Hacking from an Ex-Hackers Point of View

Unlike the old days, these days using the computer is no major hassle thanks to advancements in technology. Unfortunately with the good comes the bad as well. There are so many good users and bad users over the internet today. Focusing on the bad users, the internet is faced with its own special breed of criminals. One part of this breed of criminals is the DDoS attackers. What makes this breed even more notorious is the fact that they can cause major havoc to a website or online business with a simple click or two of the button.

So how to such attacks come about? As long as you know where to look, it doesn’t matter if your technology skills are laughable, you are able to make such attacks thanks to the availability of IP stressors on the black market. IP stressers or booters are programs used in launching the attacks.

The booter or stresser works in such a way that a users’ access to a given website is disrupted to the point that no real activity is allowed to happen. With these tools or programs, a user (legitimate user) is denied access to a given website thus crippling the site’s normal internet activities.

There are a number of reasons why attacks choose to do what they do.  Some are for personal reason while others may be for business reasons. Below you will find three of the most common cause of DDoS attacks:

  • DDoS attacks may be carried out in protest of what a given business or website has to offer. It can be carried out when the attacker wishes to make their point heard or criticize whatever the business or website has to offer. Think of these breed of attackers like real-life protesters on the street fighting for one cause or the next.
  • Most attackers who prefer leasing or renting a booter simply wish to vandalize the target business or website. Such individuals find their IP stresser from the black market and proceed to use the same for vandalizing.
  • Last but not least, extortion is what drives some attackers to launch a DDoS attack. In most cases, when a website or business owner is faced with the threat of a DDoS attack, giving in to the extortion demands are in most cases seen as the best choice if normal internet activities are to be maintained with no attacks.

Besides the three reasons mentioned above, there are other reasons why attackers may decide to launch a DDoS attack on a given website, business, or institution. For example, the attacker may decide to launch a personal attack following their past experience with the given website, business or institute. The attack may also be launched by completion in order to disrupt another business’s internet activities.

The bottom line is, no matter the reason for the attack, it is important to note that such activities are illegal in the eyes of the law.

The Author

This is a guest post by my good friend and ex-hacking buddy, Jeremy Ab-dul. He and I worked on a variety of projects in our college days. He now operates Cloud Booter which provides a wide range of IP Stresser services. For more information, check out his website at cloudbooter.com. I asked him to write a blog post since I believe it would be useful for the web designers and website owners in my audience to hear why they do it so they may prepare and learn how to further secure their websites as these attacks begin to become more prominent. 

10 Tweaks To Improve Your Blog Within Minutes

Do you often feel like you want to renovate your blog if you had time? This is a common desire to many bloggers, but it’s hard to fulfill especially with the content writing work they have. This is not supposed to make you give up making appropriate adjustments. The best way to overhaul your blog is to split the tasks to small chunks to help accomplish a lot when combined as a whole. Below are 10 ways that will take you two minutes to help you improve the blog performance online.

  • Make the title to be more compelling
    Many bloggers use the trick of preferring the titles that are attention grabbing. You should check your archives for the titles you have used in the past and improve them. The title is basically your content in short. Many of the readers will judge the posts by use of the titles only. To save time, small and few tweaks to the title can do better. These include adding numbers, adjectives and title rephrasing with the intension to make the advantages of post reading be clearer and hence boost the traffic to your posts. For example, what was ‘using Facebook effectively’ can be rephrased to ‘5 top tricks of using Facebook to save time.’ Even the starters can tell the difference between the two and which one will be most preferred.
  • interlinking.jpgLink to other posts
    Bounce rate can be effectively reduced by giving the users plenty of opportunities for them to look into other related content. Most bloggers are not newbies and they probably have some other languishing posts in their archives. Such are hard to be seen by anybody. You can take your two minutes to link them to the already existing posts by appropriate ways. The vice versa is also applicable. This is where you link the new posts to the older but successful posts. A very good example and reason for linking is whereby you wrote a post and have gone into the topic deeper in the recent days to give a more elaborate post. Linking the two can give the reader the best material they desire.
  • About page updating
    Many bloggers make a mistake of not updating their about pages. Updating such does not take a lot of time. You can take a quick check do determine anything outdated. This is by checking;

    • New updates, biographical details, mentions and press etc.
    • Products and services information. The ones you have added and those you have ditched
    • Links to the best posts you have written
  • Adding a selfie
    Not necessarily a selfie but your image. A photograph is a nice way to help the audience connect as they reveal the guy behind the written words. The most recent one for you can be effective when you place it to the about page. The photo doesn’t have to be of professional levels. Photos can be added to your header or sidebar. You can also add it to the older posts because they help break up the page making it easier to read the content.
  • Remove the widgets from the sidebar
    Widgets are among the things that make the sidebars for most blogs be cluttered. The readers have a hard time struggling to locate the intended options. Such options include twitter or Facebook subscribing links. You as the blogger should cross check your blog page and sidebar to determine the widgets that are not in use or are not desired by the user. Such include little calendars and tag clouds and should be removed.
  • Deal with all the comments
    This applies even to the bloggers who are not comments inundated. You can manage to deal with the comments as they don’t take long to reply. Two minutes are enough to check at the comments for those that require quick replying. To the readers, it is a bad impression to have comments not answered. Obvious replies to comments is also annoying. This can create an impression that you are absent online or you have nothing to care about the readers. If this is not possible, close the comments on more than 4weeks old posts.
  • Contact page detailing
    Most bloggers only put contact forms to the contact pages and nothing more. This is not something of concern or disaster in any way but it acts as a barrier to some readers who may want to reach you out by other means not only the blog. Addresses and phone numbers may not be necessary to put on the contact page but the following are;

    • Email addresses – Your readers do not all trust the contact forms and their working. They hence prefer the worldwide use of email addresses to contact you or create messages.
    • Social media links – The readers on your blogs are most likely on social media too. If you are a fan in the social media, then you could make your blog known by many.
    • Preferred method of contact – You have a certain method of contact that you like or are most available mostly among the many methods available. Some prefer emails and others the social media. You should indicate this in your contact form.
  • blogging‘As featured in’ addition
    This applies to those who have been in the blogging career for a while. This is where if you have guest in other blogs or you have been interviewed in another a podcast or another blog, you can link them in your blog. It is even better if such blogs are popular in the field. This can be done by including the logos of key sites where you feature on your page header. The header can then be used on the page sidebar so that the visitors can see who you really are.
  • Typo fixing
    There could be some mistakes in the printed matter. They happen to almost all the bloggers. These usually create impressions that are not pleasing. These typos can be caused by riddled and containing spelling misstates posts. They make you look unprofessional. It’s your obligation to focus on important however small issues they are. You should read the post carefully to identify the typos and mend them before they cause trouble and embarrassment. When you are sure the articles are typo-free, check for potential sentences to improve and videos or images you can add.
  • Call to action addition
    This is appropriate not only to blogging alone but to all types of online marketing. It takes less than a minute to type a call to action so that it can direct the user what’s next. Instead just putting a full stop, you can consider telling your readers to do a thing. Such can be;

    • Comment
    • Social media sharing of the post
    • Comment on the social media post
    • Read related blogs
    • Check for your services or products related to the blog post

These tweaks will take you just a few minutes to ensure that they are working properly for you and your blog. They can be the key to your blog performing exclusively better. They are many of them and hence you have all the freedom to choose the best for you.

8 things you should know about becoming a better front end developer

front-end-development

For a front end developer, a number of questions float through your mind whenever you tackle a new job. For example, you may wonder whether or not to use a particular plugin or try another, you may wonder whether or not to actually take the time to plan a project or go straight into coding.

It doesn’t matter if you are a fresher or a seasoned developer, the tips below can help you move a step further in your front-end developer skills.

A look at the 8 things that will make you a better frond-end developer:

1: Always plan your projects. It might seem boring to take the time out to plan a project, but overtime, you will realize its importance. With a well-laid out plan, you are able to cut down on the time you might have spent working on one aspect of the development only to realize that you should have done something different. Remember though that even the best laid plans do come apart once in a while.

2: Be hands-on. By being hands-on, you are able to let your client or boss know exactly when the job will be done. You are able to let them know of any possible delays or roadblocks as you work so that they are not left guessing, something that can be quite irritating. By being proactive, you are able to build trust with the people you work with in addition to appearing professional because you are able to let them know exactly what is going on at any given time.

3: Develop a thirst for learning new things. With so many techniques, tools, languages and plugins entering the market so frequently, it pays to have a curious mind. You are able to keep your skills as up-to-date as possible so that you keep advancing in your chosen field.

front-end-developer4: Don’t be afraid to pay for new knowledge. With the ever changing world of front-end development, it pays to be in the know of what is going on. Don’t be afraid to learn about new web design trends or SEO trends. Investing in the improvement of your skills should be something you take pleasure in. Investment could mean money on learning a new language; it could also mean spending time to learning the new techniques out there.

5: Learn to say NO. You don’t have to agree to each and everything that you client or boss tells you, learn to say no sometimes. As a front-end developer, there may be things that you know don’t align well with your skills in a given project. Saying NO helps eliminate any un-pleasantries down the road, for example taking on a project that you are not equipped skill-wise to perform.

6: NO is a beautiful word until you overdo it. Much as it is a good idea to say no to some aspects of the project that you feel you won’t be able to deliver one, be careful not to say no to each and everything. If you don’t know something, instead of saying no, don’t be afraid to learn something new as you work on a new project. This takes you out of your comfort zone and helps you progress with your skills.

7: Seek out a mentor. Seeking out a mentor helps fast-track your learning progress in the front-end development world. Finding a mentor who you enjoy learning from and who has a wealth of knowledge to impart is always good thing. Many web design and digital marketing companies such as this Ottawa SEO company are quite open to bringing on interns.

8: Don’t forget about your health. Just because you spend long hours behind the computer doesn’t mean you should leave your health unattended. Always remember to eat right and exercise for a healthier mind and body.

The above are just 8 things that will steer you in the right direction as you tackle your front-end developer tasks. Remember to be any good at anything, it takes a lot of time, interest and great motivation.

4 Steps towards a Successful Coordination of Your Content

content-marketing

Cooking and content marketing share a lot of things in common. You have got the executive editor (chef) whose work is to plan, delegate, edit, and manage the executions flow. The writer (sous chef) is the chefs right-hand man and follows elaborate orders towards the production of the meal (content). Even though your readers (dinner guests) do not have a chance to see all the events behind the scenes, their role is to judge. The final product gives a clear picture of the events behind the scene.

Just like a meal, content coordination requires you to strategize, plan, communicate, and have access to an armory of tools. If you miss any of these steps, the outcome will be a low-quality final product.

The time for setting the success table is now. To master the workflow of your content follows these steps:

Craft a precise content strategy
Excellent content can only be derived from interacting with your audience authentically. Prior to a creation of any content, you must closely learn your audience. Build a class of personas according to gender, age, geographical location, profession, consumption patterns, and web behavior. Leverage such tools as Google Analytics, Twitter Analytics, and Facebook audience insights to reach to your current audiences’ core.Create detailed personas to enable you to design your content in line with the interests, consumption patterns, and habits of these individuals. Proceed to plot the content themes alongside the buyer personas. Consider your personas marketing requirements and build content that meets their requirements. Conduct keyword research to understand what and how your prospects or customers are searching every time they hit Google. Carry out a social sentiments analysis to determine the writers or speakers attitude concerning some topic.Define the ways you will measure your campaign efforts success with at least three KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) with respect to referrals, voice metrics share, and conversion. The methods to measure this success should include brand exposure, lead generation metrics, influence, and engagement.

Create a Calendar
After identifying your strategy, ensure that you practice it. You can create an editorial calendar to assist in your organization and also to ensure that you hit your content themes.Once you have your strategy identified, now it’s time to put it to practice. Creating an editorial calendar can help you stay organized and make sure you are hitting your content themes. If you calendar your pieces of content, people responsibilities and contents routing status, all your systems will work smoothly.Setting the publishing, strategy, drafting, editing and routing deadlines is also crucial. The content workflow tool that you use should let you see the content through a calendar that is color-coded to enhance your contents visualization. You can even use the free Google calendar. The clearVoice can also be an option if you require a more advanced platform that has got multiple seats. Then make good use of such tools as CoSchedule, which is one of the social sharing options that helps schedule when and where to share the content you post to your blog after it publishes.It does not matter the tool(s) you choose but plan at least every three months.

Communicate Clearly
It is always crucial to maintain open communication lines between collaborators since there exist many mobile elements of content marketing. Maintain the basic digital and face to face communication tactics because of the following reasons:

  • Performance evaluation
  • Discussion on content promotion
  • Answering questions
  • Consistent quality maintenance
  • Uncovering new ideas
  • Being on the same page

What are tools available for this purpose? Try the Google Hangout, which is a simple and free way of scheduling a video conference. This tool handles up to ten devices and can live stream video calls through YouTube. You can also try Yammer, which can assist you to establish random and private social network team collaboration and conversations.

In case you have a given CMS or any tools that permit you to communicate instantaneously, then use them. The use of integrated communication does reduce questions by and large and allows one to communicate informally.

Whichever means of communication you pick, just ensure that the conversation does not break. You can also plan the so called kick -off gatherings and schedule daily of weekly meetings for follow ups.

Leverage your Content Workflow devices
Sometimes back, when there were no under-one hood solutions to content marketing, people were dependent on several tools. Nowadays, people have many content workflows within their reach, and they can create processes, create their brand consistency, and scale their efforts with several channels and contributors. These tools are one for all sizes, but you should go for a tool with the features listed below:

  • Social media syndication
  • Can track team productivity
  • Can track status
  • Editorial calendars
  • Integrates content strategy and templates
  • Instantaneous editing and collaboration
  • Publishing integration

It is Advisable that your content be dynamic enough to adapt and handle various challenges such as the creation of efficient processes. It should also accommodate an intelligent strategy as well as integrated technology. Having a content workflow that is well vetted ensures that content campaigns go as scheduled and succeed.

Now can you share with us the tools you employ to strike a balance between quality and scale of your content? Please do so! Also, check out this video below to help you put together a 12 month content marketing strategy.