Welcome to episode 48 of This Week Online Today, where I will be talking to you about the big online news that has been happening this week today to make sure that you are ahead of the game when it comes to running your online brand successfully.
And at the end of the show, I will also be giving you a bonus tip of the week to help you further.
In this episode of This Week Online Today, I talk about the following:
- Google has started migrating sites to mobile-first index
- A football club has fallen victim to an email scam
- MyFitnessPal’s massive 150m user data breach
- Facebook’s revamp of their privacy settings
- Things you should be aware of when it comes to your online privacy
- Google’s blog post about their mobile-first index migration plan
- Google’s recommendation on mobile-first best practices to follow
- Lazio reportedly scammed out of £1.75m transfer installment via email
- Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal and 150m users data breach
- Facebook’s announcement in revamping their privacy settings
- Facebook shutting down targeted advert feature
- LastPass Password Manager
- How to protect yourself online
Ahmed Khalifa: Welcome to This Week Online Today podcast with your host, Ahmed Khalifa, where I’ll be talking to you about the big online news that has been happening this week today to make sure that you are ahead of the game when it comes to running your online brand successfully.
At the end of the show, I’ll also be giving you a bonus tip of the week to help you further, so let’s get straight on to the show.
Google has started migrating sites to mobile-first index
What’s up, everyone? I am Ahmed Khalifa, and this is episode 48 of This Week Online Today podcast, and we’re going to start off straight away with Google who have said they are going to start rolling out their mobile-first indexing.
I’ve talked about this in episode 43, where they said they’re going to do it. They are actually starting to roll it out, and they have said on their website, on their blog, they said, “After a year and a half of careful experimentation and testing, we’ve started migrating sites that follow the best practises for mobile-first indexing,” and that essentially is all about looking at the mobile-first, how your site performs in mobile perspective because more and more people are searching through mobile, using their own mobile website, Google, whatever it is, so it’s really, really important that your experience on mobile is important.
It’s just really more important now than desktop, and this I what the kind of metric Google had been looking at is the desktop performance.
That’s going to change. It’s all about to change and this is, I’ve said it so many times actually, this is the time where if you don’t have a mobile version of website of some kind then you’re gonna fall behind so far. You really, really need to get on it.
Really the best thing for me, I recommend, is to have a responsive website because there are different ways and there are different technical ways of having a mobile version of a site. For example, you could actually have an m-dot example, like com-dot, that’s easy mobile version of a site.
But it’s a bit more complicated to organise them. To maintain it. Essentially almost like a separate website as well. You don’t want that. I think the best thing to do is have a responsive website. If you have that then it kind of covers almost everything.
Having said that, even if you have a mobile version of your site, an responsive site, and you think that you are complying with the best practises for what Google are recommending, you still need to keep an eye on how your users are behaving on mobile.
Using Google analytics and using whatever tool that you have to measure your performance, you need to make sure you’re on top of it. There are certain things that focus on button size and whether it’s easy to tap. Those things can affect your user experience on mobile.
So I’m gonna put the link in the shownotes of what Google say is the best practices for mobile-first indexing. It’s essential. It’s gonna happen and we can’t ignore it. We can’t ignore what the market is doing as well. They are all using mobile devices more and more now. We have to follow that. We have just go with it.
If you don’t use mobile version of your site, get on it quickly. Even though, actually, you know what? Now that I mentioned it, Google has say that if you don’t have a mobile version of a site, your desktop will be looked at and that will be fined apparently.
Because they’re saying, ‘Okay. If you don’t have mobile version of your site then it’s the same as the desktop version kind of thing.’
What’s the point of having a website with your desktop only and it’s not mobile friendly? What’s the point of that?
In this day and age it’s just mind boggling to me that even the very basic page or your most important page need to be mobile friendly. You don’t want that pinch and zoom anymore. Nobody wants that. So get on it. Mobile first, it’s happening.
A football club has fallen victim to an email scam
You know how we all receive those emails from some kind of prince somewhere where they said I need to transfer this money to you urgently, could you give your detail so I can transfer that 500 billion dollars and I’ll compensate you 10-percent for that. You know the kind of story I’m talking about?
We’ve all seen them and most of time we know that you shouldn’t be falling for that.
Having said that, there are some email scam that getting very clever and getting more difficult actually to differentiate the fake versus the genuine, and even from big brands.
This story is incredible because it just shows that it can happen to anybody. It, maybe like, in shock. I’m shocked about it because it’s happening in the football industry.
The story is the Italian club last year, they have been duped. They have been absolutely scammed by a scammer and they paid what’s supposed to be an installed player for a player called Stefan di Vrij and he played for a Dutch club for Feyenoord. Basically last year they were going to buy him from Feyenoord and they wanted to pay that last instalment which is 1.75 million pound, just to kind of confirm payment and all that kind of stuff.
The thing is though, the Italian club last year, they’d been tricked badly and they sent that 1.75 million pound to the wrong bank account in Holland by hackers. The hackers somehow they knew of this deal because sometime when your in the world of sports and football and whatever, it’s not always that straightforward in terms of how you know whose going to buy what. It’s always behind the scene kind of thing. There are rumours but you get to know what goes on behind the scene.
But these hackers, they knew about the deal. So they created a scam by email and last year received a message and it’s supposed to be, well it claims to be from Feyenoord. It asking … It included the bank details, asking for payment. Last year, sent them money but Feyenoord have not received the cash and they have no idea what they’re talking about in terms of email.
Apparently when they looked into the prosecutor, they looked into the case and it seems that when they tracked down the money it went to a Dutch bank account that did not belong to Feyenoord. What? Crazy.
I don’t know what happened to that player. That player is none the wiser. He’s just minding his own business and getting on with things. I don’t know if he’s going to move but that’s not the point. The point is a hacker somewhere managed to get 1-point-75 million pound from Lazio Football Club when it’s supposed to be for a transfer fee. I mean, this is just incredible.
I don’t think we’ll ever see what that email looks like. Does it look genuine? Is is supposed to be a template with colours and design or is it just a basic text saying here’s the bank details, could you send it to this address? Also, there’s no mention if they managed to find that, it’s a Dutch bank account but there’s no mention whether they managed to track down the hackers responsible for this.
I’ve said it so many times. I’m gonna keep saying it anyway. It just show that it can happen to anybody and it doesn’t matter who you are. People can be fooled. People can be tricked and you just have to be so careful when you’re dealing with anything online and just making sure that you are dealing with the right people, with genuine people.
Even as in this case, they thought they’re talking to the right people because they been communicating about this transfer. They been negotiating the deal. They’ve worked out the payment and worked out the instalment fees. They said okay, just let’s organise the payment. And they still just managed to get tricked by spammers, by hackers. It just shows that it can happen to anyone.
That’s why for me, when I talk about data, you need to be really careful. Be extra careful about who you talk to online. Think twice about who you communicating to. Even if it seems like it’s someone that you know, then it still needs to be careful about that email address. Look at that email address. Is it genuine? If you’re talking to any company out there, is it a genuine email address who contacted you because a lot of times you do hear people say we do not focus on, request your personal details and stuff like that.
But people still do that over email. Focus on, banks always say over the phone or email, we will never ask for your pin number. That’s good advice. Because if people send you an email saying send us your pin number, then that should raise an alarm.
Anyway, the moral of the story is be careful who you communicating to because you could get scammed, just like a well known football club out there.
MyFitnessPal’s massive 150m user data breach
Let’s continue on the whole cyber security thing because even though the previous news talked about it in terms of the football club that’s been scammed by email, even though that’s a big deal, that’s a lot of money as well, this next one is massive.
It seem that Under Armour, we know the sport retail clothes and outfit people … Under Armour who owns MyFitnessPal, the app, they have released a press release. They have admitted that 150 million users of the MyFitnessPal, the food and nutrition app, they had their user names, their email address and their hash passwords stolen in a data security breach and they’ve kind of admitted that happened.
150 million. Think about that. That is massive. It’s all relative in terms of like, oh yeah, but Lazio have lost 1.75 million but at the same time you look at this one, it’s just a lot of users lost their data for doing nothing really. Who knows? Did they do nothing? Is it their fault? We’ll find out because it seems that they’ve had … Well apparently it seems like nothing overly sensitive in terms of the social security number of card details and stuff like that. That hasn’t been stolen.
Also none of the health information about the users weight and what they ate and stuff like that. That hasn’t been stolen either. Luckily for all of us, if you’re using MyFitnessPal and you went down to McDonald’s, don’t worry the hackers do no know. You are safe.
One thing that has been picked up about whether … The reason for the hacking is because of the password. I’ve talked about password before. You need to be as secure as possible. Don’t use the same one in more than one website or whatever apps and tools that you use.
They all claim that the hackers, they kind of launch what they call a brute force guessing attack. And a brute force, it’s like, the simplest terms to describe it is when they keep hammering the login page with different ideas of user names and password. They kept hammering, and hammering, and hammering at it until they manage to crack their way in. There was a brute force guessing attack against the password.
What apparently is claimed that, these users and many people who are using online tools, they often not the best at choosing good passwords. That can happen. That means that it can be broken into. It still doesn’t explain the 150 million. I don’t know if it means 150 million people they’ve had their details hacked because of bad password because apparently according to Under Armour anyway, the spokesperson the app has around 225-million users. So obviously there’s a gap there. There’s 75 million users left and I don’t know, is it because they got lucky? Or is it because of strong password? Who knows? We just don’t know.
It just shows again, as another example of if you don’t have good password, it doesn’t matter what app you’re using because MyFitnessPal is a well known app and it’s owned by Under Armour, obviously well known, but it just doesn’t matter. You still need to protect yourself. I guess Under Armour will take some of the blame.
Maybe they’ve done something wrong on their part and they are looking into it. To be fair to them they admitted I think quite quickly, actually. Some people just keep quiet about it for a long time without telling anyone which is a bit cheeky. You shouldn’t do that.
Under Armour admitted it. They’ve released that press release and they are going to work on it from their end to kind of clean up any loopholes and any kind of area that need to be kind of covered up, kind of thing. But at the same time, it’s still out responsibility as user to make sure that you’re protecting yourself.
I said it before, if you don’t use password manager you are not going to be able to make every single website, tools, apps, that you log into, extremely difficult and extremely unique for every single one. It’s just not physically, humanly possible for our brain to do that. So you need to make sure that you get a password manager. My favourite is LastPass and that’s what I recommend. That will secure you like you won’t believe.
Don’t worry about thinking about, oh, I shouldn’t have all my passwords on there. Really, it actually more secure if you have an ultimate strong password protecting LastPass and you have every single password with unique password. That is more secure than you kind of giving, not putting your password on LastPass but writing weak password for all the website you’re using. Not just weak, but duplicate.
There are a lot of people out there, they may have two, three, four different password. But they use it across dozens and dozens of website. That doesn’t work. That’s not secure. There’s just no way in hell that is secure.
So you have to protect yourself. You gotta get that password manager going. I put the link in the show note of how you can do that and how also you can protect yourself online. Just get on it people. Please get on it.
Facebook’s revamp of their privacy settings
Finally, the last news I want to just mention briefly is the whole ongoing saga about Facebook who are under pressure, like unbelievable pressure in terms of just improving how it handles data and the information of the users. So there’s two parts to the story. I guess put it in one.
One of them is they kind of cutting ties with what they call data brokers. Ending partnership with large data brokers who help advertisers target people on Facebook. That is to protect the personal information of the users. That’s on the one side of it. It goes into so much more details that it’s not worth talking about it on the podcast. I put the link in the show note if you want to read more about it.
One thing I should say is that, obviously they’re going to continue advertising and whether you like it or not, the way it works, advertising is that they are going to know who you are. They are going to know your details and they start using your details to sell. To advertise. To get information about you and to sell it to advertisers. That’s how it’s going to work. Anyway, I’ll get back to that. I’ll come back to that in a moment.
One other thing also that Facebook has been working on is that they are … Another way of them to respond to the privacy crisis is that they have revamped their privacy tools making it easier to find. Basically it used to be kind of, especially on mobile, it used to be scattered in different places and it’s confusing.
Apparently, I’ve actually checked it, but apparently they’re doing this not only because of this but they’ve been thinking about doing it for awhile, but they had to kind of speed up the process and make it easier for people kind to go to this privacy section and look at how they want their post to be managed and seen by. Have control about what they share and have shared. Have the option of enabling 2-Factor Authentication which is very, very important.
It’s on top of having LastPass and password manager. 2-Factor Authentication, that’s also important. Also, to learn more about your ad preference and what ad you want to be seen and personalised or not personalised. It just get a lot more details than that.
So there’s a new page called ‘Access Your Information’. This is where you can evaluate the information that Facebook has shared and manage it. This is where you can kind of also delete anything from your timeline and your profile that you don’t want on Facebook.
Again, as I said, it’s apparently, even though people think they’re only doing it because of the whole situation with Cambridge Analytica, the whole data scandal, no. Apparently, they claim, that they’ve been thinking about doing it for a long time but they have kind of made it a top priority because of what’s been happening.
Things you should be aware of when it comes to your online privacy
So obviously, Facebook has been getting a lot of heat and it’s not going to slow down anytime soon it seems. However, I’ve got issue with this story as well because people keep picking on Facebook. But the thing is, more people realise there are so many other website, they take so much detail. Probably more than Facebook. It’s only because Facebook has had been on kind of mainstream news and the tech industry news, they getting picked on.
People don’t realise the likes of Google, for example, they know a heck of a lot about you without you realising it. They probably know more about you than you know about yourself. At the end of the day another thing people should realise is that if you are using something for free online, then there’s a good chance that you are the product, definitely a good chance you are the product and the service that you are using, the app or tool you are using, whoever it is, they selling ads which is based on your data.
That’s how it works. That’s how the online industry works. Even if you go on websites and visit website, that website will know who you are kind of thing, in terms of where did you come from, and what browser you’re using. What location in citywide or town wide you’re based in. What device your using. And it can get so much more details, believe me, it can.
It can happen to anybody. Here’s the thing. People kind of saying, I don’t want my details the be on Facebook. Well, I think there’s a lot of other companies you should also think about on top of Facebook. I’m not saying Facebook is kind of like, the scene of privacy. They’re not. But I think people should be aware of that. They should be careful.
And for me, what I say to you, if you’re asking me how to completely protect yourself online and be completely private, my advice to you is, that mobile you have, delete everything you have in there. Delete your profile. Delete even your mobile account and disconnect the internet. Close down the computer and just don’t go online, ever. That’s the best advice I can give you. That is pretty much the only way you can go 100% private.
Even if you go private online, you still have to do whatever offline. I’m talking like, you give your details to the bank and the government, all these things. They know about you as well. So let’s not get all crazy about privacy.
And by the way, I’m a big advocate of privacy. I use a lot of privacy based tools. But even I know that it’s impossible to be 100-percent private online. And I’m gonna admit that. I’m not gonna be a saint about saying oh you shouldn’t be private, you shouldn’t use Google. No way. It’s not gonna happen. But I’m just trying to limit my information as much as possible. That’s all I can do right now.
But if you want to be 100% offline and online 100% private then don’t go online ever. Kind of, don’t have a bank account. Live in the woods somewhere. Just live that simple, basic lifestyle that people used to do hundreds and hundreds of years ago. That’s probably the best way the do it. If that’s not appropriate then I don’t really know, what can I say?
So, yeah. That’s my rant about privacy.
Like I said, don’t just look at Facebook. Look at every single tool that you’re using. Look at who is kind of connected with each other in terms of if you have logged in to certain website with Facebook, you signed in with Facebook or Twitter or whatever, look at that connection again and you may need to disconnect it manually.
Make sure you go on, for example, Facebook and look at what other apps is it connected to and clean that up. Cause you might be connected to certain apps that you are not using at all and you’d be surprised, if you go in your privacy section and look at your connected apps, you’d be surprised to know that, I’m sure for a lot of people listening, that they’re gonna be connected to apps that they’re thinking, how did I get in that? Or I completely forgot about that. Or, I really need to remove it. If you don’t need to use it, delete it.
That’s another way of kind of cleaning up your privacy. Get a bit more safer, security kind of thing. But again, not just Facebook. Do it for everyone. For Google, for Twitter, for any other website that connects apps together and that kind of stuff. It’s up to you. It’s your responsibility as well.
Bonus Tip of the Week
And now time for the bonus tech of the week. This week I’m gonna be talking about the whole aspect of relationship and honest kind of thing. It might be geared, slightly, toward affiliate marketing but in general it should be applied to anything. Not just life as well, but certain aspect of business when you’re dealing with clients and customers.
You should always focus on relationship first. So if I’m going to talk about affiliate marketing for example, a big part of it is about trust. You need to first of all, build up trust. When you build up trust, you build that relationship with your audience and you have that connection.
Then when you start kind of recommending products, that’s where you’re going to use your honesty into play because you can’t just recommend any products that you feel like it has a good commission that you get a good pay out of it. No. You need to be honest about it.
If it’s good or bad, you need to tell them that. You need to say that this is a product I find good because x, y and z. I think you guys will love. If you have that good relationship already they’re gonna trust you now and then they’re gonna click on your link and you get that commission. That’s how it work.
But imagine if you kind of recommended a product that either you didn’t really check on it, you didn’t really try it out or it actually not very good but because of high commission you wanted to get a good, quick buck kind of thing. Then you kind of recommend.
People click on it and they have a bad experience and it’s kind of obvious that they’re gonna have a bad experience. Because of that they’re going to kind of lose trust in you and when you lose trust in someone it’s very, very hard to get it back again or take a long time to get it back up again. Is it worth it? Is it worth losing your audience for just a quick buck? I’m gonna say no.
You need to be honest with your audience. You need to be transparent and you need to build that relationship with the. And that’s why for me, sometime, people forget about in the world bots and AI and all these automation stuff, they do help. They’re great. They’re powerful. They can really help you filter out the non-relevant stuff and then you get the strong leads for example.
But at the end of the day, nothing’s going to replace human relationship. Being focused on that person, whether it’s one on one or more than that. Just being there for your audience.
If they trust you then things can only get better from that, in terms of your business. Your life and stuff like that. If we’re gonna talk about affiliate marketing again, then the whole aspect of relationship, that will kind of lay the foundation for an effective affiliate marketing. So that’s my tip for you this week. Focus on relationship first.
Thank you for listening to this episode of This Week Online Today. I really do appreciate it and I hope you found it useful. If you have enjoyed the show, please do leave review on I tunes. It would mean the world to me. I really would appreciate that.
Thank you again. You rock. And one more thing, I just want to remind you to do your thing because it matters.
And I’ll see you next week.
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