Category: information

Pay To Give a Presentation

Normally, people are paid to give presentations  –  not the other way around, especially at conferences.

An email from which belongs to UBM who are organising the Technology for Marketing conference for September 2017 in London.

The email is about a  Call for Papers – they want people to present papers in areas to do with use of technology in Marketing.

They want

  • Case studies on multi channel approaches
  • The competitive edge of personalisation
  • Leadership in the modern age
  • How content can transform the brand story

And so on.

This all sounds reasonable.

The bottom of the email states “Please note that submissions from suppliers may be liable to a fee if entry is successful”

It sounds mean to charge people for giving a presentation but maybe it’s just a catchall statement and they reserve the right to charge if a supplier is basically giving a sales pitch rather than just a presentation.

That’s the world of Marketing.

Do you have an opinion on this matter? Please comment in the box below.


How to Make Your Website Trusted

The first steps in having your website trusted are the obvious ones – make sure there is nothing that would concern people e.g. selling items of dubious or inconsistent quality, excessive advertising, advertising of business such as gambling, over promising on products or services then being unable to meet those promises, poor customer service, excessive profit margins, inaccurate advertising, poor quality website etc.

Once you have eliminated anything that could put people off then you’re left with two basic things – building a good reputation and hoping for great online reviews by your customers.

These both need a lot of time and effort to happen. Good reputations don’t happen overnight and people will only add great reviews when your sales process, quality of products and services, customer service etc. are top notch.

There is another way to increase trust and that is to become accredited by the various relevant bodies for whatever industry you are in and also to be accredited or registered with the various bodies that review websites.

Recent research shows that most customers don’t understand security on the Internet but they do trust various organisations and hence trust their judgements on trustworthy websites.

To the question “Which badge gives you the best sense of trust when paying online” the results show

  • Norton 36%
  • MacAfee 23%
  • Truste
  • BBB

Other badges did also register but these four were the most recognised and trusted by far.

What do you have to do to get Norton accreditation for example?

You buy a Symantec SSL certificate and implement that on your website.

The other companies listed above are Trust based rather than simply SSL recognition.

As well as the trusted badges, in assessing a website, consumers report that they look for qualities including

  • up to date information
  • fresh content
  • easy ways to contact the business
  • honesty about any problems
  • negative comments as well as positive ones
  • where appropriate – pictures of the management.

Make your website trusted for genuine reasons – don’t shortcut.

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Business 2017 Show Marketing Lies

An email from with the title

Meet Brian Tracy & Michelle Mone for FREE on 10-11 June, 2017

Sounds interesting.

Claim Your FREE Bronze Ticket of Worth £299

in This Once in a Lifetime Opportunity to Meet New York Times Bestseller Brian Tracy along with Michelle Mone & Caprice at the UK’s Business Event of the Year

Do register now as the first 40 respondents to this email will get FREE BRONZE TICKETS of worth £299. Take action NOW to grab your £299 FREE ticket before it is gone. 

Now that sounds clear. There are 40 free tickets available worth £299 each.

However, when you click on the link to a web page, the message says

Welcome to the FREE ticket sign up form to win £299 worth of Bronze ticket .

It’s no longer a free ticket, but the chance to win a ticket. That’s cheating.


Do leave a comment on this post – click on the post title then scroll down to leave your comment.

Ransomware: What Is It?

Imagine you’ve been working hard to create a new presentation for work or an official document or a personal photograph album. When you finally finish the work, a message appears on screen that says

“All of the files on this computer have been encrypted. You have 24 hours to submit payment to receive the encryption key, otherwise your files will be permanently destroyed.”

You’ve been hit with Ransomware.

This could be lies – it could just be an empty threat, but it could also be very real and if you don’t pay then your files may be lost permanently.

What do you do?

Step 1: disconnect from the Internet immediately.

Step 2 : Make a choice on whether to pay

If you pay, then maybe you get your files back and maybe not.

If you choose not to pay then switch the computer off and get it to an expert ASAP.

Across the globe in 2014, there were 8.8 million ransomware attacks reported and this crime is rising rapidly.

For further information refer to article

General Data Protection Regulation

The 1998 Data Protection Act was passed by Parliament to control the way information is handled and to give legal rights to people who have information stored about them.

Other European Union countries have passed similar laws and there is the complication that often data is held in more than one country.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)  comes into force in May 2018. It is an EU regulation and takes effect in the UK regardless of the BREXIT situation.

With so many businesses and services operating across borders, international consistency around data protection laws and rights is crucial both to businesses and organisations, and to individuals.

Who does the GDPR apply to?

The GDPR applies to processing carried out by organisations operating within the EU. It also applies to organisations outside the EU that offer goods or services to individuals in the EU.

It  does not apply to certain activities including processing covered by the Law Enforcement Directive, processing for national security purposes and processing carried out by individuals purely for personal/household activities.

It applies to ‘controllers’ and ‘processors’. The definitions are broadly the same as under the Data Protection Act (DPA) – i.e. the controller says how and why personal data is processed and the processor acts on the controller’s behalf. If you are currently subject to the DPA, it is likely that you will also be subject to the GDPR.

If you are a processor, the GDPR places specific legal obligations on you; for example, you are required to maintain records of personal data and processing activities. You will have significantly more legal liability if you are responsible for a breach.

However, if you are a ‘controller’, there are still obligations where a ‘processor’ is involved – it places further obligations on you to ensure your contracts with processors comply with the GDPR.

Does the GDPR apply to Personal Data?

Like the DPA, the GDPR applies to ‘personal data’. However, the GDPR’s definition is more detailed and makes it clear that information such as an online identifier – e.g. an IP address – can be personal data. The more expansive definition provides for a wide range of personal identifiers to constitute personal data, reflecting changes in technology and the way organisations collect information about people.

For most organisations, keeping HR records, customer lists, or contact details etc., the change to the definition should make little practical difference. You can assume that if you hold information that falls within the scope of the DPA, it will also fall within the scope of the GDPR.

The GDPR applies to both automated personal data and to manual filing systems where personal data are accessible according to specific criteria.


Basically, if you are subject to the DPA then you need to plan to ensure compliance with the GDPR .

More information available at

BCC Survey on Cyber Crime

The British Chambers of Commerce recently completed its survey on cyber-crime at British businesses large and small.

The results show that one in five businesses have fallen victim to cyber-attacks in the past year and that big businesses are far more likely than their smaller counterparts to be victims of attacks (42% of companies with 100 staff or more, compared to 18% of companies with fewer than 100 employees).

The results indicate that businesses are most reliant on IT providers (63%) to resolve issues after an attack, compared to banks and financial institutions (12%) or police and law enforcement (2%).

Many businesses (21%) believe the threat of cyber-crime is preventing their company from growing.

The survey also shows:

  • Only a quarter (24%) of businesses have cyber security accreditations in place. Small businesses are far less likely to have such accreditations.
  • Of the businesses that do have accreditations, half (49%) believe it gives their business a competitive advantage over rival companies, and a third (33%) consider it important in creating a more secure environment when trading with other businesses

From May 2018, all businesses who use personal data will have to ensure they are compliant with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation.

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“Cyber-attacks risk companies’ finances, confidence and reputation, with victims reporting not only monetary losses but costs from disruption to their business and productivity. While firms of all sizes – from major corporations to one-man operations – fall prey to attacks, our evidence shows that large companies are more likely to experience them.

“Firms need to be proactive about protecting themselves from cyber-attacks. Accreditations can help businesses assess their own IT infrastructure, defend against cyber-security breaches and mitigate the damage caused by an attack. It can also increase confidence among the businesses and clients who they engage with online.

“Businesses should also be mindful of the extension to data protection regulation coming into force next year, which will increase their responsibilities and requirements to protect personal data. Firms that don’t adopt the appropriate protections leave themselves open to tough penalties.

The British Chambers of Commerce website is at

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Call Blocking Phones for Dementia Sufferers

In 2015, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) received almost 170,000 complaints about nuisance calls

Cold callers are a nuisance to most of us. But to someone suffering from dementia, they can be a scourge.

This is also the case for many people with mental disabilities, the very elderly and people not used to callers pretending to be helpful but just seeking to defraud them.

Many of the large charity organisations until recently used to exchange caller lists so anyone who was generous to one charity would find themselves bombarded with calls from other charities and many paid over far more money than they should have.

Prime Minister Theresa May said “We want to create a fairer society by cracking down on unscrupulous practices which target the most vulnerable”. She has announced plan to give elderly and vulnerable people hi-tech devices to block these nuisance calls.

The call blocking devices will be installed in the homes of some of the most vulnerable people across the UK who have been identified by doctors, Trading Standards officials and local councils as being at risk from nuisance callers.

These trueCall devices will block all recorded messages, silent calls and calls from numbers not already pre-identified by the home owner – offering particular protection to those with dementia.

The project, which is being co-ordinated by the National Trading Standards Scams Team and supported by local Trading Standards departments, is the latest of a series of government crackdowns on nuisance callers

The chief executive of Dementia UK, Hilda Hayo, said: We welcome this project as some people living with dementia are vulnerable to nuisance callers who offer bogus services and financial schemes. These calls can not only have a negative financial impact but can also lead to psychological effects such as anxiety, depression and a loss of self-esteem. We frequently receive calls to our national helpline from family members who are concerned that their relative with dementia has fallen prey to rogue traders.

The funding for this scheme includes £300,000 to supply call blocking machines with the remaining budget spent on the management of the service and raising public awareness of scam and nuisance calls

The only problem is that the money will run out long before everyone who needs one of the phones gets it. Let’s hope more money can be found.

To report a nuisance go to the Information Commissioners Office online at

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Identity Theft

Identity theft has always been a problem as fraudsters take out loans in someone else’s name or use a false name and address when arrested or take out credit cards in the victim’s name.

Nowadays, identity theft is prevalent as it has become much easier in the electronic age. Every day, millions of phishing emails are sent out by scammers trying to get your confidential information so they can defraud you.

A phishing email is one that pretends to be from some trusted organisation and seeks to get you to provide your confidential information e.g. credit card details, banking details, passwords etc.

The key information they want is of course name, date of birth and financial information. But whatever the criminal starts with, they may seek further information to make their fraud easier to commit. They may call you claiming to be from the council or the authorities or your bank etc. and use the information they have to convince you of their authenticity and then gain more from you in the guise of confirming your ID etc.

Or they may send you phishing emails – seeking under various guises to get more details from you.

To access your Amazon account, the scammer just needs your login and password.

To set-up a new bank account in your name they need proof of ID (passport or drivers licence being the most common) plus proof of address, date of birth etc.

Protect Yourself

Watch out for suspicious emails or phone calls that try to trick you into disclosing personal information, based on already having some information about you.

Check out for more information.

Stay cautious.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

Russian Mass Spammer Arrested

An alleged Russian hacker has been arrested in Spain at the request of the American authorities.

Pyotr Levashov should have realised that going on holiday to a country that has extradition with America was a bad idea. He knew the Americans wanted him as he is responsible for the Kelihos botnet and has been on the top ten list of the world’s biggest spammers for years.

The Kelhios botnet is a huge array of computers setup to send out vast quantities of scam emails.

He was arrested on a U.S. computer crimes warrant and will be extradited.

Levashov’s arrest drew immediate attention after his wife told the Russian network  RT that he was linked to America’s 2016 election hacking. She said when she spoke to her husband on the phone from the police station, he told her he was told he had created a computer virus that was linked to Trump’s election win. This may be a red herring designed to attract attention to his case.

According to the cybersecurity site KrebsOnSecurity, Levashov was allegedly responsible for “running multiple criminal operations that paid virus writers and spammers to install fake antivirus’ software. “There is a lot of  evidence that he is the cybercriminal behind the Waledac spam botnet, which infected more than 70,000 computers and was capable of sending up to  1.5 billion spam messages a day.”

The U.S. authorities announced that they are working to dismantle a global computer network that sent hundreds of millions of spam emails worldwide each year.  The U.S. Justice Department said it was working to take down the sprawling Kelihos botnet, which at times was made up of more than 100,000 compromised computers that sent phony emails advertising counterfeit drugs and work-at-home scams, harvested users’ logins and installed malware that captured their bank account passwords.

Controlling the vast network since 2010 was Pyotr Levashov, a 36-year-old described in U.S. court documents as “one of the world’s most notorious criminal spammers.”

The investigators’ efforts are showing early signs of success in disrupting the botnet.

It is a huge global problem combatting these operations  that are well organised and well equipped and few governments can do much to stop them.

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Review of Malwarebytes Anti Malware

Malware is any piece of software that can cause problems on your computer. This includes viruses, trojans, ransomware, spyware and PUPS.

Malwarebytes is an anti-malware package, not an anti-virus package. It’s designed to find and eliminate the other elements of malware.

Trojans are pieces of software that can infect your computer while appearing to be harmless.  E.g. the Trojan may open a back door through which hackers can access to your computer.    Spyware is anything that makes a record of your actions e.g. websites visited and passes on that information. This can be simply to provide more targeted adverts but is often intrusive and unwelcome. PUPS are pieces of software or cookies that are probably unwelcome but do not fit the category of dangerous.

How Does it Work?

You install Malwarebytes and it has real time protection facilities that guard against for example your browser navigating to a dangerous website. It also needs to run regular scans of your computer to ensure nothing dangerous has got onto your computer.

Malwarebytes used to have an excellent free version but with the advent of version 3 – the free version has been downgraded and now is just the scan facility with no real time protection i.e. it give no protection against malware infecting your computer, browsing on dangerous websites etc.

The premium version  costs £30 per year for full protection.

Malwarebytes is very effective at preventing malware getting onto my computer, but it does slow the machine down noticeably at times.  So that’s a trade-off you have to consider.

Malwarebytes may not be that efficient at finding and removing viruses so a separate anti-virus software package may be needed.

Features of Malwarebytes

  • Anti-malware scans
  • Real time protection
  • Malicious website blocking
  • Developed for PCs but now available on MAC and Android

Main Competitors

  • BitDefender
  • Kaspersky

In conclusion, Malwarebytes is effective in countering malware and it’s worth the annual cost but it’s a shame the free version has been so downgraded.

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