Security Alert: Twitter Leading To Malware Sites

| Posted in SEO Techniques, Tips and Tricks |


In the past few days a large number of links were posted on Twitter in the form of shortend URLs, mostly from the Google’s shortening service The text contained words like “cool, “very nice” and Google’s search page has done it again”.

When clicked on the link, it took the user to malicious site which would pretend to inform the user that it had found many viruses and would advise the user to install a security software called SecurityShieldFraud. This is a malware app which contacted other servers. No further information is available about the behavior of the app.

While all the links on Twitter leading to the malicious sites have been blocked, it is important for users to use Twitter with care. While Twitter can display the original link address if we hover the cursor over any shortened link on Twitter, third party services like Untiny can be used to see the original link of any shortened URL.

Talking to Your Kids About Online Safety

| Posted in Interesting |


Carolyn Shanoff is the Associate Director of the Division of Consumer and Business Education at the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency.

Today's kids live their life online — playing games, connecting with friends, and sharing their thoughts, pictures, even their whereabouts. Most of them probably can’t even imagine life without the internet.  That's why it's so important to chat with them about being safe online ­­­­— and the risks of oversharing, posting pictures or videos that could hurt someone’s feelings or reputation, or cyberbullying.

The Net Cetera Community Outreach Toolkit from can help facilitate those conversations. It offers tips on dealing with cyberbullying, as well as with texting, sexting, file sharing, and using mobile phones. Contents include:

The toolkit materials are free and in the public domain. So whether you’re a parent, a teacher, or someone else who cares what kids are doing online, you can help spread the word about online safety. Use these tools during a classroom visit, a scout meeting, or a PTA meeting. Order free copies of Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online and Heads Up for your school or local library, or share the Net Cetera Outreach Toolkit with leaders in your community. Use the tips in a newsletter or blog, or send a message to your school, PTA, or neighborhood listservs.  If you have other ideas or suggestions for sharing these resources, let us know.  We'll pass them on, as well.

Learn more at

Protect Yourself Against Facebook Phishing

| Posted in SEO Techniques, Tips and Tricks |


This week, you may have heard about some new phishing websites that were created to look identical to authentic Facebook pages. Phishing is common across the Internet, but the security team at Facebook has been working to halt the spread of these latest malicious sites.

The fake sites, like the one below, use a similar URL to in an attempt to steal people's login information. The people behind these websites, known as "phishers," then use the information to access victims' accounts and send messages to their friends, further propagating the illegitimate sites. In some instances, the phishers make money by exploiting the personal information they've obtained.

When the latest phishing incident surfaced on Wednesday, we quickly blocked the fake links from being shared on Facebook to stop their spread. We've been removing these links from Walls and Inboxes across the site and resetting passwords for any of the compromised accounts we detect. This foils the bad guys, because the login information they collect will no longer work.

Working together
Since phishing is an Internet-wide issue, we also work closely with others in the online security industry to combat these threats. For example, when we find a new phishing site, we send the information to MarkMonitor, a company that adds these phony sites to blacklists. If you've ever visited a website and seen a red sign indicating that it was a "Web Forgery," you've probably seen their work. They also get the fake websites taken down by internet service providers (ISPs), which connect you to the Internet and host websites, and other companies that manage websites. This is what happened with one of the phishing sites involved in the most recent attack. Together, we've responded to over 1,400 phishing sites, including over 240 since the beginning of this year.

Detecting threats
In addition to working with others, we're always improving our own systems. We look at unusual activity on Facebook to detect threats to protect people on the site. For instance, when someone posts to their friends' Walls at a higher rate than usual, we flag the account as potentially compromised. Similar to online banking websites, we take a lot of precautions around your login. If we suspect that your account has been compromised, we ask for additional information to confirm your identity.

How you can help
To combat these threats, we need to your help, too. Protect yourself by always following a few key rules of thumb when you're online:

  • Use an up-to-date browser that features an anti-phishing black list. Some examples include Internet Explorer 8 or Firefox 3.0.10.
  • Use unique logins and passwords for each of the websites you use.
  • Check to see that you're logging in from a legitimate Facebook page with the domain.
  • Be cautious of any message, post or link you find on Facebook that looks suspicious or requires an additional login.

Become a fan of the Facebook Security Page for more updates on new threats as well as helpful information on how to protect yourself online.

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