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6 Tips to Help You Avoid Being a Victim of Email Spoofing

6 Tips to Help You Avoid Being a Victim of


Forgery is one of the oldest white-collar crimes in history. In ancient times, rogue artists studied genuine signatures, manuscripts, and works of art to reproduce them. Then, they could sometimes pass these fakes as the real thing, often selling them for small fortunes.

Email Spoofing A New Forgery Style

Throughout the centuries, methods of forgery have changed, but the motives behind them haven’t altered. Internet crime, like email spoofing, affects everyone at one time or another. Email spoofing is a surprisingly simple way criminals use to forge email addresses for unethical reasons.

Some of the most notorious forgeries in history were discovered because someone was familiar enough with the genuine article. Likewise, it takes a careful eye to detect when someone is sending you a fake email. Just one small change in the address can create one that can easily fool people.

In most states and local governments, email spoofing, also called phishing, is illegal. Some unscrupulous people use e-spoofing to harass others or to make false claims against individuals or organizations. The most detrimental spoofs are those that extort money or personal information from unsuspecting recipients.

How to Email Spoofing

How can you tell if someone is spoofing you? Do you have enough Internet security to protect your private information? Consider these six tips to help prevent you from being the next email, spoof victim.

1. Carefully Examine the Sender’s Email Address

One of the best ways to fool you is to use familiar email addresses. For example, you might think you are receiving an email from a well-known legitimate business. However, the criminal makes a slight change in the address or domain that is easily overlooked.

Check out the sender’s email provider for signs of foul play. Would your life insurance company send you an official email by Outlook, Hotmail, or Gmail? Even if the cybercrook was smart enough to use .com, .org, or .net, these aren’t always proof of the email’s legitimacy.

Before you click on anything or disclose any personal information, scrutinize the sender’s address. You will often see one letter changed, added, or omitted. The letterhead and trademarks look real, but the address is fake.

To avoid getting phished in the future, be sure that your account is protected by a sender’s policy framework or SPF. This program helps to prevent cybercriminals from using your email address without your consent. It also minimizes spoofs that can come through your server to your inbox.

2. Examine the Subject of the Email

Even if the subject line seems legitimate, but you still have suspicions, do some prodding into it. If you use Gmail, go to the right corner of the email, click the three dots, called an ellipse. Scroll down the box and click on show original sender, which should match the entered sender address exactly.

For other email programs, find the return-path function to compare the addresses. You can also look up the sender’s IP address, which is the fingerprint of any computer or mobile device. Use your program’s IP lookup tool and compare it.

3. Trust Your Instincts

You’ve heard the saying that things that sound too good to be true usually are. Some spam that slides through your mail filters is such obvious scams that they are laughable. Others are a little more subtle with their deceptions.

The content of an email is often a tell-tale sign of a spoof. Why would the IRS send you a threatening email and then ask for your Social Security number and banking information? If you receive a debt collection notice from a company you have never owed, wouldn’t they already have your account information?

These heartless cybercriminals are hoping that you don’t recognize their scam and will offer any personal information they request. Adamantly protect your financial and personal information and never give them out to suspicious emailers. Remember that legitimate financial institutions and businesses will never request usernames, passwords, and other private information by email.

Another clue for detecting probable email spoofing is the graphics, grammar, and spelling. Many cybercrooks don’t have the equipment to forge official-looking letterheads and trademark graphics. The pixeled image may be distorted or faded.

As you scan through the content, notice if the grammar is awkward or incorrect. Non-English- speaking phishers often rely on rudimentary translation apps that are rarely precise, and you may see glaring misspellings. These unprofessional errors wouldn’t be found in a letter from a real company or organization.

Other phishing scams to beware of are those who are soliciting charitable donations. Often, these are fake organizations, or they are impersonating legitimate ones. One notorious scam involves email spoofs claiming that you have won a lottery fortune, and they need your banking information to deposit your winnings. Don’t click on anything or give out your private information.

4. They Misspell Your Name

They entered your email address correctly, but how did they spell your name? If this were an actual letter from your company or an organization with which you regularly correspond, wouldn’t they know how to spell your name correctly? An automatic red flag should go up if the email is vaguely addressed to whom it may concern or dear recipient.

5. Be Wary of Foreign Emails

If you receive a strange email from an individual you’ve never met, it’s almost sure to be an email spoof. At least one time or another, you’ve probably received an urgent email from someone supposedly living in a foreign country. As luck would have it, this fake foreigner has selected you to solve a personal crisis.

It’s a perennial phishing scam that uses different scenarios. The sender claims to have an unbelievably large check that is being held up in US customs. To get the funds released, he must have an American-side bank account. If you would send him your banking information, he will reward your kindness with a hefty sum of money.

Be assured that there is no check, and this isn’t a real person. If he gets your financial information, the only cash he is going to get is yours. Don’t be duped by these cunning cybercriminals.

6. Increase Your Email Security with a Difficult Name

Most people make their email addresses using their names, birthdays, or other relevant information. You are making it extremely easy on email hackers when you use your name as your address. When you use numbers, underscores, or numerical characters, then you are going to increase the chances that your email won’t be hacked.

Cybercriminals look for their next victim by their lack of internet security. For instance, if your email is [email protected], then it’s pretty easy to see that the recipient’s name, and determine that he was likely born in 1982. Using this information, the criminal can quickly compile up your data.

Do you know how easy it would be to get information about that specific person?

A simple internet search can give phone numbers, addresses, and even data about who lives in the household. So it’s easy to see that making the email address something more randomized, like [email protected] would make it much more challenging to get any valid data about this person.

Don’t make things easy for the intelligent internet criminals of today. When you put your personal information on social media outlets, then you are giving them all the ammunition they need to make you their next target. Be careful what email address you use and what you post on the internet.

Organize Your Email Account

Even when you are an individual and not a business, you’ll find your email flooded with junk from unknown senders. Depending on your email provider, most of this unwanted e-litter goes into a spam file to be deleted. Sometimes, you may be so overwhelmed and agitated with junk mail that you aren’t so careful to read the senders’ URL.

Study the help guide from your email provider and see how you can organize your account to recognize possible email spoofing better. You can also download free programs that allow you to keep your mail organized. These programs will also unsubscribe you to unwanted subscriptions automatically.

If you get a suspicious email, then you need to report it as spam through your email server. The only way to stop these attacks is to be proactive.

Final Thoughts on Being Cyber Safe to Avoid Email Spoofing

The internet has brought about many opportunities for people to work from home, stay connected to people across the globe with ease, and to have the power of information at the touch of a button. However, with all the good things that the world wide web has done for society, there are also some downfalls.

Hacking your email and other accounts have become quite easy, primarily when you feed information to hackers unknowingly. Thankfully, there are ways that you can be proactive and stop or reduce the threat to your email and other aspects of your life. Do you have the protection you need against email spoofing?

Lifestyle

Therapists Explain 10 Ways to Cope With Heartbreak (+ 10 things to avoid)

Therapists Explain 10 Ways to Cope With Heartbreak (+ 10


Everyone has their unique coping methods for getting over a breakup. However, some may be much more effective than others. It’s essential to go through your grief in the right way to get you back on your feet again. We share ten ways to cope with heartbreak (and ten behaviors to avoid).

10 “Dos” When You Must Cope with Heartbreak

1. Do Seek Support

It’s perfectly natural to want to talk to someone about your breakup. You probably have a lot of feelings festering up inside of you. Look for opportunities to express your emotions in an appropriate setting. Go to the people who are closest to you first. Of course, you want to avoid anyone who may be caught in the middle of the breakup. Venting to them could make them feel uncomfortable.

In the case of life-altering breakups or leaving an abusive relationship, you may want to go to a therapist or support group. The damage inflicted may be more serious than a gab session with your mom or best friend can manage.

2. Do Focus on Your Physical Health

When you treat your body well, you will notice a positive change in your mental health as well. Eat well and exercise. Focus on foods filled with nutrition and not empty calories. Stay away from fried foods and processed foods. You should also make a point to get out and exercise throughout the week. A body in motion stays in motion, so your body will continue to move correctly as long as you work it out.

3. Do Stay Busy

The last thing you need is too much time on your hands. You may end up dwelling on the breakup, causing you to feel bad about yourself. Instead, fill up your calendar with different events to keep you busy. When you are out doing things every night, you won’t have time to think about the person who hurt you.

4. Do Help Others

Breakups tend to bring out the selfish side of us. We wallow in self-pity and talk about ourselves a lot. Instead, it might be more beneficial to go out and help others. Spend time with family members or volunteer at a charitable organization. You will not only be helping others, but it can also make you feel good about yourself.

5. Do Examine Your Dating Practices

While you shouldn’t place blame on anyone (especially yourself), you should take time to think about some of your dating habits. You may be able to make some changes that will help you in your future dating ventures. Do you tend to fall for bad boys? Are you too clingy? Do you flirt with other people outside of the relationship? Look at some things you can change to help yourself succeed in love the next time around.

6. Do Cry

Some people try their hardest not to cry or feel angry about the end of their relationship. However, it’s a natural reaction to feel a certain way. You should not feel bad about your emotions. In fact, it is best to take some time to explore how you are feeling.

Otherwise, you only bottle up your feelings inside of you. Take a night to listen to sad breakup songs with a scoop of ice cream to let it out. When it’s finally all out there, you’ll feel a lot better. Just don’t make it a habit.

7. Do Get a Pet

You may have a lot of love you want to share. Get a cute pet to focus your love on. You can dote on your new cat, dog, or lizard (whatever pet you’re into). Just remember a pet is a big responsibility and commitment.

8. Do Focus on Other Relationships

Your romantic relationship wasn’t the only relationship in your life. Consider all of the family relationships in your life– your parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, etc. Spend some time developing those relationships.

9. Do Find a Creative Outlet

You need to find a way to express yourself in a safe, creative way after heartbreak. Some people choose to start painting, singing, or writing. You can talk about the breakup or a variety of other topics affecting you at the moment.

10. Do Date

You should go out and start dating again–when you are ready.  You may want to give it a couple of weeks or months before going on your first date. Only you know the best timeframe for you, as confirmed by research. But you shouldn’t get too used to staying inside every day. When a new dating opportunity comes up, take it. Take things slowly and casually before you fall in love headfirst again, though.

10 Don’ts When You Suffer from Heartbreak

1. Don’t Overindulge

Some people choose to make themselves feel better by overindulging in certain activities, such as drinking or casual sex. It may make you feel better at the moment, but it won’t lead to long-term happiness. Watch how much you engage in reckless behavior.

2. Don’t Contact Your Ex

Your ex was a large part of your life. It’s hard to entirely and suddenly stop talking to a person who was once so important in your life. When something good or bad happens in your life, your instinct may be to pick up the phone and give your ex a call. You may also want to call just to see how they are doing. Avoid all temptations. Contacting your ex will only lead to a complicated relationship that can prevent you from moving on and even more heartbreak. It’s over. Only talk to your ex when you need to.

text messages
Never send these text messages to your former love.

3. Don’t Talk About the Breakup on Social Media

Social media is an excellent place for people to express themselves. However, you don’t want to tell everyone about what’s going on in your life. Rants about your ex may be entertaining to other people, but it will only make you look crazy and unprofessional.

4. Don’t Stoop to Their Level

Breakups can bring out the worst in people. When someone is emotional, they may do something mean. When your ex starts making your life difficult, you may be tempted to stoop down to their level and retaliate. Don’t do it. You may only make yourself look bad or even get yourself in trouble. Even when your ex goes low, you need to stay high.

5. Don’t Let Yourself Go

After a breakup, you may not shave or do your regular skincare routine. However, you need to keep up on these things more than ever in the case of a new prospect coming along. You don’t want a new potential significant other to see you in your pajamas with no makeup during the day.

6. Don’t Hold onto Gifts/Items

You and your former partner may have gifted each other things throughout the relationship. The items will become a reminder of your relationship when they are gone. You may enjoy a certain pair of shoes or piece of jewelry, but you shouldn’t wear those items if it’s going to be a constant reminder of a failed relationship.

7. Don’t Become a Shut-in

After a breakup, the world may look scary and unfriendly. You may not want to go out and socialize with people. However, you need to overcome these feelings. Some people want some time to themselves after a breakup, but you may start to be depressed staying inside all of the time. You need to go out and experience fresh air. You should also go do things you enjoy and see people in your life. These things will put your life back on track.

8. Don’t Portray Yourself as a Victim

It can be easy to make yourself look like a victim without even trying. This would be especially true if you were cheated on or abused during the relationship. However, you need to make a point to remain strong. You should not lie about what happened, but you do not need to tell your story without provocation.

9. Don’t Stick to Old Negative Patterns

Many people who are unlucky in love may notice that they tend to make the same mistakes over and over again. You need to examine these mistakes and do what you can to make a change. In some cases, you may want to get professional help to assist you through your issues.

10. Don’t Rush Into the Next Relationship

Some people cure heartbreak by rushing into the next committed relationship. While you want to go out and date, you don’t want to jump a long-term commitment with another person right away. Take the time to get to know somebody. Allow things to happen organically. Otherwise, you’ve just headed toward heartbreak again.

Final Thoughts on Coping With Heartbreak So You Can Move On

These tips make it clear for people to make the right decisions for their emotional and romantic health after heartbreak. A breakup isn’t the end- it’s the start of something new and exciting. You just need to see it that way.

Lifestyle

10 Tips to Help You Avoid Germs While Grocery Shopping

10 Tips to Help You Avoid Germs While Grocery Shopping


Germs are all around you, and there’s really no way for you to totally avoid them. While encountering bacteria in small doses is vital to help you develop immunities, you want to avoid the toxic varieties that can make you sick. So the big question is, how does someone running errands and coming in contact with tons of people while grocery shopping avoid getting sick?

10 Tips for Dodging Germs at the Grocery Store

The grocery store is one place that you must visit each week or so. Even if you utilize the pickup services, there are always things you forget and need to grab on the go. How can you protect yourself when you’re in the supermarket?

If you listen to the news, you might be confused as to what to do as it seems each expert has a different opinion on what works and what doesn’t. You must use common sense when it comes to your health and not overdo it on germ protection. One expert will tell you to do specific things while another will say that these things aren’t helping you.

Anything you do to bring awareness and protect yourself is beneficial. Here is a list of 10 tips that can help you to stay safe while shopping for groceries.

grocery shopping and germs

1. Sanitize Your Cart

When you first enter the store, you will see that shopping centers are usually crowded, especially if you go to the big box supercenters. Sanitizing your cart has become essential. As of March of 2020, most supermarkets are sanitizing carts for you, but you can’t be too careful.

Thankfully, most centers have installed hand sanitizer and wipe stations for you to clean your cart. Think of all the people that come and go in these stores each day. A study was conducted in South Carolina at a Piggly Wiggly supermarket to examine the level of germs on the shopping carts.

They tested a select number of buggies, which some had been wiped down before opening, and some had not been wiped at all. The results at the close of business were frightening. The carts had fecal matter, e coli, ringworm, and the virus that causes strep throat on them.

The carts that had been wiped down fared better, but they were still toxic. The study proves that it’s best to clean your cart to provide some protection.

2. Wear a Mask

It’s easy to see how running errands can be dangerous to your health based on the information obtained from the shopping cart study. Some people hate wearing masks because they feel as if they are suffocating and their glasses fog up.

However, wearing that mask could prevent an infection. Now, any old cover won’t do. You can’t put a piece of cloth up to your face and think you’re protecting yourself. Do a couple of tests to see how strong your mask’s protection power.

First, can you smell anything through it? If your mask is thin enough to smell stuff through it, then it’s not going to protect you. Second, can you see the light through it when you hold it up? Again, it’s not going to protect you if the material is very thin.

You need a mask with a filter. The best to use is the N95 varieties that have breathing gills on the side. These allow you to breathe clean air and not inhale CO2.

4. Don’t Touch What You Don’t Plan to Take

Avoid the temptation to casually browse products that you don’t need or intend to purchase. Manufacturers lure you with tempting and colorful packaging that draws your eye. However, you should avoid touching items that aren’t on your grocery shopping list.

The fewer things you touch, the fewer germs you will pick up on your hands.

5. Stay Six Feet Away

Six feet is the magic number to keep you safe from airborne germs. The Center for Disease Controls says that you must stay about two arm’s lengths from anyone else in the store. If a person doesn’t cover their nose or mouth when they sneeze or cough, this is the appropriate distance to stay protected.

Even if a person does cover their face during an eruption, it still sends microscopic particles into the air. One breath of these germs is all it takes to make you sick. When you’re six feet away, those particles cannot travel that far, so the chances of you becoming sick diminish.

grocery shopping

6. Do Your Shopping During Slow Times

Grocery shopping can be a nightmare if you go during peak times. You want to shop early or late, but never in the afternoon or after work. You get the best selection when you do your grocery shopping early, and you get the least crowd when you shop late.

You want to strive to have fewer people inside the building when you shop. The fewer people that you encounter, the lower your risk of contracting anything toxic.

7. Leave the Kids at Home

In peak seasons when the flu and other viruses are running rampant, it’s essential to leave the kids at home. Children like to touch everything they can get their hands on, and then put their hands into their mouth. When they put these germs into their mouth, they become infected.

Now the beautiful thing about kids is that they have strong immune systems. They can be a carrier for a virus and never get sick themselves. So they can bring the flu home to you, yet it won’t phase them one bit. Unless it’s necessary, leave the kids at home when grocery shopping.

8. Carry Hand Sanitizer

Did you know that the germiest areas you will encounter while grocery shopping is the meat counter, the produce section, and the pin pad for credit card transactions? While it’s not possible to run to the restroom and wash your hands after you touch each little thing, keep a bottle of sanitizer on you.

All it takes is to scratch your eye, touch your nose or mouth, and you will transfer bacteria. Think of all the people that don’t wash their hands after they use the restroom. These people are spreading fecal matter and other bacteria around, and it can easily make its way into your mouth.

9. Wash Your Hands

After your shopping trip, you need to make sure you get rid of the germs you’ve picked up. Before you touch the steering wheel in your car, take a wet wipe loaded with a disinfectant and wash your hands and anything you’ve touched. If you transfer any bacteria to your steering wheel, it will infect anyone that encounters it.

As soon as you get home, wash your hands with an warm water and soap up to the elbow area. Make sure that you wash for at least 20 seconds and get a good lather going. Proper handwashing hygiene should be standard, but you should increase it during times of flu and other virus outbreaks.

antibacterial soap

10. Pay Attention to What You Put in Your Cart

As important as all the things you do to keep yourself safe from germs, it’s also important what you put inside your cart while grocery shopping. You can help build your immunity to fight off disease and infection by only eating healthy.

Did you know that garlic is a natural antibiotic that is known for its healing properties? It can help to boost your immune system. Lemons are another thing that should be on every household’s shopping list. These little citrus cuties are full of Vitamin C and can help to ward off colds and the flu.

Other immune-boosting foods to consider include the following tasty:

  • Oranges and citrus fruits
  • Blueberries
  • Fatty fish
  • Eggs
  • Avocado
  • Fresh leafy greens (kale, spinach, leaf lettuce)
  • Nuts (because you need healthy snacks!)

Stock your pantry with organic, whole foods to amplify your body’s immune response to bacteria and viruses.

And remember that while you’re worrying about masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer, don’t forget that a healthy diet can do more for your immunity than any of these things every can.

snack

Final Thoughts on Avoiding Germs in a Germ Filled Grocery Store

You can’t lock yourself in a bubble just because there are germs all around you. The body is designed to build immunity to bacteria and diseases by being exposed to small doses. This exposure is how your body can develop a quicker immunity.

Nature is healing. There are healing powers in fruits, vegetables, herbs, and things provided by Mother Earth. When you learn to eat right, you can effortlessly build your immunity to protect you from something you encounter.

When all else fails, you always have the backup methods of masks, hand sanitizer, and other little steps you take to avoid encountering bacteria. The trick is to be wise, be safe, and above all else, be kind. It’s a tough time and being tolerant and kind to one another is essential during these periods.

Entertainment

6 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid on Your First Trip to Hawaii

6 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid on Your First Trip to


6 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid on Your First Trip to Hawaii

Thinking about planning a vacation to Hawaii? You’re not alone. Almost 10 million tourists chose Hawaii as their paradise vacation destination in 2018. 

But, not everything about Hawaii is paradise. Just like any other vacation destination, there are a variety of rookie mistakes that could ruin your first trip to Hawaii. 

In the land of sunshine, rainbows, and beaches, a lot can go wrong. Keep reading to learn what not to do on your first trip to Hawaii.

1. Forgetting the Sunscreen

Nothing ruins a vacation quicker than a sunburn on the first day of your trip. For this reason, locals often recommend not spending your first day in the sun. 

You may be tempted to start enjoying the beach right away, but the sun in Hawaii is harsher than most places around the world. For this reason, give your skin and body a little time to get used to the climate before sunbathing or swimming. 

Instead, spend your first day exploring the local town. Talk to locals, visit some shops, and eat authentic Hawaiian cuisine.

When you are ready for the beach, make sure you’re using the right sunscreen. Pack a sunscreen that’s at least 30 SPF, you’ll still get a tan without getting the dreaded sunburn. Remember to reapply this often throughout the day. 

Hawaii recently passed a sunscreen ban that goes into effect in 2021, but we suggest you abide by their recommendations now. Make sure your sunscreen does not contain the reef-damaging chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. This helps ensure that the coral reefs will remain healthy for years to come. 

2. Taking Souvenirs From the Beach

If it’s your first time to Hawaii, you may be tempted to grab a free souvenir from the beach. 

Many island beaches enforce fines for people who take lava rocks or sand from the beach. If every tourist who visited Hawaii took a lava rock or a bottle of sand, the scenic beaches wouldn’t be the same. 

Even more convincing than a fine is the story of the Hawaiian Deity Pele. For years, people who take items from the beach find themselves subject to bad luck until they return the item. Locals believe Pele, the creator of the Hawaiian Islands, is responsible for the bad luck. 

So to protect your wallet and your karma, buy your souvenirs from a store.

3. Not Following Local Laws

Hawaii has a plethora of weird local laws that tourists wouldn’t know about. 

For example, in Hawaii, it’s illegal to have more than one alcoholic drink in front of you at one time. While it may be tempting to order two drinks after finally getting the bartender’s attention, don’t risk it! Instead, order one drink at a time and follow the local law. 

Even the fundamentals of prosecuting crimes in Hawaii are different than in other states. If you find yourself arrested for breaking any weird local laws, make sure you find yourself a Hawaii defense attorney. They’ll help you navigate the Hawaii judicial system quickly so you can get back to enjoying your vacation. 

4. Staying at the Resort

It happens all the time, tourists spend months researching the best island to visit in Hawaii for the first time. They find a ton of amazing activities on the different islands and write out a daily itinerary. But, when they arrive, they never actually step foot off their resort. 

Hawaii resorts are amazing with a lot of amenities and entertainment options during your trip. While there may be enough activities to keep you busy at the resort, don’t fall into the temptation of staying onsite the whole time. When you do this, you’re missing out on the local culture, personalities, and everything the islands have to offer. 

Instead, make it a point to spend at least one full day outside the resort. Find a local town to explore, hike a scenic trail, or drive to a unique beach. No matter what you do, you’ll have a more authentic Hawaii experience than your resort offers. 

5. Ignoring Swimming Safety 

Swimming in a pool and swimming in the ocean are two totally different things. And swimming at a Hawaii beach is a unique experience altogether. 

To swim safely, never swim alone. Even if you were on the swim team in high school, swimming alone is just foolish. Instead, always have a swimming buddy or someone on the beach keeping a lookout to make sure you’re okay. 

Then, make sure you pay attention to posted signs or flags referring to the water’s condition. Not all beaches have lifeguards and it can be hard to tell if the water is safe to swim in or not. These signs and flags will warn you about dangerous shore breaks or rip currents. 

6. Saying You’re From the USA 

When someone asks where you are from, do not — under any circumstances — say that you are from the US, USA, or the states. Many times people forget that Hawaii is part of the USA and make this mistake.

Not only is your answer unhelpful, but it’s also rude to locals. Instead, always respond with the state your from. Also, avoid using phrases like the midwest or east coast as these phrases only take the contiguous United States into consideration. 

Make the Most of Your First Trip to Hawaii

By avoiding these things, you can help make the most of your first trip to Hawaii.

But remember, if you do end up making a mistake, don’t let it ruin your whole trip. Brush off the mistake, apologize to anyone you may have offended, and move on. You’d have to try really hard not to enjoy a trip to paradise. 

Looking for more great advice before you head to Hawaii? Bookmark the Travel and Leisure section of this site and check back often for new content. 

Business

3 Attorney Marketing Fails to Avoid If You Want More Clients

3 Attorney Marketing Fails to Avoid If You Want More


3 Attorney Marketing Fails to Avoid If You Want More Clients

According to the American Bar Association, there are 1,352,027 registered active attorneys in the U.S in 2019. The number keeps growing each year, which means law firms have more competition and difficulty cutting through the noise.

Nowadays, most people spend hours online and when they need an attorney, they’ll search for firms online before making a call. Then, they’ll ask family and friends for recommendations.

Law firms can’t rely on the quality of their services as their only marketing method. They need an active social media presence, a website, high search engine rankings, and positive online reviews.

Here are 3 attorney marketing mistakes you might be making and tips on how you can avoid them.

1. You Don’t Know Your Target Audience

The first and most important aspect of law firm marketing is knowing your target audience. This goes beyond knowing your customers’ demographics. You should also learn about their problems, needs, everyday lives, and internet habits.

If you don’t have a detailed buyer persona, you’ll end up spending valuable time and money marketing to the wrong people. If you already have an established customer base, ask for their feedback and opinions. This will help you understand them better, improve your services, and target your paid ads better.

Also, make sure your online presence answers people’s questions quickly. If your website doesn’t speak to them and they don’t connect with you on social media, you’ve missed the mark.

2. Your Website and SEO Are Outdated

In the digital age, having a company website is a must if you want to attract customers. The website should be modern, fast, and easy to navigate. Since most users access the internet from a smartphone or a tablet, make sure your website is mobile-optimized. If it’s not, you might get penalized by the search engines.

For marketing of legal services to work, you should also pay attention to SEO. Ranking for specific keywords is a long process, especially in niche services. For example, if you’re a car accident lawyer, create content around this topic to educate and help people. When search engines analyze your website and determine that your content is of value, you’ll start ranking higher.

3. You Don’t Have a Social Media Presence

One of the main rules of online marketing for law firms is having an active social media presence. Most people will search for your name or company online first. They will look at your social media profiles and the content you publish, and read reviews from other customers.

Your branding should be uniform on all platforms, but the things you post should be different on each profile. This is because the audience might be different on each social network, and so is the content they’re interested in.

You can post legal updates, blog posts, team or employee photos, and even customer testimonials. Social media marketing is a great way to run paid ads and reach an even wider audience.

Avoid The Most Common Attorney Marketing Fails With These Tips!

Whether you’re a small local law firm or a well-established corporation, attracting new customers comes down to successful online marketing.

These tips will help you avoid the most common attorney marketing mistakes and reach the right audience for your business.

Need more tips on attracting new customers? We have tons of articles right here on our website covering social media, lead generation, and SEO.

Health

How to Avoid an Allergy Attack During Severe Pollen Seasons

How to Avoid an Allergy Attack During Severe Pollen Seasons


How to Avoid an Allergy Attack During Severe Pollen Seasons

If you’ve ever had a severe allergy attack, you know it’s a lot more than a sneeze and sniffle. According to WebMD, 50 million Americans suffer from allergies every year. 

Unfortunately, our allergies get even worse during pollen season.

With a few tips, you can prepare and prevent an allergy attack. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about your allergies!

Types of Allergies

An allergy attack occurs after you touch, inhale, or ingest a substance you’re allergic to. If your allergies are seasonal, just heading to work can leave you sniffling. 

Here are some of the most common allergies:

  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Insects (fire ants, hornets, bees, wasps)
  • Antibiotics
  • Food (soy, shellfish, peanuts, milk, fish, eggs, wheat, tree nuts)
  • Latex

If your parents are allergic to anything on this list, you’re more likely to experience the allergy, too. 

There are numerous triggers that can cause a severe allergy attack, so have your EpiPen ready.

Allergy Symptoms

If you have seasonal allergies, you’ll experience most of your symptoms outside. However, outdoor pollutants can impact your indoor air quality, too. 

Keep an eye out for these symptoms:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itching
  • Watery eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Nausea
  • Flushed skin
  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Swelling of the throat, lips, or face
  • Breaking issues

If you experience an anaphylactic shock as a result of your symptoms, call 911 immediately.

How to Prevent an Allergy Attack

Preventing an allergy attack usually depends on the type of allergy you have. Try these tips to prevent your airborne allergies. 

1. Avoid Your Triggers

To start, it’s important to know what you’re allergic to. Check in with an allergy specialist for a test.

The CDC reported that 19.9 million people were diagnosed with hay fever. If you’re allergic to pollen or ragweed, check the pollen count before heading outside. Pollen is usually at its worst in the late morning or early afternoon.

Keep your windows shut and stay indoors when you can. Limit your outdoor exposure by hiring someone else to do the yard work, too. 

2. Keep It Clean

Pollen can slip inside your home through an open door and adhere to your clothes or furniture. Mold, meanwhile, can build up in your bathroom or laundry room. 

Clean every surface using a bleach-based product. Don’t forget the shower curtains and bathroom tiles. Get rid of dust mites on rugs and furniture, too. 

3. Ventilate

Use a dehumidifier at home. This will allow you to ventilate humid areas such as the laundry room or basement. 

4. Keep Control

Keep up with your allergy medication. 

You don’t have to wait until allergy season. Start taking your medication beforehand to prevent an allergy attack.

5. Make a Change

Pollen and dust mites can cling to your carpets and rugs. Consider switching to hardwood floors instead.

You can also purchase hypoallergenic pillows and use plastic covers over your mattress to keep dust mites at bay.

Put a Stop to the Sneezing: 5 Tips for Avoiding an Allergy Attack

Is your skin itching or eyes watering? With these five tips for avoiding an allergy attack, you can stop seasonal allergies in its tracks.

Check out our latest Health articles for more tips and tricks!

Business

10 of the Worst Marketing Fails That You Should Avoid at All Costs

10 of the Worst Marketing Fails That You Should Avoid


10 of the Worst Marketing Fails That You Should Avoid at All Costs

Have you ever seen an ad that made you vow off the product or service forever? If so, then you’re not alone.

What makes a marketing campaign go viral, and what makes them flop?

Keep reading to learn about the top ten worst marketing fails that you never want to replicate.

1. Making Insensitive Products or Statements

One of the worst marketing failures is making a tone-deaf comment or product that can’t be unsaid or unseen. If you think a product or statement could be offensive, then it’s better not to make it or say it.

The recent fallout after Gucci made a controversial sweater resembling blackface proves this. Gucci admitted they didn’t understand the sensitivities of the black community.

Now, they’ll have to pour hundreds of dollars into sensitivity training. They’ve also outraged countless individuals.

2. Tossing Support at a Popular Cause

Bad marketing doesn’t have to be insensitive. It can happen by misreading a popular cause or social movement.

No one knows this better than Pepsi who failed at this in 2017. In their ad, Kendall Jenner joins a protest before giving Pepsi to a policeman.

This all happened during the height of Black Lives Matter protests, so it didn’t go over too well. After overwhelming criticism, Pepsi pulled the ad and apologized.

3. The Art of Online Trolling

Traditional marketing has taken a backseat to the newest method: troll marketing.

What is it?

It’s when a business imitates an online troll to deliver hilarious tweets or posts. Why? Posts that are controversial and strike up conflict get more attention.

If you haven’t heard about Wendy’s Twitter account, then you’re missing out.

Online trolling is an art, and it’s a thin line to walk on. IHOP learned that the hard way when they suffered a terrible marketing fail last year.

They tried to troll everyone by pretending to change their name to IHOB. They thought the prank would draw attention, but it ended up flopping hard.

Be careful with the latest trend of troll marketing. You don’t want to become another example among bad marketing campaigns.

4. Failing to Handle Customer’s Reviews

When looking for products or services online, reviews make a major impact. The worst thing a company can do is fail to handle these reviews in a proper way.

Companies with bad marketing don’t realize the power of testimonials and polls. You need to find ways to highlight and promote positive reviews.

At the same time, you’ll need to manage the negative reviews. A bad review, even when fabricated, can have serious repercussions.

5. Spray and Pray Marketing Fails

The spray and pray method means throwing everything at your target and hoping for the best. In the past, businesses used cold calling and mailers.

Today, these methods are ineffective. Millennials are 44% more likely to disengage with companies that use these tactics.

Instead, you should direct your marketing efforts towards a specific target of customers.

If you want to learn more about the disadvantages of the spray and pray approach, then read more here.

6. Relying on Social Media Ads

Using social media for marketing purposes is very effective. Companies with bad marketing strategies think that means relying on ads.

Don’t make this mistake. Your social media strategy needs to be much bigger than that. An effective social media ad must be:

  • Creative
  • Targeted towards the right audience
  • Powerful enough to move your customer to action

Don’t think you can make an ad, publish it, and get massive results. Social media marketing takes a lot of work.

You’ll also need to have a relevant profile that links to any advertisement. That builds trust between you and your customers.

7. Don’t Break the Law

It kind of goes without saying, but never break the law with your marketing tactics. Guerilla marketing is a new method that involves walking that thin line.

Understand that getting involved in such antics could result in jail time or fines.

During the 2004 Olympics, one man used these guerilla marketing techniques. He adorned a purple tutu and wrote “GoldenPalace.com” on his stomach.

He jumped into the Olympic pool and caused such a stir that he got arrested.

8. Watch out for Deceptive Advertising

You have to be careful when advertising your product or service. You never want your marketing campaigns to be misleading or construed as deceptive.

Todd Davis became infamous during the Lifelock disaster. He had an idea to publish his own social security number to promote his security services.

In the end, Davis became the victim of identity theft and he faced several lawsuits.

9. Never Exploit a Tragedy

Associating your product or brand with a tragedy is never a good idea.

Mark Zuckerberg found that out during a live broadcast. He was showing the power of the Oculus Rift technology by “visiting” Puerto Rico.

The problem was that he did this right after the Hurricane Maria disaster. Seeing Zuck’s avatar floating around the ravished areas wasn’t a good image.

10. Giant or Unrealistic Promotions

Giving away free stuff always boosts sales. Do not make the mistake of underestimating the power of free things.

The promise of free things unfulfilled can lead to riots, deaths, and an all-out war against your brand.  Don’t believe me? Ask Pepsi about their Philippines “Number Fever” promotion.

Each can of soda had a unique code printed on it. A random draw would determine the winning number and who would receive one million pesos.

The problem? There were over 480,116 people who had the winning number in the end. To put it in simple terms, Pepsi is not welcome in the Philippines anymore.

Avoiding Marketing Pitfalls

Marketing in the modern-day era is no easy task. You’ll have to avoid these ten marketing fails and more to be successful. 

Don’t get discouraged if you do make a marketing blunder. Many successful brands have made a comeback after such missteps.

Are you interested in learning more valuable marketing tips? Head over to our digital marketing blog now to access dozens of articles for free.

Technology

9 Ways Your Company Can Avoid a Massive Cyber Attack in 2019

9 Ways Your Company Can Avoid a Massive Cyber Attack


9 Ways Your Company Can Avoid a Massive Cyber Attack in 2019

Cybersecurity attacks cost businesses over $1.3 million in 2017. That number is only set to rise in 2019. Though this is horrifying it’s also preventable. 

If you don’t want to become another statistic and then you need to make cybersecurity a priority.

With so many cybersecurity options how do you stop the next massive cyber attack? 

First, stay calm and then check out these tips to help secure your data.

1. Monitor Mobile Device Usage

When you let your employees use a mobile phone for work purposes you introduce a whole new level of threats to your company. 

A vital option to protect sensitive data is using a centrally controlled system. This means that if your devices are stolen or lost your IT team the option to wipe it remotely. 

You should also be performing regular audits on mobile devices to asses any security risks and depending on the user. For example, if you have an employee that travels they may be connecting to public Wi-Fi putting your data at risk.

These audits usually consist of a questionnaire given to each employee about phone usage.  

2. Watch Over Employees with Access to Sensitive Data

The threat is coming from inside the house.

When people list of types of cyber attacks one area that gets overlooked are employees or company personnel. Though most people deeply trust their staff and employees often present the greatest threat to security. 

For example, phishing scams can cost your company millions. They use your employee’s email account to gain access to your system and seal information.

This may seem obvious to avoid but many hackers have become more complicated. Hackers use personal information taken from social media to make these fake emails more convincing. 

To prevent these kinds of attacks provide employees with safety training and regularly check to make sure that they’re following proper protocols.

3. Get Web Filtering Technology to Prevent Massive Cyber Attacks

The best way to prevent a massive cyber attack is to stop threats before they gain access to your system.

These programs monitor any URLs coming to and from your computer and prevent any unwanted access. They help stop any malware from gaining access to your computer. 

They are often referred to as content control software and usually restrict what kinds of sites the user gains access to. You can set up either a blacklist or a whitelist.

A blacklist restricts access to certain sites based on parameters set up by the program. While whitelist allows access to certain sites based on a list created by the systems administrator. 

More advanced filters have the option of blocking information that you send out over the internet. This prevents you from sending out sensitive information.

4. Update as Often as Possible

Threats to your cybersecurity are always evolving. And your cybersecurity business needs to keep up.

This makes it important to take advantage of new software updates. Make sure that your applications and operating systems are up to date with different enhancements and patches for bugs.

5. Retire Any Services You Aren’t Using

When products with a limited duration expire or when you’ve stopped using them you should deactivate any account or delete any information associated with it. 

6. Use VPNs for Every Connection

If your company is expanding and has employees working in offices across the country then your going to need a way to safely share data. Enter a VPN.

A VPN or virtual private network allows you to disguise your IP address to prevent anyone from being able to see the information your sending to others.

These should be mandatory for any employee using mobile devices and for most people it’s an invaluable part of protecting their identity online.

There are also options for anonymous collaborations that will help keep your data safe from threats. This is called a virtual data room and they are the future of cybersecurity. They provide protection for all data from bidding information to contract terms.

7. Make Password Security a Priority

Most people hate changing their password and won’t do it unless the rules are strictly enforced. But this simple step can be one of the most important in keeping your data safe from a cyber attack today. 

Implementing programs like a mandatory password change every couple of months. As well as having strict rules for how complex passwords have to be can help prevent major treats from getting into your system.

You should also make things like 2-factor authentification a requirement for all employees.

8. Use Real-time Threat Detection 

These programs allow you to stop threats that are just starting to form. You can also monitor any weakness in your current system and repair them before they cause larger problems.

9. Have Regular Security Assessments

With security, it’s easy to set up a system and then forget about it until the next massive cyber attack. 

As your system changes, you become more vulnerable to new threats. You need to have a security plan in place and to schedule periodic assessments. You need to ask what is cybersecurity weakness and how can we fix it?

In fact, depending on the industry an assessment may be necessary to ensure you’re following government mandates. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires regular system and cybersecurity audits. 

Want More Ways to Protect Your Company’s Data?

Preventing a massive cyber attack can be one of the smartest business decisions your company will make. But if you own a company there are a lot more steps to keeping your company safe. 

If you want to understand how to prevent the next data disasters or how to recover if you’ve just undergone a major attack then check out our blog.