Change Your Passwords Today to Avoid Heartbleed Bug

heartbleed bugNow would be a wise time to change your passwords to ensure your online accounts are secure.

A major Internet security flaw called the Heartbleed bug has been making headlines ever since yesterday, prompting major companies like Google, Facebook and Instagram to implement patches to protect the security of their users’ private information.

What Is the Heartbleed Bug?

The Heartbleed bug has the potential to expose your online passwords and credit card information to hackers. This security vulnerability was present in any site using Open SSL software, a protocol that helps secure online transactions, according to the New York Times Bits blog.

The software was designed to encrypt data so that it can’t be stolen by a third party while it’s being transmitted, the blog explained. The Heartbleed flaw allows hackers to access some of this private data.

Which Passwords Should I Change?

Not every website that was vulnerable to this threat has a patch in place to fix the problem—at least not yet. Mashable contacted a number of large companies and asked if a patch was in place and if users should change their passwords. The following social networks and companies are encouraging their users to update their passwords:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Tumblr
  • Google
  • Gmail
  • Yahoo
  • Yahoo Mail
  • GoDaddy
  • Intuit (Turbo Tax)
  • Dropbox
  • Minecraft
  • OKCupid
  • SoundCloud
  • Wunderlist

While Mashable’s initial list is by no means comprehensive, it is certainly a good start for updating your passwords.

About LLC is an industry leader in search engine optimizationweb design and social media. Looking for online marketing or web development services? Contact us online or by phone at 425-822-8200.

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New Twitter Profiles Coming Down the Pike

New Twitter Profiles

Actor Zac Efron’s new Twitter profile

Twitter will be rolling out new and improved profiles soon featuring larger cover photos like we’re used to seeing on Facebook as well as new features to make certain Tweets stand out.

Your most popular Tweets that drive the most engagement will soon appear somewhat larger than your other Tweets, and Twitter users will also be able to pin a specific Tweet to the top of their page even after they’ve made other Tweets, the Twitter blog announced.

Twitter will also allow you to filter Tweets when you’re viewing other people’s profiles. For example, you can look at the normal Tweet stream or filter for Tweets with photos/videos or Tweets that feature replies.

When Will The New Twitter Profiles Roll Out?

Twitter’s new profiles rolled out today to a small group of users, which is typical whenever a major social media outlet is making sweeping changes. The isolated release makes it easier to catch any bugs at the beginning while they’re only affecting a small number of people. However, Twitter said they would make the new profiles and features available to all users in the next few weeks.

Celebrities Get the New Profiles First

A handful of high-profile Twitter users, including celebrities, politicians and musicians have already been transitioned to the new profile. First Lady Michelle Obama (@flotus) was among the first to get the new Twitter profile.

The Takeaway

Brands using Twitter should take full advantage of this new ability to pin a Tweet, and should take great care in crafting and polishing a pinned Tweet that really exemplifies the marketing message they want to get across to their audience in any given week. We think it could be a fantastic opportunity to prominently place a message about new products or services or even short-term sales and specials as they come and go.

As with Facebook, good marketing photos will become increasingly important in driving engagement with  your brand on Twitter. You’ll have the chance to not only feature your brand logo, but also a high-quality image that best represents your business.

About LLC is an industry leader in search engine optimizationweb design and social media. Looking for online marketing or web development services? Contact us online or by phone at 425-822-8200.

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Want a More Trustworthy Website? Add Your Photo

trustworthy websitesIf you’re a business owner trying to establish a trusted website that maximizes sales, sometimes a picture says a thousand words.

And we’re not just talking about having compelling images of products or services you offer — we’re talking about pictures of you.

Survey: Real Photo of You Inspires More Trust

A recent BrightLocal survey revealed that consumers trust a website more when it features a genuine image of the business owner. To measure how much the consumer panel taking the survey trusted different types of web pages, three different samples of pages were shown to survey takers — a website with a real business owner photo, a website with a generic product or office photo, and a website with no photo at all, a recent BrightLocal blog explained.

Unsurprisingly, the business website sample that featured a photo of the business owner was seen as significantly more trustworthy than sites using a generic image and twice as trustworthy as a website that featured no image.

Why Does a Photo Inspire So Much Trust?

In an age of spammy websites, consumers take comfort knowing a real human being is associated with the business and gain a sense of security that the owner is willing to be the face of that business online. A photo is also an indicator that you take pride in all aspects of your business, demonstrating that you take full ownership of your website as well as your physical storefront or office.

For businesses that deal with customers face to face, such as plumbers, real estate agents and consultants, having a photo of the business owner was of greater importance than for non-client-facing or non-customer-facing work, the BrightLocal blog explained.

The Takeaway for Trustworthy Websites

Business owners who want to inspire trust through their websites should consider the merits of using an actual photo of themselves and perhaps even their staff instead of providing bare content or even glossy stock photo images. If a potential customer is deciding between using your services or those of a competitor, the trust generated from a real photo of you and your team could be the tipping point that encourages them to go with you.

About LLC is an industry leader in search engine optimizationweb design and social media. Looking for online marketing or web development services? Contact us online or by phone at 425-822-8200.

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