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We’re going to be brutally honest here. With a few exceptions, no one on Facebook cares if your car breaks down or that you’re having the time of your life while on vacation in Hawaii. A celebrity, on the hand, is a completely different story.

As a whole, society is fixated with celebrities. We complain about it all we want, but we’re all hooked. We don’t want to know what clothes a celebrity is wearing, where they’re eating lunch or who they’re currently dating. We have to know. Which is kind of a problem for Facebook. Because when it comes to celebrities and social media, Twitter is the preferred choice.

So, how can Facebook and its 1 billion users compete with the  140 character  format? How about a mobile app appropriately titled Facebook VIP?

Facebook stated the following on the project to the Los Angeles Times:

“We are currently testing some mobile features designed to help public figures interact with their fans,” Facebook said in an emailed statement. “We are testing these features with a small group of partners and will share more details should we roll it out more widely.”

While this may not sound extremely revolutionary, if Facebook VIP takes off, it could be a beneficial tool for online marketing.

It’s a give-in that this format will be used to pedal whatever projects a star has lined-up – a new movie, album, event, etc. – but it could also be used for brands to sell or promote new products or services.

Is it that far fetched to have Coca-Cola pay Channing Tatum to post an image of him enjoying their product with a text on the lines of “Nothing beats an ice-cold Coke after a long day on the set”? By the way, you’re welcome Coke for the new ad campaign.

While major brands could utilize Facebook VIP as a new ad format, it could be used to promote online articles, books, causes or political beliefs onto the general public. Just think of it as what Facebook is now. Just more interesting because celebrities are mentioning the same exact things. And, we actually listen when they speak.

It’s an interesting option for Facebook that may have come too late. But, we’ll find out once the company analyzes the data found from the tests.

Until then, what do you think of Facebook VIP? Do you like the idea of keeping up and interacting with your favorite celebrity? Do you think brands could use Facebook VIP as a marketing tool as well?

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How To Run A Successful Facebook Marketing Campaign

Running a successful campaign on Facebook employs many different tools and techniques. You can read about what makes a successful campaign here, but there are some things that you need to understand about what makes Facebook the next big thing and why you should be paying attention.

Creating a memorable campaign on Facebook requires greater understanding of the platform and environment that it provides. In this post, you can read about five tips that will make you see Facebook in a new light and harness its power for your next promotion:

1) It’s Fun to be Young

Simply put, Facebook is gamified social networking. That explains why campaigns that employ fun collaboration are an instant hit on Facebook.

In September 2010, Nike launched the Nike+ GPS application for runners. Nike took a solo exercise that may seem tedious and boring, and turned it right around to make it thrilling and collaborative. The Nike+ GPS application automatically detected the distance run and allowed users to share it with friends around the world.

Now, friends could challenge each other to run faster, compete with them on distances, and achieve goals they would have been too lazy to achieve otherwise. The campaign made the world go around (in Nike shoes). Mission accomplished.

2) Get Personal

Since Facebook is essentially an online social platform, you need to create very personal campaigns to penetrate into the mind-set of the people. Don’t be afraid to show the softer side of your brand to your customers. At the end of the day, they don’t want to be buying from a rich company or a brand name; they’re there to network with people and find someone with similar interests.

Engagement is crucial. Get involved in conversations. Only 95 percent of the companies respond to the feedback they receive from customers on Facebook! Be the other 5 percent and show them that you really share their interests.

Facebook brings people close and your customers closer.

Health Insurance Company Dovera launched an application by the name “My Blood Group” to create a database of instantly contactable blood donors. Based on your blood type, you could join one of the eight communities and interact with people. As a result, Dovera reached more than 10,000 blood donors in just seven days, and now with the Red Cross on board, things are looking brighter for patients in need.

3) Empower Your Customers

The best way to make your customers feel special is to give them control and autonomy. The more they realize that you are allowing them to make a difference, the more they will flock to your campaign. Don’t underestimate the power of doing good. Humanity isn’t dead; it’s just needs to be given a chance, and if your campaign can do that, you’ve nailed CSR and promotion all in one go.

Intel’s Progress through Processors campaign launched an application on Facebook through which users could link their own PCs and create a virtual super-computer to power the research work of scientists and researchers around the world. Collaboration has no limits when it comes to digital because everyone’s connected.

4) Timing and Spacing

Keep in mind that posting at the “right time” is necessary. Understand your customers’ behavior and find out when they are most likely to be active on Facebook. “PageLever’s seminal research on this topic revealed that the average page only reaches 7 percent of its fans daily.”

When you’re competing against posts from 600+ friends on your customer’s News Feed, timing could make all the difference in the world. Also, plan out how frequently you will post reminders about your campaign for your customers to see. Too many posts can nag them and too little can make them forget all about you amidst the crazy photos from that party last week!

5) A Picture Speaks…

You know the rest of the statement that follows, right? Adding big, crisp visuals to your posts acts like a flag flying high above the city skyline. It makes your posts more colorful and attractive.

Facebook’s research shows that photo albums, pictures, and videos increase engagement more than a 100 percent, more than content without visuals. Jackson Kayak, for example,  added a photo of puppies jumping with excitement to tell its fans that “Weekend Is Here”—a post that generated 125 likes and 25 shares!

Bonus Tip: Spread It Like a Virus

However, also bear in mind, that the concept alone may not make it viral. You need to put in a little more effort. Facebook lets you buy promotional spaces and sponsored stories in your customers’ News Feeds.

Videos like PSY’s “Gangnam Style” didn’t just go viral because people shared it. They also went viral because people like Scooter Braun bought the rights and put in some bucks to make them appear on social media more than it normally would have.

To create a successful Facebook marketing campaign, keep the energy flowing between you and your customers. Avoid the common pitfalls.  Stay connected with your customers and get to know what they think about your brand. Engage your customers by showing that you are willing to trust them, empower them, and open up to them.

Once you’ve understood the mood of your customers, you’ll be better able to align your posts according to their peak activity times and convert more and more prospects into customers!

Why Facebook Marketing Slaps Twitter Marketing In The Face

And beats its pants off. [Sorry we were just brainstorming linkbait titles about John Daly’s pants.]

I was asked to speak about “Capitalizing on the Twitter Revolution” at Pubcon. So I talked about Facebook.

Why?

I said: “Twitter revolution? Didn’t that happen in 2008?”

The following chart shows Twitter really taking off in 2009, but…

But Twitter was a lot cooler in 2008 when it was smaller. And the following chart shows something very interesting about Twitter for marketers:

Interest in Twitter marketing grew in the first half of 2009 but has stagnated since.

In my work with TweetROI, I’ve monitored what people tweet on phrases like “twitter marketing” and most of what I saw was the spammiest, lowest quality Internet Marketing- hypey new product cut-and-run strategies and lazy, uncreative tweet promotions.

Also look at this:

The volume is lower and the lines more volatile, but Twitter marketing is clearly losing to Facebook marketing and stagnating.

Why is this happening?

Yes,I have enjoyed Twitter’s geekiness. I have no problem with @ symbols or formulaic syntax. But not everyone in the U.S. or the World is like that.

Oh yes, the mainstream people.

That’s why the Twitter/Facebook comparison looks like this:

Facebook truly dwarfs Twitter. And yet the corporate search/social industry talks WAY more about Twitter. And there was a session devoted entirely to Twitter at Pubcon, but no session about Facebook. Alison Driscoll, to my knowledge, is the only other person who talked about Facebook.

Why Do Geeks Prefer Twitter?

Perhaps because everyone in the industry, like me, was avoiding Facebook and enraptured by Twitter. And because there weren’t as many public case studies of Facebook marketing success as there were for Twitter.

Is this fundamentally fallacious? Twitter had great synergy with writers – the press, and bloggers – so it was more scrutinized and buzzed up.

Facebook is multimedia and holistic but dare-I-say “common”. It’s easier to be condescendingly expert on Twitter’s side than Facebook’s.

So as is typical for me, I’ll buck the trend.

Here are 5 Reasons Facebook Marketing Slaps Twitter Marketing In The Face:

Huge Penetration: As the search volume Insights charts show, Facebook is more popular, and Twitter marketing is stagnant.

Reliable Stats: Facebook’s built-in engagement stats rock, they tell you what FB cares about, and they won’t just disappear any old day like a third party Twitter app might.

Mainstream Appeal: Facebook is multimedia – pictures and video – and if you didn’t notice, people like TV better than books. Facebook is more engaging and intuitive for normal people. (No, geeks are not normal people)

Braslow’s Hierarchy of Awesomeness (see below): This classic marketing framework I created two weeks ago demonstrates the importance of brand. It’s easier to brand with Facebook than Twitter. Branding is key in red oceans because it’s the only thing your competitors can’t copy.

In other words, right now if you ignore Facebook marketing, you’re like a 1986 Sony fan ignoring VHS. I knew a guy like that and he was an alcoholic. In other words, you’re an alcoholic geek. I’m kidding! I’m not saying Twitter is Betamax and going away, but you can’t ignore what the mainstream prefers, unless you only market to internet geeks.

Check out my whole Twitter Marketing vs Facebook Marketing presentation on Slideshare- it’s funny and it includes tips on how to get more page fans- oops I mean page likers.

Yeah I’d rather be a liker than a fan, wouldn’t you? ;-p

Steganography: A New Cyberattack Tool

Steganography: A New Cyberattack Tool

As the world literally plunges into an IoT dependent society and a tech-dependent lifestyle, the associated threats of identity theft, data loss and damage and malicious online attacks also increase day-by-day. With a number of technological tools and software-based applications and consumer electronic machines, the common man has extensively integrated tech into his/her personal and professional lives. While mobile technology runs and manage our daily routines on the go, the internet-based professional tools manage our personal economy at every frame of a second. However, under the pretense of being technologically connected, our activities via our accounts under a single electronic identity, online banking, cloud-based data storage, and social media presence has left us vulnerable to threats spread all across the web, unseen and unknown. In the midst of Ransomware, Emotet, and Fileless Manager, the hackers have “re-engineered” a communication medium to pose danger to our electronic identities and lives.

Steganography: A Medium of Secret Communication

Steganography is an old-age medium of communicating messages, which was in ancient used by rebels and members of the resistance to avoid detection or suspicion of ruling authorities. When cryptography, where messages were written in encrypted formats such as code, cryptography, steganography conceals the actual message inside another form of text or image, thus, hiding the entire fact of any secret message being transported and helping in avoiding suspicion or scrutiny.

What is Digital Steganography?

It’s basically transporting an encoded message, text or file enclosed in disguise inside another file called “carrier”, which can be anything from a simple notepad extension to a file containing some audio or visual media.  The media files are more compatible with performing undetectable steganography. An image file can be altered into its hundredth pixel to encode a message inside it, which would be impossible to detect unless someone explicitly searches for it. However, in order to detect any steganography act, the maker of the particular message would require to set the message scrambled in order, as a direct message would be easily detectable.

For a long period of history, Steganography has remained absent from digital electronic communication, posing almost zero threat to anti-malware software and other software and internet-based platforms. However, it has come to light that the cyber attackers might be using encoded or encrypted Trojan-laced “stegware” into messages, docs, images, or video files to violate the digital lines of defense and extract and exploit user information.

A perfect place to launch a stegware is on social media. The encrypted malware can be attached to all sorts of images and texts on social media posts and can attack the user’s system, thus breaching all security measures. It can be said that Malvertising uses stegware

Image Source: CISO

Also Read: Wi-Fi Eavesdropping a Serious Threat

What Stegware Can Do?

Since the trojan is hidden in a relative order inside a “carrier” file, the stegware mostly goes undetected and thus, leaving anti-malware measures vulnerable to protection. The trojan command or file inside the carrier can therefore stay in the system and extract user information in particular order. This way the hackers won’t need to penetrate security and grab instant access to files but can carry out their malicious activity per a pre-devised plan.

The risks of Steganography are mostly associated with attacks on corporate servers, which can be hacked to retrieve crucial information that may hamper the economic stability of those particular corporations. Moreover, steganography can be heavily used in State-funded Cyberattacks that are basically carried out against a ruling government and destabilize its political power and position via accessing its server-based data files and records.

 Stegware is a stealth malware and hence, is almost impossible to detect it. It is mostly unseen to the human eye and would require a skilled person to detect such kind of malware. Thus, it’s better to take precautions for wiping out any malware from your systems rather than just detecting them for further quarantine. Following are some measures that one should prefer to prevent stegware attacks;

Always use updated anti-malware software with a properly functioning file delivery and downloading control mechanism. This would basically prevent you from loading files from unknown sources into your systems.

Do not download any software from an unknown source; only used an approved platform to retrieve a download link for any software or application.

Do not accept files with untrusted electronic signatures.

Network monitoring (especially among corporate systems) is essential. The payload delivery of files, emails, and documents should be monitored.

Segment the network into sub-networks to separate functions performed digitally at different corporate level. This makes network monitoring simple and to contain or limit a digital breach in one sub-network.

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Fix: Your Bootable Usb Drive Could Not Be Created • Mactips

FIX: Your bootable USB drive could not be created

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To fix Windows PC system issues, you will need a dedicated tool

Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:

Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem

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Boot Camp is an incredibly useful feature, but many users reported Your bootable USB drive could not be created or Your bootable USB drive could not be created. There is not enough space available on the disk error messages.

In today’s article, we’ll show you how to fix this problem once and for all.

How can I fix the Bootable USB could not be created error in Boot Camp? 1. Make sure that you have enough space on your USB flash drive

If you’re getting Unable to create bootable USB not enough space in Boot Camp, it’s likely that you don’t have enough space on your drive.

In order to use Boot Camp, you’ll need a USB flash drive with 16GB capacity or more.

Open the Apple menu and go to System Preferences.

Now head over to the Software Update section.

Once your system is up to date, the issue should be resolved.

3. Eject the ISO file

According to users, this error can occur because the ISO file is mounted on your system. To fix that, you just need to unmount the ISO file by doing the following:

On your desktop, you should see a drive with a mounted ISO file.

After ejecting the drive, you should be able to create a bootable USB drive.

4. Create the Bootable USB using different Windows versions 5. Create your own USB installer

Sometimes in order to avoid Unable to create bootable USB not enough space error, you need to create the bootable drive manually. To do that, follow these steps:

Make sure you have Windows 10 ISO downloaded and mounted.

Connect your flash drive and format it as MBR/FAT32.

Download BC6 drivers from Apple and copy them to the flash drive.

Open the Windows 10 ISO and copy all the files to the flash drive.

Now create a FAT32 partition using the Disk Utility.

Boot from the USB and choose the FAT32 partition as the destination.

Few users reported GPT vs MBR error while using this method, but you can fix that using GPT Fdisk.

These are several quick and easy solutions that you can use to fix Bootable USB could not be created Boot Camp error.

FAQ: Learn more about BootCamp on Mac

Is Bootcamp for Mac free?

Yes, BootCamp is free for Mac users, and in most cases, it comes pre-installed.

Is BootCamp safe to use on a Mac?

Yes, BootCamp is completely safe to use on a Mac.

Is installing Windows on Mac a good idea?

Installing Windows on a Mac should run without any issues, so it can be a good idea if you own a Mac and need to use Windows.

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Iphone 5S Fingerprint Scanner Could Be Mobile Security Game Changer

On Friday the iPhone 5s will be out on the street, and with it, Apple’s fingerprint scanning technology. There are still some concerns about how Apple is implementing and managing fingerprint authentication, but as long as the iPhone 5s doesn’t fumble completely, the new smartphone could finally spur mainstream adoption of the technology.

As Apple revealed a couple of weeks ago, the home button on the new iPhone 5s is also a fingerprint scanner. Rather than using a passcode, you can now unlock the device just by holding your finger on the home button. The iPhone 5s includes a capacitive fingerprint scanner.

The iPhone 5s isn’t the first mobile device with a fingerprint scanner. The Motorola Atrix included fingerprint authentication back in 2011. Apparently, even Motorola forgot about the Atrix, though, because it had the audacity to send out a tweet slamming the idea of using a fingerprint with a mobile device.

Paul Henry, security and forensic analyst at Lumension believes that the iPhone 5s fingerprint authentication could prove to be a game changer. “There are two factors that will determine the real success of this new feature, which has undeniable potential,” he says. “First, reliability and second, security—though as a security researcher, I have to say it should really be security first.”

Is it secure?

There are questions about how Apple is scanning and storing the fingerprint data. If someone guesses or compromises your passcode, you can just change it to a new one. But, you can’t change your fingerprints. Some worry that a thief can simply use an image or picture of your fingerprint gain access to a user’s iPhone, the same way Android’s facial recognition authentication can be fooled with a picture of the device owner. It wouldn’t be hard to get your fingerprint—your iPhone will likely be covered with dozens of samples.

Macworld contributor Rich Mogull does an excellent job explaining why that probably isn’t an issue. In a nutshell, Apple is using capacitive scanning that looks at more than just the image of your fingerprint, and it’s most likely not storing the actual fingerprint anywhere on the iPhone where it might be compromised.

Mogull hypothesizes that Apple is probably analyzing the fingerprint and using unique data from it to generate a mathematical representation or template. By this logic, when you touch the home button, your fingerprint is run through the algorithm again, and the results are compared to the template to ensure they match. These are educated guesses, though, and the actual implementation may work differently.

Apple revealed the details of the fingerprint scanner at the iPhone 5s launch event.

“What we need to know is how good a job did Apple actually do securing the biometric data,” Henry says. “They say it’s encrypted and not shared with other applications, but we’ll have to wait and see how it works in practice.”

Henry also has some concerns about just how much access someone gets if the fingerprint authentication is bypassed or compromised. “If a single fingerprint grants access to other services (particularly iCloud), that’s a frightening prospect if Apple hasn’t done a truly expert job at securing that local credential,” he says.

Should you use it?

Dwayne Melancon, CTO for Tripwire, says, “In general, multifactor authentication is a good idea and biometrics, in particular, are good as long as they work properly. Early reports of Apple’s biometric implementation are promising, and even if there is some rate of false identification, this approach is still more secure than a four-digit PIN.”

One crucial thing for IT admins to understand is how device access works in the event that the fingerprint scanner is not an option. What if a user breaks their finger and it’s in a cast, or the home button fingerprint sensor malfunctions?

“From an enterprise perspective, I would wait until the security of this implementation of fingerprint scanning has been tested ‘in real life’ before adopting it broadly,” Melancon cautions.

Making it mainstream

Biometric security is nothing new, but it has yet to really catch on as a mainstream method of authentication. The password or passcode remains king. Apple has a huge market presence, though, and the iOS ecosystem commands a great deal of respect. If the iPhone 5s fingerprint scanner lives up to expectations, this could be the tipping point that turns it into the new default standard.

If Apple stumbles or falls on its face, though, it could set biometric security back a few years. If there are too many false negatives or false positives, or it turns out that the fingerprint data isn’t stored as securely as it should be, or there are other problems with the fingerprint scanner, it will tarnish the reputation of biometrics with average users, and it will take a long time to recover.

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