What is social phishing?

Described by Microsoft, a type of malicious online identity theft.  Social media phishing has jumped to 20% of the top-ten most phished brands!  According to Andrew Geiger of RiskIQ

The hackers/phishers want you to provide them with access to your confidential information.

Social phishing is often seen on Facebook and luckily it normally has a very simple solution.  You simply need to change your password to one of those long ugly ones.  When changing your password it is best to follow the same requirements as your bank.

A strong password has:
1. at least 11 – 15 characters
2. uppercase letters
3. lowercase letters
4. numbers
5. symbols, such as ` ! ” ? $? % ^ & * ( ) _ – + = { [ } ] : ; @ ‘ ~ # | \ < , > . ? /

Here are some of the sneaky tricks the hacksters use;

1)    Fake Websites

If in doubt check the URL in the box at the top of your screen

Take a look at the website link above, normally when you go to your best shopping site you will not see those numbers at the very beginning, you would normally see only Amazon, eBay, Nordstrom, etc.  This is a very big clue that something isn’t right.  Whenever you get that feeling that something isn’t right, take a peek at the website link and make sure it looks right.

Some, however, are not that obvious, it could be a .co instead of a .com.

There could be other words added to the website link

It could even be

Each and every time something is added the URL, even if it is just a period it makes it different.  This is something you need to look out for.

2)      Harvesting Information

You find something interesting on in your newsfeed, click the link, but lo and behold it takes you somewhere you didn’t expect to go.  In fact, where you ended up is asking you to enter your email address.  Example:  you want to go look at a resource mentioned in a blog post when you click on it and it takes you to a link shortening site. (this is what just happened to me)  You will be surprised how many people actually enter their name and email address.

3)      Fake accounts

This has become very prevalent on Twitter.  Scammers are creating Twitter accounts that look like customer service accounts.  They want you to enter information regarding your account so they can gain access.  Remember most companies will NOT want you to enter any account information in an unsecured environment.

I receive Facebook friend requests daily from “older gentlemen”.  I do look at some of the requests, but only if they are already a friend to some of my friends.  Many of these accounts are fake and if you do become friends sooner or later they will attempt to get money from you.

4)      Cash grabs

This is usually in the form of an email which contains explicit or suggestive text, implying that someone is watching you through your web camera and will publish embarrassing footage taken of you unless you pay them. They are usually poorly written with many spelling and grammatical errors—this is typical of phishing emails. These malicious emails are not directed at anyone personally; they are sent in bulk in the hope that some will reply or comply with the demand for payment.

5) Hidden charges

Clickbait “(on the Internet) content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page.”

There are many reasons for using click bait, the dangerous ones have hidden charges.  An example you find an ad on Facebook that intrigues you, you click.  Unfortunately, even though click-baiting is very annoying, it works. Once you have clicked you discover a free offer, BUT you have to pay shipping charges.  You still believe this is a good deal so you go ahead.  If you are not SUPER careful you just may have signed up for a monthly program at the highly inflated regular price.

How do you stop yourself from falling for these ones?  The answer is to be careful.  Your first line of defense is awareness and now you have read this information you are definitely aware.  Second is to review the web page(s) in detail, definitely look hard for a little box that may already have the tick mark. (or visa versa) When you are aware you’re about to go down the clickbait trail it’s much easier to keep an eye out for the deceptive practices.

I know of one man who purchased vitamins from a “free trial” offer and the company ended up charging his credit card over $200.  He reported them to his credit card company and the charges were reversed, but it was still a fair amount of work on his part!

6)      Hidden URLs

Link shorteners are everywhere! They are used for a number of reasons such as shortening a long ugly link, tracking how many time the link was clicked, provide users useful features, promote sharing and even to cover up an affiliate link so that scammers won’t steal commissions.

how can you tell if the URL is safe?  Use this website to check it first before you click.

I personally use a program called WebRoot, it was recommended to me by the gentleman who takes care of my computer hardware.  For $45.00 per year for 3 devices it is well worth it.  If and when you get hacked finding someone who is willing and able to fix your computer without charging an arm and a leg is challenging, better to protect yourself right from the start.

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Chatbots offer instant engagement, offering key pieces of information to common questions and in a human-like way, and offline marketing can drive consumers to those bots.

We often think of marketing in two separate categories – offline and online, with little, if any contact between the two.

We certainly don’t think of Facebook chatbots, a human-like automatic response on Facebook and other social media sites and websites, as having any link to offline marketing.

But as the infographic Facebook Chatbots and Offline Marketing show, there is a connection and a strong one at that.

Read more: How do Facebook Chatbots Link with Offline Marketing? via Social Media Hat

How to Master Facebook Ad Targeting & Zero-In on Your Audience

With over 2 billion active users daily and an average use time of 35 minutes per user, it’s a top spot for B2C and B2B advertising. There’s never been a better time to be familiar with Facebook Ad targeting.

Facebook has hundreds of targeting and ad demographic options. To get the most out of your advertising dollars, you’ll need to zero-in on your audience.

In this article, we’ll explore how to get the most out of that money spent on mastering Facebook Ad targeting and zeroing-in on your target.

Read more: How to Master Facebook Ad Targeting & Zero-In on Your Audience via Sprout Social

Facebook's Page update [GIF]

This is a big one – Facebook is rolling out a bunch of updates for business Pages in order to make it easier for local businesses in particular to maximize their exposure on the platform, and to utilize customer word of mouth more effectively.

First off, Facebook’s adding Recommendations to Pages, which will enable users to post a written review of your business, and can include text, photos and a new option – related business tags.

Read more: Facebook Announces New Update for Pages, Adding Recommendation Tools and Connection Options via Social Media Today

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Man Using a Digital Tablet

One of the most important parts of LinkedIn is your profile. That’s what you use to connect with people in your network, and your profile is how you get found on LinkedIn because it contains information about your skills and experience.

In addition, your LinkedIn profile can increase your visibility online and help you build a professional brand that showcases your background to prospective employers. Here are tips on how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the crowd.

Read more: How to Make a Better LinkedIn Profile via The Balance Careers

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A 2017 study by International Data Corporation showed that 75% of B2B purchasers use social media at some point in their buying process. And, nearly 64% of firms that have formal employee advocacy programs credit that advocacy with attracting new business.

Attracting B2B buyers with social selling on LinkedIn can be a highly effective addition to your sales and marketing strategy, as twice as many B2B buyers use LinkedIn to research purchasing decisions than any other social network.

In fact, 80% of all B2B leads generated by social media come from LinkedIn.

But not everyone sees these kinds of results for reasons such as not having the right mindset or processes to generate new business from LinkedIn effectively.

To attract today’s buyer, it requires a shift in the sales dialogue from “What can I sell you?” to “How can I help you?”

Read more: Follow This Method for More Leads and Clients on LinkedIn via Ian Anderson Gray

How to Use LinkedIn Lead Gen Form Ads by Julbert Abraham on Social Media Examiner.

Want an efficient way to find qualified leads on LinkedIn?

Have you heard of LinkedIn lead gen form ads?

In this article, you’ll learn how to set up a LinkedIn ad campaign that collects downloadable leads.

Read more: How to Use LinkedIn Lead Gen Form Ads via Social Media Examiner


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17 Hidden Instagram Hacks and Features (That Will Make You Squeal With Delight)

If you know a few hidden Instagram Hacks and Features, you can get so much more out of the Instagram platform (and engage better with your followers).

In this post we’re rounding up some of my favourite Instagram hacks, tools and features so you can find them all in one place.

Read more: 17 Hidden Instagram Hacks And Features (That Will Make You Squeal With Delight) via Socially Sorted

Pixlee screenshot

Data is an essential resource in marketing. Social media marketing is no different, and more marketers are now growing to understand the importance of using the vast range of social data points to fuel their marketing campaigns.

When starting an Instagram campaign, data aggregation will help you make the right marketing moves. Using Instagram analytics and reporting tools lessens the ‘trial and error’ approach, enabling you to more quickly hone in on the best options for your goals.

Read more: 7 Instagram Analytics Tools to Boost Your Platform Strategy via Social Media Today

Instagram Stories Strategy: How to Make Stories That Benefit Your Business featuring insights from Tyler J. McCall on the Social Media Marketing Podcast.

Want to attract more leads with Instagram?

Curious how a story arc on Instagram Stories can help?

To explore how to use Instagram Stories for business, I interview Tyler J. McCall.

Read more: Instagram Stories Strategy: How to Make Stories That Benefit Your Business via Social Media Examiner

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Strategies for Twitter are definitely different than what is required for Facebook.

It moves at a much faster pace and can be much more interactive.  Check out these articles and decide how Twitter will work best for you.

How to Schedule Tweets to Maximize Reach and Engagement

Buffer can help you with Twitter scheduling, managing multiple Twitter profiles, and more. We would love for you to give it a try and see the difference.

If you are new to scheduling tweets (or social media posts in general), you might be wondering, “Why should I schedule my tweets when I can just tweet normally?”

Here’s why.

Read more: How to Schedule Tweets to Maximize Reach and Engagemen via Buffer Social

Wouldn't it be great to be able to view Twitter List content within Agorapulse so that you can reply, retweet or even assign that content? Here's how:

Following more than a hundred peeps on Twitter? Gets kinda noisy doesn’t it?

Twitter is fantastic for keeping up with friends, news, brands… you name it. Everyone’s sharing fantastic tidbits of information, pictures and videos. So much so that, once you start to follow more than a few people, it’s hard to keep up!

Read more: How To Simulate Twitter Lists Within Agorapulse via The Social Media Hat

How to Find the Best Twitter Hashtags

Including trending and popular Twitter hashtags in your social media posts is a great way to boost your messages to reach people beyond just your own followers. When you use a popular hashtag in a post, you expose that message to everyone discussing that topic and looking at the messages relevant to that subject.

However, in order to take full advantage of this, you’ll need to know which hashtags will work best for you using our Twitter Analytics and more tools on this list.

Read more: How to Find the Best Twitter Hashtags via Sprout Social


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