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Monster attack steals user data

US job website has suffered an online attack with the personal data of hundreds of thousands of users stolen, says a security firm. A computer program was used to access the employers' section of the website using stolen log-in credentials.

Symantec said the log-ins were used to harvest user names, e-mail addresses, home addresses and phone numbers, which were uploaded to a remote web server.

The stolen data could be used to send phishing and spam e-mails.

"This remote server held over 1.6 million entries with personal information belonging to several hundred thousands of candidates, mainly based in the US, who had posted their resumes to the website," reported Symantec.

Security breach

The firm has contacted to inform them of the security breach.

Symantec said it had seen reports of phishing e-mails sent out to users which were "very realistic" and contained "personal information of the victims".

The e-mail encouraged users to download a Monster Job Seeker Tool, which was in fact a program that encrypted files in their computer and left a ransom note demanding money for their decryption.

"To the best of our knowledge, this is not a hack of Monster's security, rather, legitimate customer credentials are being used to log in to the database," said Patrick Manzo, vice president of compliance and fraud prevention at Monster.

He added: "There have been reports of this as an issue of identify theft.

"We are not aware of any cases of identity theft. In fact, the information that is gathered from Monster is no different than that displayed in a phone book."

The program used to access user data was a Trojan, which are commonly used to gain access to bank details, usernames and passwords.

More than 8,000 new variants of Trojans are found each month, according to internet security specialists Sophos.

Last year, a British nurse was blackmailed by hackers who had used a Trojan to access her personal e-mails.

They threatened to reveal personal details unless she paid them.

Symantec said users should always limit contact information posted to job websites and to use a disposable e-mail address.

"Never disclose sensitive details such as your social security number, passport or driver's license numbers, bank account information to prospective employers until you have established they are legitimate," said the firm.

Process on Optimizing your Site through Keywords
There are a lot of things to analyze on your site before you start optimizing your site. Such things are your site overview, nature of business, home page, site dimension and number of pages, product/services categories, page rank and indexed pages for major search engines, link popularity, and a lot more. After that you will go to your onpage and offpage optimization. Analyze your site and think of a generic word that best fits for your web site. Choosing the right keywords is a strategy for better search engine positioning Analyze your business carefully and think of all the words that relate to your company or product. Most techniques to improve your search engine rankings have one thing in common -- Keywords. Choosing appropriate keywords is very important. Keywords are what lead search engine users to your site.

That word will act as your major keyword for your site. Then find a keyword tool that will help you generate keywords for your site. There are lots of keyword tools like Type in the major keyword that you had thought of and it’ll list all related keywords that you can use. On the tool you’ll see the number of counts your keyword has been searched. Person new on search engine optimization might use the keyword with a lot of counts (I, sure did that before) immediately but SEO experts says that Do NOT use it for a start as keyword searched as many times will just give you a lot of competition and give your site less probability in regards to your visitors. So it is best to start with keywords with a little rivalry. Get some traffic with those keywords and eventually focus on the major keywords.

Examine those sites ranked from 1-10 on the keywords you chose to use in optimizing your site. Check everything about the site that is ranked highly on the search engine. Its URL, see if it is the top level webpage or it is the index page of the site as if it is not you can have a great chance to improve your index page for the target keyword and have a better placement in the SERP’s. Sites page rank. Page rank is Google’s way of giving specific value to how popular your website is. It is based on the number of links you have pointing to your website. Then check their page source, see if their actually optimizing their site for some onpage optimization factors. Factors such as title tag, check if they use the keyword on their title tag which is one of the main reasons why a site is rank well on search engine. Header tags are used to separate topics and range from h1 being very large and bold and h6 which is very small and bold, it should contain your most important keyword or keyword phrases to assist you in ranking higher on Search Engines. Image alt tags are words that will be displayed in place of your image through an older browser or when your visitors have their image turned off, insert a readable keyword phrase within the alt tags of your image and it’ll help you on your rankings. And on the main content if they use the keyword on the beginning and at the end of the page, also whether or not they’ve bolded, underlined, or italicized the keywords on that page. By continuing this process on other keywords that you’ve chose you will have an improved ranking on SERPs.

By: Kristine Joy Francisco
Computer Scrapbooks
When digital cameras were first released on the market, everyone was excited. Finally, here was an easy way to take and store photos. No more would our closets be plagued with boxes and envelopes housing a hodgepodge of unorganized photographs.
What we didn't realize was that soon, our computers would be filled with a hodgepodge of unorganized photographs
The explosion of home computers and the Internet has led to an increased need for people to organize computer scrapbooks. It's easy to accumulate literally thousands of digital pictures, and it's just as easy to get them all mixed up. Try finding a favorite photo as you're scanning through a list of numbers and letters. Creating computer scrapbooks makes it quick and easy to locate the photographs, as soon as you want to see them.

When preparing your computer scrapbooks, the first step should always be renaming your photos. You should use file names that are easy to understand and organize, rather than keeping the default names set by your digital photography software. Anyone who has used a digital camera or camera phone knows just how hard it can be to decipher the file names, let alone selecting the photographs. Proper titles listed in computer scrapbooks make it easy to remember which pictures you have.

One key point to remember is that all of your computer scrapbook files will be sorted in alphabetical order. This can get confusing, particularly if you're naming pictures by date. Rather than call your photos 'January10', 'April21' etc, use the numerical format year, month and then day. Those same files will now be called 20050110Baby and 20050421Baby. In doing so, your computer will display them in the correct date order for you.

After your photo files have been renamed, you need to create folders to store the different types of photo files. Try organizing your computer scrapbooks by subject, theme or occasion. This will allow you to find your photos much easier later on. For example, create a folder called 'Baby Pictures' and save all of your baby photographs in that folder. By setting up and following a naming system, you'll soon have the most well organized computer scrapbooks around.

Whether or not you print your digital photos, always create backups of all your computer scrapbook files. There are many archiving programs that can be used to compress large files, enabling them to be stored on a CD or other removable disk. It is essential that you label your CDs to keep your computer scrapbook backups as organized as the originals. You can write the title on the CD itself, but you should also remember to alter the name of the CD as read by the computer. Most CD writing software automatically prompts you to give the CD a title, but check the instructions before you start the burning process so you, and your computer, will be able to clearly identify the CDs.

Digital cameras make it easy to take and save pictures. Computer scrapbooks make it easy to find the pictures anytime you're ready to take a trip down memory lane or share the digital images with your friends.

By: Barbara Miller
Investment on Returns
So there I stood, feeling incredibly stupid. Having waited in line for a few minutes to return a paperback copy of Harry Potter, which I realized I already owned once I brought it home, I stood face-to-face with the cashier. I looked over his shoulder and ready “Barnes and Nobles”, I looked down at the imprint on my plastic bag “Waldenbooks”. I paused , turned beet red and said “Oops, I am obviously in the wrong place”. I started to turn and leave when he gently stopped me with the words “If we carry that book we would be happy to refund it for you”. “Really???” I asked. “Sure no problem let me have a look”. He determined that he already had 24 copies in stock and was more than happy to take one more. He handed me a credit card looking store credit, had me sign a receipt and that was that.
But that was not the end of the story. I was so blown away and so grateful I decided to go buy a CD. Now the CD was about twice what my refund was so I handed the card and the money and I took my CD and left

But that was still not the end of the story. As soon as I got out of the store I called my brother and 5 of my friends to tell them about this amazing customer service. And now of course I am telling you, too.

So let’s look at this story and see what actally occurred. Barnes and Nobles made an “Investment on my Return”. What exactly was the “cost” of this investment? Perhaps there was a cost for training the employee that taught him to act in this kind and generous way. But other than that it cost them nothing. Okay maybe there was some cost for restocking. They will surely sell that other copy. But then we need to reverse this formula and see what the Return on Investment was.

Here is where the real power of this theory is seen. They not only were repaid their initial outlay of $7.99, they received an additional $7.99 that I most surely would not have spent otherwise. They received free word of mouth advertising (which is far more powerful and effective than traditional advertising) and they created a loyal, raving fan customer.

“Returns” are often emotionally charged events. Think about it. People return things that “don’t fit”, that they “don’t like” , that they “can’t afford” , “wasn’t what they expected”, that are of “inferior quality”, that” they don’t need” or “they don’t want”

For a lot of your customers returns are either embarrassing, filled with disappointment or frustration or at the very least a major inconvenience.

How you handle this touchy situation will impact on your customer’s decision to continue doing business with you.

There are many stories going around about how Nordstrom would take anything in a return (including a car engine). Of course you don’t have to go to that extreme to make your return policy fair, easy and effective.

Original Post By Laurie Brown
Internet Shopping Guide
When shopping on the Internet there are many things to consider, following are some guidelines to keep your experiences a positive one. Many people shop at brick and mortar stores because they feel shipping charges only raise their total cost, however, unless you live in a high density populous like a major city, most often shipping charges cost less than the gasoline required to travel to and back from a brick and mortar store, especially when looking for bargains, which would probably require a stop off at more than two stores for price comparison, and even then when you find the best price, (even if you researched your favorite stores online) you run the risk of a fuel expense only to find your item not in stock, so by the time you actually come home with your item, your fuel expense was probably greater than most fast shipping costs would be. There is also the consideration of time, I live in a rural area where the nearest grocery store is about 12 miles away, and the discount big box retail stores, over 15 miles away, with an average speed limit of 50 mph, it would take approximately 20-25 minutes travel in each direction, around 20 more minutes to identify and locate the specific item(s) in the store, then there is the line at the check out area, depending what time of day/evening you go, it could be as little as 5 minutes and up to 30, as I have waited in check out lines at big box retail stores, so online shopping is not only green, ecologically, but you get more than an hour and a half of your life freed up to do other more desirable activities!

Is it safe to shop online?

Many people still hold on to the idea that online shopping is very risky, however with the implementation of a number of encryption techniques, your personal, and credit card information, is quite secure, but should you still feel a measure of insecurity inputting your credit card information at a website, there are additional steps you can take to insure zero liability on your part. Most credit cards offer a zero liability rider on their cards for any fraudulent charges if you pay a small monthly fee, usually after a 30 - 90 day free trial, in which case any charges that show up on your statement that are not your authorized purchases, will be unconditionally credited back to your card, and an investigation will most likely ensue to try to prevent a reoccurrence.

Once you get past the apprehension of credit card fraud, there are a number of practices that will ensure a positive experience.

Feedback and ratings!

There are many opportunities to give feedback or rate your experience with a site. What do you choose, a highly rated store with higher prices, or a store with little or no rating with lower prices, well I for one have many times, passed on offering a rating, by not responding to the email sent, just because of the lack of time, so these should be considered on the lighter side, for instance, a high number of ratings may not all be positive, or they might have lost sight of a customers value because business is so good they no longer feel the need to go the extra mile to make or keep a satisfied customer, on the other hand, no ratings at all might only mean it is a reasonably new store and has not received the customer count of the big guys, but my thought is this, give the little guy a shot, in their pursuit of sales they are more likely to go the extra mile to win over a customer, and possibly offer an incentive to return to them for future purchases.

Is the lowest price the best deal?

When price comparing different e-commerce stores there are some things to consider, is the item brand new, refurbished, re-packed, a factory second, or even the name brand that is stated, these are all important factors to consider when comparing prices, and many sites will state what grade of merchandise they carry if it is good for business, for instance, I have seen prices for a specific digital camera range from $99.95 to $279.95 for the exact same camera and the msrp was $229.00, so I ask myself, why so high, or so low, if I choose the lowest price am I getting what I would get if I paid the high price? Well obviously the highest price is not one's first choice, but here are some answers, the higher prices might be due to a poor choice of wholesaler or distributor, or a lack of buying power due to low volume sales, or a high overhead that needs to be considered by the merchant, or maybe they are also brick and mortar store and do not want to severely undercut the prices in the actual store with their online prices. Now when evaluating low prices consider buying American made, because there are a number of foreign manufacturers that produce cheap knock offs of the original, which are available at much lower prices than their American counterparts, also check the item listing for very small,(fine print) or similar colored text (almost invisible), stating that it is either refurbished or a factory second, and when buying branded items make sure the item picture reflects the advertised brand name, and is not an inferior knock off, this happens most when shopping for accessories like picture cards, removable mass storage devices, and other types of digital media, and similar accessories. Something else to look out for is the price of shipping, and the geographical location of merchant, for instance, compare the shipping charges for the same item on a few sites, that are located in the same area, if one price is much higher, they might be advertising a low price but make it up in the way of a handling charge added to the shipping charge, also if you narrowed down your choice of sites to just a few, then buy from the one geographically close, which will minimize the shipping charge, an example would be if you live in California, and your narrowed down sites are located in New York, Dallas, and Seattle, the lowest shipping charges would likely be from Seattle, now if there is a site also in California, you might still consider the Seattle site to save on sales tax, provided the company does not also have a physical store in California as well, because then they will also be required to charge sales tax, on the positive side, some merchants might show extremely low prices on items that have been discontinued by the manufacturer, and the merchants want to move excess inventory before they lose their profit margin all together, so checking with the manufacturer, if the item is current, will explain such a low price, or they might be a "wholesale to the public" type merchant with tremendous buying power, and warehouse space in which case the savings are passed to you, another explanation for low prices can be the use of drop shippers, and warehouse co-ops, which reduces the overhead for online merchants because they do not need to tie up thousands of dollars in inventory to make minimums, and the expense to house that inventory, all of which can contribute to lower prices, along with being in a very competitive retail venue.

How to search for your purchase!

I would recommend getting as much information about a product or products from the original manufacturer's website, they usually offer the most comprehensive information about their products and usually a suggested retail price, but generally do not sell direct, but instead provide a list of sites you can purchase from, with that said, consider this, after visiting the manufacturer's site you probably made the decision as to which product model you want to purchase, when doing a search engine search, include the make and model in your search query, rather then a general search term like "fish finder" or "digital camera" this will accomplish a few things, first it will reduce the number of results, and make the results you do get the most relevant, then search engines usually, under these circumstances, will provide a "price compare" link, for instance Google will provide Froogle results, or a Yahoo! Search might provide a Yahoo! Shopping link to a price compared list of possible merchants, and then there are the links like Shopzilla, Price grabber, Next tag, or, to name a few, these links all provide easy access to price comparing, but be advised that many of these results are "sponsored" which means merchants paid to show up in that search result, and may not be the only relevant sites to choose from!

Where do I go to shop for many items?

Many e-commerce sites are pretty specialized, in as much as they offer a comprehensive selection of the type of merchandise they specialize in, a metal detector store for metal detectors and accessories, or a camera store for digital cameras, picture cards, and batteries, etcetera. Although these stores often have the most competitive prices they might not be your best choice when shopping for many different items, that's where your Internet department stores might be a better choice, and I will tell you why, if you were to buy a metal detector for your Nephew, and a digital camera for your Mom, and a GPS fish finder for your Dad, and a paintball gun for your Brother, and some jewelry for your Niece, buying these items each from a different store will not be as cost efficient as taking some time to find a department type store that has all these different items for offer, even if their prices are a little bit higher, because all the shipping will be calculated by the total weight of the order, not rounding up each item to the next whole pound as when purchased from separate stores.

More Information contact here
Voice over IP Telephony Comes of Age
With the advent of widespread broadband Internet connections, consumers are discovering what businesses have known for a while. Voice over IP telephony, or VoIP as it is known, can be a viable and cost effective alternative to the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS). As VoIP upstarts are popping up everywhere, most notably Vonage, Packet8 and Skype, even the big Internet Service Providers are offering voice over IP packages to their residential subscribers.

Such features as caller ID, call forwarding, automatic redial, and even 3-way calling are standard on most VoIP packages, whereas many phone companies consider them add on’s and will charge you extra. But the real kicker is, if it is right for you and you pick the right Voice over IP solution, you should be able to reduce your phone bill by half or more.
How Does Voice over IP Work?

In voice over IP, the analog voice is converted into digital packets that are routed through the internet, and in the case of one of the parties being on a PSTN connection, the packets are routed to the nearest local switching station and placed back on the PSTN. If both persons are using VoIP, then there is no reason to use the PSTN, and the entire conversation takes place over the Internet.

IP Telephony is a packet switching technology, as opposed to circuit switching as used by the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). The PSTN method uses copper wires to physically connect one caller to another through a series of circuit switches, as illustrated by the switchboard operators of old.

Needless to say, this is much more cost effective than using land lines for the entire distance. If a caller in New York uses VoIP to call a PSTN number in Seattle, the call doesn’t leave the internet until it reaches the switching station in Seattle, making it for all practical purposes, a local call.

The Drawbacks of Voice over IP Telephony

There are some points that one should seriously consider when thinking about dumping the POTS. VoIP generally requires a Broadband Internet connection, which in turn requires power. If a power outage should occur, you have no telephone service. Battery backups could solve this problem, but not on a long term basis. Internet Service Providers (ISP's) also have a tendency to go down occasionally, though they are getting better all the time. Calls can be forwarded to your cell phone if your power is out, but in real disaster situation, even cell phones are not a perfect backup, as seen by Hurricane Katrina. Faxing over an IP network has proven to be problematic. Fax machines scan a document and convert the data into sounds, which don’t travel well over the internet. In IP telephony, much progress has been made on a standard called T.38, whose mission is to convert the fax sound into sendable data. Another option is iFax, the T.37 standard that sends faxes as an email attachment or a remote printout using the Internet Printing Protocol. Today, separate Fax lines can be added by most VoIP providers for an extra charge.

Emergency services such as 911 are also an issue with IP telephony. It is the nature of the Internet that tying a particular node to a geographic location is quite difficult, and street addresses are not easily routed to a nearby call center. In the U.S., the FCC has mandated that VoIP providers implement Enhanced 911 (E911). Providers are making progress by encouraging their customers to register a street address to their phone number, enabling them to route emergency calls to a nearby call center.

Voice over IP and Broadband Connections

The problem with DSL is that it is provided by telephone companies which for the most part require you to have a landline, pretty much defeating the purpose. Some regional Telco’s are starting to unbundle their DSL services by offering “naked DSL”, an Internet connection without the analog line on the local loop. When you think about it, there really doesn't seem to be much motivation for the Telco’s to promote VoIP, as it would effectively be like cutting their revenues in half.

While a broadband connection is not absolutely necessary, it is what makes VoIP shine. Many households are turning to DSL or cable modems for their internet connections, and wireless broadband WiFi hotspots are popping up everywhere.

Wireless networks also work great for VoIP, and are especially convenient if you travel a lot. Hotspots all over the world allow you to call anywhere using a WiFi VoIP phone. Internet phones come in all shapes and sizes with all kinds of bells and whistles. From a full business desk phone from Cisco, to phones indistinguishable from cell phones, even regular cell phones that are VoIP capable – new products and technologies are coming out every day to get you better connected for less.

If your household has cable television, you more than likely can get broadband access through a cable modem. Most cable providers charge around $50 a month for broadband internet access, and for those who utilize the Internet often, a high speed internet connection is well worth the price. Some cable IPS's offer residential Voice over IP for $40-$50 a month. Through the pure play VoIP companies like Vonage or Packet8, you can get VoIP for around $15-$25 a month, potentially eliminating the need for a land line at all.

Voice over IP telephony has come of age. If you have access to a broadband Internet connection, you could conceivably cut your phone bill by half or more, never pay long distance charges in the U.S. and Canada, and pay way less for International calls – as low as 3 cents per minute. Sound quality is usually as good as a cell phone connection. To test you current broadband connection, visit and download the java applet. In about 20 seconds they will show you in detail how your VoIP phone call would fare to and from national and international destinations. Once you know if your connection can sustain the extra traffic, it's just a matter of finding a reliable Voice over IP telephony service provider.