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Thursday, October 4, 2012

How to use Aliases in Gmail?

If you have a Gmail account (or Google Apps for Business), you may not be aware that you can embed information in your email address. For example, if your address is:
 
 centrio.rocks@gmail.com 
 
You can add arbitrary text like +some_string to the end of the address and make it:
 
 centrio.rocks +some_string@gmail.com 
 
Anything after the plus sign is ignored in routing the email, but the additional information can be used for setting up Gmail filters. Filters could be used to perform action like star the message, skip the inbox, or forward to another account.
An example use for aliasing your Gmail account
 
A website such as amazon.com asks for your email address, you can give them an email address like:
 
 centrio.rocks +amazon.com@gmail.com 
 
You’ll still get email from them, but also it’s easy to filter messages later on if you need. This is useful for websites that have multiple departments and multiple contact emails (like billing@, info@). And in the rare case if some website loses your email address to a spammer, it may be easier to track down who sold it, or where a security breach may have occurred.
 
For trusted acquaintances, you may give out an email address with some information to protect it from your spam filters.
 
centrio.rocks+somepassword@gmail.com 
 
Or for testing, if you ever need an endless supply of unique email addresses, you can easily create them as:
 
 centrio.rocks +test1@gmail.com
 centrio.rocks +test2@gmail.com
 centrio.rocks +test3@gmail.com 

 
In general, to keep your inbox from becoming unmanageable, maintain some level of separation between emails created by people you know, and emails created by computers/websites.
 
Using aliases in Gmail does not require any additional setup or configuration in Gmail, aside from adding filter rules, if desired. Just append numbers, letters, or any other character that can occur in a valid email username (no spaces, for example) after the “+”.
 
You can always test the alias by sending yourself an email.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Recent Joomla! Compromise Might Affect You

We are noticing a string of Joomla! compromises, and we wanted to share some details for those running the Content Management System (CMS). This current exploit is affecting the following versions of Joomla :
  • 1.6.x
  • 1.7.x
  • 2.5.0-2.5.2
  • 2.5.4
  • all earlier 2.5.x versions
 
The compromise begins with the attacker registering a user, and then escalating that user’s privileges to an administration level. In every case, we noticed the attackers add a user with a Gmail™ address beginning with xxxtxxx and the user name of alexaalexa.
Once the attackers have their user on the account, they typically come back a few days later and edit the error.php file to create a script that allows people to upload content anonymously. A few days after the creation of the file upload script, the attackers come back again and uploads the following file s:
  • rp.php
  • indx.php
  • stph.php
  
This attack is extremely malicious, and the stph.php file performs other aggressive attacks against other networks. To see if your site is affected, run the following query :
  
SELECT u.username AS username, u.email AS email, g.group_id AS group_id

FROM jos_users u, jos_user_usergroup_map g

WHERE u.email LIKE ‘xxxtxxx%’

AND u.id = g.user_id

  
If the email matches xxxtxxx, the user name matches alexaalexa, and the group_id is either a 7 or 8, your account is compromised. Group_id 7 is associated with the Administrator group, and group_id 8 is associated with the Super Administrator group. As a general rule, users do not have these permissions.
  
  1. If affected, we recommend taking the following actions:
  2. Remove the uploaded files, and then restore the error.php file to its original content.
  3. Remove any users with the group_id of 7 or 8.
  4. Update Joomla to the latest version.
  5. Update all themes, plugins, and extensions to their latest versions.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Google’s Emanuel Update: No One is Safe – Except for YouTube

Google’s recent update to its search index algorithm has been dubbed “Emanuel” by the media, and Emanuel has a Hollywood vendetta to fulfill. The purpose of Emanuel is to target websites that are hosting material in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA). In most cases, these websites will be big websites that illegally host pirated material like movies and music. The big torrent sites will be hit the hardest – but what about YouTube? Nope. YouTube has been the subject of many controversial copyright allegations, yet it’s very unlikely that Emanuel will penalize it at all.

Copyright Infringement Allegations at Work

The way Google will determine if a site should be penalized or not is by tallying up the number of copyright violation claims Google has received against it. Google evaluates every claim individually for validity, however Google can’t issue an official ruling, because Google is not a judge, and a claim is not a lawsuit. In other words, many of those claims might be bogus. Knowing this, Google has decided that a website needs to have a significant, unusually high number of copyright violation claims against it before it will be penalized. Essentially, if thousands of people say a website is in DCMA violation, it’s more likely that it is, when compared to other sites with only a handful, or one or two, complaints.

Is YouTube Above the Law?

For some reason – maybe because Google owns YouTube – copyright claims against YouTube don’t hold the same weight that they do for other sites when it comes to PageRank and penalties. If you want to file a copyright allegation against YouTube, you can’t even do it in the same method as all other claims; you’re directed to file copyright claims directly and internally with YouTube. Google claims that YouTube isn’t above the law, and in fact that Google is stricter with YouTube than other sites, but it’s easy to see why that’s hard to believe. If copyright allegations go through YouTube itself, rather than straight to Google with all other copyright allegations, then YouTube’s claims won’t count in the tally of DCMA complaints that Google uses to determine penalties. It’s essentially a way that Google can circumvent its own policy.

Can Other Sites Protect Themselves, Too?

If you run a website that hosts a lot of questionable material, you can expect to be hit with some DCMA claims, and if you get a lot, Google will lower your PageRank. Is there a way you could avoid this in the same way as YouTube? You certainly can’t require people to report their claims elsewhere and stick a link on Google’s claims reporting page like Google could for YouTube. You can, however, attempt to encourage people to file their complaints with you and give you the chance to remedy the problem before they go to Google. This, of course, means that you’d actually have to remedy the problem, otherwise an accuser would just go to Google anyway.

And accusers are going to Google in droves. Since Emanuel, more DCMA violation complaints have been filed with Google in one month than in the entire year of 2009. How many of these claims are legitimate, how many aren’t, and how many are simply stabs at competitors? We have no way of knowing, and It’s a slippery slope. But one thing is clear: host copyright infringing material, and you’ll feel the wrath of Emanuel (unless you’re YouTube).

Thursday, July 5, 2012

How to Handle the Google Attack Page

When you see the dreaded Google attack site warning, you should immediately email to : "hostmaster (at) centriohost.com" - Be sure to include your domain name because we will need to locate the virus that caused the issue and take steps to clean and secure your account.
 
Note: This warning will only happen in Firefox because Mozilla has a relationship with Google. Google cannot actually change your website. They can only give you a warning that they detected possibly malicious scripts on your site. You will need to get your account cleaned and secured before Google will remove the warning page.
 
Once the account has been cleaned and secured, please request a delisting through your Google Webmaster account. This is not something that CentrioHost can do for you. The excerpt below was copied from Google, and gives you step by step instructions to request a delisting.
 
From Google's Website:
 
http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=45432
Once you have reviewed your site and are sure it is clean, you can can submit a request for review. Note, you will need to verify site ownership before you can request a site review.
  1. Sign in to Webmaster Tools with your Google account.
  2. On the Dashboard, select the site you want.
  3. On the Overview page, click Request a review and follow the instructions.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Learn How To Remain Secure On-Line

Security has always been a persistent issue on internet. We are never sure about safety of our personal information. The security issue has advanced to a new level recently with lot of identity theft, fraud, hijacking and hacking activities being carried out frequently. One of the main reason for these activities are carelessness or ignorance of users. The bad guys out there want users to make some mistakes so that they get a chance to steal information and cause damages. In this article, we will cover such  security issues, what actually may cause them and suggest ways around such issues.
 

Unprotected networks

Unprotected networks are too prone to hijacking and information theft. Since the network does not work on encrypted  protocols, the hackers can easily invade your privacy and get into the system to read your incoming and outgoing data and your passwords. They can take a look at the devices and folders on the network if users do not configure their systems properly. Wireless networks mostly suffer from this problem of secured sessions.
 
There are many programs and applications for hijacking of unencrypted Facebook, Twitter, and even Amazon credentials from other users on the same Wi-Fi network. You might have heard of Firesheep, a Firefox add-on which can do that. More recently, there is FaceNiff - an Android application which can hijack of Facebook, Twitter or Amazon sessions very easy. It lets the hackers sniff from your computer and intercept credentials if you are on any unprotected network.
 
So, we should be concerned about the networks on which we work. We should always use the protected networks working on HTTPS Protocol. Next time you log on to a public Wi-Fi take care of security thing.
 

Suspicious Links

There are links all around - in emails, on websites that you use visit. All these links are not meant to be visited. Many  links make you do things that you would not even suspect about, such as - download malicious softwares, enter your credentials etc. Such softwares can attack your system. Entering your credentials at such places can get your accounts hacked.
A major problem with this is arises because of URL shortners. Many URL shortning services have come up because of services like Twitter and Facebook.
 
There are many ways to detect such links. For example -
 
  • Use Google Safe Browsing to scan any website for suspicious/malacious link. Use the link "http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=XYZ.com" to scan any link.
  • Use online link scanners -they list the scan report generated by AVG, PhisTank, Site Truth and Google Safe Browsing and other reliable sources to help us decide the overall report of the URL in question. For example - Online Link Scan.
  • Use any antivirus in your system which use antispam filter, scan web traffic etc. to protect you when you are working online.
  • Be careful of links on Facebook and Twitter which seems spammy. If you are suspicious of the link, do not click on them.
     
If you are in habit of clicking any links you see, take into account that you can land up in disturbing situation. Better think before you click.
 

Password Vulnerability

Quite often we are not careful about the passwords that we choose. Passwords must be created strong. The more obscure we choose a password, the tougher it will be to crack.
Here are some tips for creating safe passwords -
  • Do not use easy to guess and general terms for passwords (like your phone number, street name, pet's name etc.)
  • Pseudo-random alpha-numeric combination- Mix letters, numbers and symbols, and use alphabets with different cases.
  • Try not to use the same password for every site for which you create an account.
  • Do not hesitate to create a long password, but at the same time memorize it.
  • Try to change your password at regular intervals - say 90-100 days.
     

Role of Web Browser

Web browsers that you choose can help you shield your information from getting breached. Secure browsers lead you to have secured sessions. Certain tweaks in your browser can help you remain safe.
 
Browsers as Firefox and Google Chrome can be considered reliable as they provide many security features. They will warn you of possible threats. With Safe Browsing technology enabled in Chrome, it will show you a warning message before you visit a site that is suspected of containing malware or phishing. Firefox also shows such warning messages.
 
  • If you are suspicious of any information being used later then you can simply clear the browsing history.
  • Use antivirus which integrates with your browser to detect the threats on line (like- when you download any software).
  • Private Browsing in Firefox and Incognito mode in Chrome allow you to browse the Internet without saving any information about which sites and pages you’ve visited.
  • “Keep My Opt-Outs” Chrome extension and Do-not-track feature in Firefox help your browsing behavior not getting tracked by third party so it adds to your safety and privacy.
     
You can choose browser of your own choice. But be sure you get enough security feature (like the above discussed) from your browser.
 
The ways discuss here will surely help you to remain safe when you are online. It's you to make sure you take wise steps for your safety. After all safety is one's basic concern.
 
Do you use any other security measures? Do share them.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Best Tips To Write A Link Bait Post And Get Links For Your Site

One of the top tips given by the professional Bloggers of the world is to write a link Bait Post. Now this is something important to understand. Many of you might be aware of its functionality and importance; however the newcomers in the Blogging world need to know its significance.
 
Link bait is actually the content on your site to which other sites link by them when they find your content worth linking too. It’s different from driving traffic for your website because you don’t ask people to link to your site; in fact, they do so, only when they want to. It is true that usually, links are difficult to get. To make it clearer, with link bait, you bait your content and wait for it getting linked.
It’s worth mentioning here to avoid any misconception that although link baiting is something you are not controlling, however creating a link bait post is also not something that just happens by accident. It’s the result of your journey from thinking to write till you post it all.
 

What’s the point?

By now, you must have got an idea why to work on having link baits, and if not then, here is the answer. If your content grabs a good amount of link baits, it can help you in the following ways:-
You can literally grow your site overnight by generating countless social networking references like Twitter mentions, Facebook shares, inbound links, etc.
It creates more links to your site, which help you in the search engines. Furthermore, these links come to you themselves and you don’t have to beg for them.
It creates more links to your site, bringing more potential customers. This helps your site coming up high in the search engines.
It will all not only bring popularity to your website but also bring revenue you wouldn’t have expected.
 

1. Consider your Potential Readers

Following your niche, you have to be proactive in judging what your potential readers want from you and what they want to know. All you need is a good idea that matches up to your audiences’ expectations. And once you get that, you can then start working on your idea of writing. However, deciding what topics and keywords attract the most of your audience is simply easy. You can analyze that by your website’s statistics.
It has been seen that the Breaking news often falls in that category, but so does an amazing e-book. This is because people take keen interest in such topics to keep themselves updated and also refer it back if they found it worthy of linking.
 

2. Compose an Eye- Catchy Headline

The first thing that gives a summary of your content, you skills, and your knowledge is your Heading. Reader opens that link which is offering him the most resemblance in his required content and in your heading. Understand the power of an attractive, as well as appropriate heading, used as an identity for your content. And if you are wise enough to target link baits with link bait articles, you almost always want to start with the headline as it is the most important part of the work.
Always remember that you need to grab your audience with your headline and the easiest way to do that is to either phrase the headline as “Top X” list or “X Steps” or “How to X”. Studies have shown that such articles do very well as they are easily understood and viewed as being informative but easy to read.
Your headline should use the keywords you have assembled from the starting and should find a way to focus on conveying a message that the article both has the information they desire and doesn’t require too much effort to get it.

3. Write well framed and Strong Content

Great content always serves as link bait. Internet market is one of those Businesses where you always get reward for the great things you do. Be systematic here; treat these points as the priority that you need to give to your link bait posts. If you have chosen a right direction to write on, you have phrased the headline perfectly, then you just need to work on a powerful content writing now. Many authors consider this one as the most important one, which is wrong, a good content writing stands on third position for bait linking.
I have been advising in many of my posts that although it is useful to be a talented writer, it is more important to be to the point and knowledgeable. If you stick to topics you know well or have studied deeply, you can include what the reader needs and wants to know and do so with minimum words.

4. Include Graphics

Images are equally important as the content of an article is. Including one image, related to your topic is the critical point most of the times, however using more relevant images in your articles, (I repeat, relevant) is better. It is important to remember that the aim is to get the reader into the article, give them the information they want and get them out quickly so they can link to it. One might think why there is a need to include images in a post, and the answer to it is, that Images help posts to stand out in RSS readers and also give social networking sites, like Digg and Reddit, something to use for thumbnails when displaying links to them. In short, a good visual helps a post get noticed almost everywhere it travels. Don’t forget that the first impression of your post totally depends on the headline, as well as the graphics used, equally!
It’s not guaranteed that by doing all of the above stated things, you will definitely get links but, if you don’t do these things, the post will never get any! For sure! Try to be creative and adopt things that can boost up your productivity.

Tired of your website? Sell it and Earn Money with Flippa!

Everyone knows that you can earn money by selling advertisements on websites etc. right? But have you ever thought about whether you can sell an entire website? Well, yes you can! A website (or blog) is, after all, a business. And like any other business, it can be bought and sold as well for a profit!

For any business transactions, you need a marketplace to buy and sell items. Flippa is just such a marketplace. It is a Website and Domain flipping website (hence the name ‘Flippa”). In simple terms, you can buy or sell a website on this platform. Recently, flipping websites has become quite a lucrative business. You can buy a website, renovate it and sell it for a profit. Alternatively, you can sell your unwanted sites to earn some extra bucks.
 

Why would I want to sell my website?


Why
indeed? Well, there might be many reasons. Some people just get fed up writing articles daily or maintaining their sites. Although we advise anyone not to do this, since any kind of business needs hard work to get properly established. Giving up is not a solution. But if people are intent, then there’s nothing to be done about it. Such people should not just ‘abandon’ their sites. Better to sell off the fruit while its ripe, rather than to leave it to rot! And rotting here means losing traffic day by day.
There may be other personal or professional reasons for quitting a blog. For example, someone with a 9 to 5 job may find it very difficult to keep up with the daily maintenance of their site/blog. Time is an issue with most other people. Hence a lot of people quit blogging. Our advise to them is, make use of the hard work that you did! Sell your website for some money!
 
Generally, people are interested in buying websites that generate a revenue, or have a decent amount of quality content, or even a good traffic. You can’t just ‘create a blog and sell it’. Hard work and time must go into it if you want to earn a decent amount of money.
 

Setting up

This is a fairly simple process. First, you sign up using a valid email account. Next, fill out your information and upload a picture. This step is more important than you might think. Online profiles depict your personality. And your images (profile pictures) are your ambassadors to the online world! So use professional looking images. That way, it will have a good impression on your buyers (or sellers) and hence you will increase your chances of getting potential buyers.
Next, list your domain or website that you want to sell. Now is the time for the description. It should be short, concise and to the point. Remember to include information about yourself, your website, features, and what the buyer will get.
 

Things to remember…

Try to increase traffic and revenue – Before selling your website, try to squeeze maximum revenue and traffic from it. It’s all about traffic and revenue for the buyers. So concentrate on those areas first.
 
Provide traffic statistics – Buyers always want to verify whether a transaction will be worth their while. Hence you should provide statistics from more than 3 different angles; page-views, traffic sources, unique visitors etc. It’s a good idea to sign up with Google Analytics well before you want to sell your site (although not necessary). That way, buyers can get all the information they are looking for.
 
Don’t be a fake - The buyer will ultimately learn of any deceptions. So make none. Don’t show inflated statistics that don’t match up with earnings etc.
 
Choose a reasonable BIN price – This is a very important marketing step. Set a reasonable BIN (Buy It Now) price. A large price won’t attract bidders. A low BIN would not be profitable. So choose a reasonable price. Bidders can then come and bid more than the set price.
 
Interact – Last, but not the least, interact with your potential buyers. Talk to them and provide information about your website. It’s all about detail. The more you give, the higher the bidding will go!
 
You can also turn this into a real time business. Buy small websites, renovate them, drive some traffic and then sell them for a profit! It’s just like buyin a house, re-furnishing it, and selling it again. That way, you get extra profit, which may get your success story started!
 

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