is an extreme case – and I would agree – but it is still a useful WARNING that we must always be on the alert and not let our guard down.

Investments

A huge area with numerous genuine investment opportunities.

Again, unfortunately, there are also all kinds of “Professional Investment Scams” and Affinity Fraud as detailed above. Although it is a massive area of business activity there are a few pointers to follow for this and other scam situations:

  • Ask plenty of probing, difficult questions.
  • Watch the “body language”.
  • Watch for any “silences”.
  • Check what firm carries out the Audits – a reputable firm of auditors will not be a guarantee on any investment, but it would be more reassuring than some backstreet accountant.

Get On Board Now or You Will Lose Out!

ways-to-avoid-internet-scams
Caution strongly advised

Pressure is applied to invest money immediately or the opportunity will be lost! This is meant to stop you doing research or consulting with family or experts. If it’s a genuine long term proposal, then there should be ample time for background checks.

Sending Cash Overseas!

Genuine International Investments can be great but NEVER ever send cash overseas to some unknown person or company. It’s hard to believe that this is still happening.

Favourable Promotions!

Opportunities being favourably promoted on the internet and elsewhere can be absolutely amazing and totally legitimate.

But, again, there are the exceptions that are total scams – some very obvious and others that just don’t stand up to any serious scrutiny.

If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…….

Yes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true – Old advice that is still very good advice – use your common sense and gut feeling.

Now Then – after all that – How Do You Avoid The Scams?

Do you want to avoid the scams and all that grief and frustration?

Well, absolute best thing to do, check out this company Wealthy Affiliate which I have reviewed separately.

For further helpful information, have a look at my other pages and posts especially how to work online at home  and real ways to earn money online

So, for now, there you have it…..

how-to-avoid-internet-scams
An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula…worth a read…click on Image

I do love to get feedback – good or bad, so please leave your comment in the box below or, if you prefer, Contact Me.

Thanks for dropping by, do take care out there.

Michael

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