Welcome to episode 50 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:
- The whole fiasco with Mark Zuckerberg in Congress, with some weird questions asked
- What people don’t realise when using “free” platforms online
- How to check if your Facebook profile has been used by Cambridge Analytica
- The latest addition to the new Google Search Console tool
- Google updating mobile seach results and showing ‘More Results’ instead of next
- A malicious site which stealing your password and blackmailing you for Bitcoin
- How to be notified if your email and password is not compromised during data breach
- Brief overview of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg standing before Congress
- How to check if your Facebook profile has been compromised and used by Cambridge Analytica (make sure you are logged in)
- Google’s update on the new addition to the new Google Search Console
- Google’s latest update mobile search result with the use of ‘More Results’ instead of ‘Next’
- The malicious site which is stealing your passwords and will leak it if you don’t pay in Bitcoin
- Have I Been Pwned – How it can notify you of any data breach that you are registered with
Welcome to This Week Online Today podcast with your host, Ahmed Khalifa, 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. So let’s get straight on to the show.
What’s up everyone, I am Ahmed Khalifa and this is Episode 50 of This Week Online Today, loved our little landmark, always celebrate your little wins, and today I’m just celebrating the fact that I’ve reached 50 episodes of my podcast, my podcasts because I had two. I had a first one, it changed to This Week Online Today, and I love it. I’m just going to keep on going.
The Baffling Fiasco Around Mark Zuckerberg at Congress
And let’s go straight to the news which is a bit of a headache this week, the whole thing with Mark Zuckerberg, Congress situation, it’s so confusing.
The big thing I’m finding right now is, where do we get information from in terms of what happened and that kind of stuff? Because we’re seeing a lot of like memes and funny videos and weird photographs, and kind of like making jokes about it and stuff like that. There are genuine articles but it’s just hard to find one really good source where they explain everything in detail and the question that were asked, I just don’t get it.
But anyway, obviously, for those who don’t know, Mark Zuckerberg has decided to accept the invitation of stand before Congress to explain the situation of Facebook, especially around the whole data privacy regulation issue.
And, it’s a funny one because it kind of gone a bit dramatic I feel, because a lot of people re not aware what happen when you use free products online. If it’s free, you are the product. They’re going to use your details, and advertisers can use it to make money out of it, and Facebook ultimately will make money out of you being a product. And I think we just have to accept that.
If you don’t like it, you just don’t use Facebook, that’s it. But then eventually, you’re going to get fomo, and you know, everyone there, and you will miss out, you’ll feel like you’re missing out on stuff, so can you do, can you give up Facebook, and other social media and Google, all these ones, not just Facebook? Tough, that’s quite tough actually I think. In this day and age, I think it’s normal now to use them.
Anyway, going off track here. It’s kind of gone a bit crazy, because people are not aware of what happens when you use this website, and then when you learn more about it, it’s gone a bit dramatic, maybe over dramatic in some sense, about “oh my god, Facebook used my life and what I’m like on there to sell to advertisers, that I like dogs, and they’re going to advertise dog food to me? OMG”.
That kind of stuff.
So, this whole congress situation, the few videos that I have watched, some are general stuff to ask about should we have some kind of regulation to monitor social media, and how can we better improve our data regulation and how to protect yourself and how to stop people from abusing it, just like the whole situation with Cambridge Analytica, that was obviously a concern for a lot of people.
But then some of the questions baffled me, absolutely baffled me, and when you have Mark Zuckerberg, I think 33 years old, I think, and you see him there, sitting there, and he’s getting questioned by people more than double his age, for a few of them, and maybe I’m wrong, but if feels like some of them either don’t know what Facebook is or haven’t used Facebook, or … are a bit clueless about how it works, and about how the internet works and about how online businesses works
For example, when one person asked Mark Zuckerberg about … “the product is free”?, and he goes “yes, it’s free”, so “how do you sustain yourself, how do you sustain this business model”?, and Zuckerberg obviously says, “Senator, we run ads, that’s it”. I think that’s kind of obvious. If people who are maybe going to be asking Zuckerberg about this, you think you kind of get clued up on how things work, but I’m kind of baffled my that, it’s just weird, just weird.
And people are asking questions like, there’s another one asking about, “if I send an email with a WhatsApp?” What? What does that mean? You can’t do that!
And, “if I send an email with a WhatsApp, can you see it”? Zuckerberg says, “no, it’s encrypted”, “yeah but that’s not what I’m asking, but can you see it”? And I think Zuckerberg had to be kind of, use the PR language in a way, where you kind of answer the question without getting involved into anything too deep, political and [inaudible 00:05:41], politically correct answer, even, and it’s just mind-boggling.
But … I don’t know what’s going to happen now, apparently there’re regulations and stuff, Facebook is trying up and improve things in the background and I believe there’s been something happening in terms of how you use your custom audience, for example, and the kind of thing that developers can get from the API, and if they want to make their own tools out of Facebook’s API, the thing going on in the background which could affect you, it could affect how you use it in the future, in advertising and everything else.
And of course there’s also, I’ll put the link in the show notes, but there’s also a link there, if you want to check whether your data has been compromised and used by Cambridge Analytica, Facebook has put in a tool there where if you log in, you’ll be able to look at your data, ironically, and see whether your data has been compromised and used by Cambridge Analytica.
So I checked it myself, it seems like I’m not, but it’s never 100% guaranteed, I think it just says, if you’ve, it doesn’t look like that’s what Facebook says, it doesn’t look like your data has been compromised, all right okay thank you.
So, that’s been a funny week, and I don’t know what’s going to happen next, and I think people are talking about regulations acts, to monitor it closely, but will what happen? I have no idea whatsoever.
Google Add New Feature to the New Google Search Console
Now there’s been a couple of Google-related news obviously happening recently, and one of them is about the new google search console. If you’re not aware of it, you should have access to it. If you have google search console, you cm see in the top left-hand corner of your own website, of the google search console that you kind of link together, that you can access it. And it’s in beta programme, it’s still not complete, google’s still adding to it.
So the latest thing that google have added to the new google search console is the appearance filter, and this is a really really old one but as I say, they’re adding to the new one, and the appearance filter is where you can compare of filter what you call “rich results” and also some of the AMP results, the quick ones, and anything like AMP articles, even job listings and job details, you can filter those as well.
🔥 Search Appearance filter now available in the New Search Console 🙌 along with a few more visual updates:
⬇️Export option now available on validation details page
🏷️Exported compare columns now have labels pic.twitter.com/lYuQSVeftp
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) April 11, 2018
And it just allows you to see for example, if you want to see how well your AMP articles are doing, you can filter and it will give you that information, and then maybe you want to compare AMP and non-AMP, and that kind of stuff. It’s kind of confusing to explain, check out the show notes, and there’s a gif there from google, that will explain to you how it works.
So, it’s kind of useful, I think we need to get used to the new google search console, they keep adding to it and they’re going to remove the old one, and it’s completely different in terms of the layout and stuff like that.
Google Updating Mobile Search Result with ‘More Results’ Instead of ‘Next’
So that’s one news. The other one also a bit difficult to explain in podcasts, you can’t see it, so I’m going to try my best. Basically, on mobile, what they have is, when you search for a particular item, you have at the top the images and you have the related questions, what people may ask.
There is also a section, sandwiched between the images and related searches, about more results. So it’s a weird one because it can allow you to get more search results on mobile, you have to tap on that. So it’s not like … the next button, the next button will take you to the next page.
So, this one actually is like a load more kind of thing, but go down below. So, it’s interesting, again I think you need to check the show notes again and look at the gif that google has provided, but they said, “more the button it makes it easier and faster to get more search results on mobile.”
We’ve launched a new “More results” button that makes it easier & faster to get more search results on mobile. Now additional listings load below the ones already being viewed, rather than the old “Next” button that would load an entirely new page…. pic.twitter.com/A4ZMXFlwd0
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) April 11, 2018
So, if that’s going to happen they we’re not going to be able to see page 1 or page 2 of google, if you want to analyse it, that’s going to be quite tricky. I’m not certain about, is it going to still look at if you’re ranking 11, 12, 13, is that still going to be the same, is it still going to be “page 2”, when you click on more results? It’s uncertain, it’s all still quite new there.
So this is all very very different to what we’re used to, and pressing next is going to be more, more results instead, so check that out, check that out on your mobile, go to google and see if that works for you.
Malicious Site Taking & Leaking Your Password to Blackmail for Bitcoin
The final news this week is a scary one, and though it’s a scary one when you talk about security, which I always talk about as well.
So, there is a website out there that I urge everyone to use, it’s called “Have I Been Pwned“, pawned is spelt p-w-n-e-d, it’s a play on words kind of thing. And it’s created by a security expert called Troy Hunt, and basically it allows you to check if you have an account that has been compromised in a data breach, and what you do I you put your email addresses into that website and it will tell you whether you have that email compromised somewhere in any of the websites that you have used, maybe they’ve had a breach, and you have been notified if that has happened.
So it’s a good website for you to check, just keep on top of whether any of your email addresses, and there’s a good chance we all have more than 1, have they been compromised or not and notified you. If it has, it urges you to change your password normally. It’s kind of a good way to keep on top of things.
So it’s a very well-known website that you should check, I’ve put the link in the show notes, check it out.
However, there is an equivalent, what we would call a malicious copycat version of “Have I Been Pwned” and basically it will reveal your password in text and show it to everyone, unless you pay crypto currency ransom. And that’s literally how it works, you put your details in there and if you don’t pay them, they’re going do display your password to the world really, unless you pay them bitcoin and other kinds of cryptocurrency out there.
So, that’s kind of scary because it will display your leaked password over anything that has been compromised, and I’ve got an article that you can have a loot at and read about it, but in the article, for security reasons, they haven’t linked to that website, because they don’t want anybody to get it, they don’t want it to get into the hands of the wrong people because, but essentially, maybe it’s not in mainstream right now, maybe people are still used to using “Have I Been Pwned”, they’re not aware of this, so lets keep it that way. I think it’s a better thing the do.
But, I think the important thing to be aware of is that is you wanted to use a service that notifies you in case of a data breach, whatever online accounts that you have, with your email, use “Have I Been Pwned”, I’ll but the link in the show notes, that’s the correct one. Do not use these malicious ones, you know you might not even be aware of it, and that’s a sad thing.
You might not be aware that you’re using a malicious version of “Have I Been Pwned”. So be aware of that, be aware of where you’re putting your details and I think that applies to any website and online and emails and whatever, if you click on an email link and stuff like that, make sure you know where your putting your details, make sure you, sometimes it’s actually better if you type in the URL by yourself, instead of following the links from different places online.
In most cases It would be okay but you still have to be aware where you clicked on that link and where it’s taking you, and make sure that that website is legitimate, and they will not abuse it, they will not demand ransom, or bitcoin.
So I think that’s scary, that’s a very very scary thing, so just keep an eye on that, and be careful, always be careful online.
Bonus Tip of the Week
And now, time for the tip of the week!
I was going to keep on talking about the whole thing with the “Have I Been Pwned”, I was going to mention about the important of using the password manager and why you should use it. But I thought I would keep it separate, talk about it now and say “you need to have a password manager”, and if you don’t have one, I’ll put the link in the show notes to why you should have one, how it can help you, and kind of allay any fear that you may have about a password manager.
So, you might think that this is the bonus tip of the week, but it’s not, I’m going to give you another one, because I think it’s just important to point it out.
But, my bonus tip of the week, it’s a very very simple one, for anyone who’s using social media, that’s a lot of people, to promote their business, or get engagement or that kind of thing, and the very simple tip is: if you want to get more engagement to your tweets, and Facebook and whatever, is to include images, it’s very very simple.
So this has been studied in the past, it show that any posts and tweets and that kind of stuff with images gets more engagement. And it’s no surprise really that the likes of Instagram especially, and also Pinterest, they’ve been getting lot of traction because they’re very image focused platforms. So that’s not really a surprise, people like that, people engage with it more, instead of just text and big chunky, heavy text kinds of things.
So you should always do that, you should always try, where possible, even if you have to embed it yourself or attach it yourself manually, it’s worth it in the long run. So you should always think about doing that, and if you don’t have one ready, you can always use platforms like Canvas, which is what i love using, and create quick images for your social media.
And on top of that, to ensure that in most places it appears automatically so that for example, your main image appears automatically on twitter or Facebook, you need to make sure that you have a couple of, not technical, but it’s kind of something that you need to add, if you have words per day, and for Twitter, it’s called “Twitter Card”, and for Facebook, it’s called, what is it called, I can’t even remember off the top of my head now … “Facebook Open Profile”, something like that. Oh god, it’s just slipped my mind!
Basically, what it is is that you need to have these, it’s like a piece of code that you put on your site to ensure that people will, well if you copy and paste a link and you put it on your social media, on twitter or something like that, they it’ll be able to bring up the header image that is on that link, and that will allow you to get more engagement. SO it’s kind of cool if you can do that.
So while you’re doing that- oh I think I’ve got it in my mind now, “Facebook Open Graph”, that’s what it’s called, “Open Graph” and “Twitter Card” you need to have them there, and the easiest way to do that it, if you’re using WordPress, then most likely you’re using [inaudible 00:17:40] blogging, and yours will have a section in there, settings about social media, and it will allow you to create these codes without really doing any work at all. It allows you to be able to have an image embedded when people are sharing the links of your site, as long as you have images on your site, on your page. Got there in the end!
So, bonus tip of the week, embed your images or attach your images, or make sure you have “Twitter Card” of “Facebook Open Graph” in your social media accounts so that you get more engagement.
Thank you for listening to this episode of This Week Online Today, I really hope you appreciate it and I hope you find it useful. If you have enjoyed this show, please do leave a review on iTunes, it would mean the world to me, I really would appreciate that.
Thank you again, you rock, and one more thing, I just to remind you to do your thing, because it’s massive, and I’ll see you next week.
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