Friday, December 30, 2005

Register Now for the 2006 Identity Theft Summit!

This might be something worth checking out especially from the Internet and the unsolicited email front.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: CA Dept. of Consumer Affairs
Date: Dec 27, 2005 3:10 PM
Register Now for the 2006 Identity Theft Summit!

Department of Consumer Affairs Consumer Update
Consumer Update ID Summit Sub Banner

Visit Us Online

California Department
of Consumer Affairs
1625 North Market Blvd.
Sacramento, CA, 95834
(800) 952-5210

CA Dept. of Consumer Affairs Consumer Updates


December 27, 2005

The Schwarzenegger Administration presents the second identity theft summit, Teaming Up Against Identity Theft: A Summit on Solutions, on Thursday, February 23, 2006, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, as California helps lead the fight against our nation's fastest-growing financial crime.

Interactive training sessions and a Technology Expo will be available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for consumers, merchants, higher education administrators, law enforcement and legal professionals, businesses, notaries, government agencies, and the news media. An on-site Victim Clinic also will be available for those who are seeking solutions to their identity theft problems. Registration is free, however, class sizes are limited.

Sponsored by the California State and Consumer Services Agency, the California Department of Consumer Affairs, and the California Office of Privacy Protection, the one-day summit is again being hosted by the California District Attorneys Association.

To register, click to the Online Registration Page. Visit to learn more about sponsorship, workshops and other event activities.

Professional Web Services, Inc. Internet marketing services, online advertising strategies, web branding solutions to provide more sales for your business.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

SPAM Advertising

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade Search Engine SPAM Advertising

Kids today know what spam is but when I was younger spam was something else entirely.

When I was in the Boy Scouts my friends were really into eating SPAM. Some of them it seems would live on it. For me though, I don't believe that I ever tried the Hormel Foods product, SPAM.

What makes this story interesting is the fact that Hormel turned their website into something of an advertising parody to take advantage of and advertise their SPAM food products. This is really turning lemons into lemonade.

It's the Official SPAM Home Page. The one in good taste. Like SPAM Luncheon Meat.

Don't be shy. Explore. See if you can find all of the great interactive features scattered throughout the site. (Here's a hint... check out SPAM in Time.)

The history of the name dates back to 1937 when the company coined the term and it became a famous trademark. Unfortunately the name brings out the unsolicited commercial email meaning, UCE more than the original trademark term.

Hormel looked upon the day with trepidation when the term SPAM would not be remembered for the great food product that they had come to build up but for the UCE that was proliferating on the World Wide Web through the millions of emails sent.

Ultimately, we are trying to avoid the day when the consuming public asks, "Why would Hormel Foods name its product after junk e-mail?"

The day may be sooner than Hormel envisioned when the meaning of this famous food product would be subjugated by a common Internet term, spam.

Maybe this is a lesson for all businesses to be continually aware of their trademarks and constantly be on the lookout for Can Spam brand diluting slogans.

For Internet marketing services, online advertising strategies, Website branding solutions, ethical SEO, search engine optimization to increase sales for your business contact us today. Be sure to ask for a free website evaluation.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Some Content Providers Generate Spam

Certain Online Content Providers Seem to Generate More Spam From Their Websites Than Others.

Some things really tick me off.

I wanted to submit a site to the Yahoo! Search Engine for free but the only way I can submit the site is by registering for an online E-mail account with them. But, I do not want an account with them.

Past history has shown that there was tons of spam from emails with the Yahoo Domain Name address when I did have an account with them a couple of years ago.

I was able to submit a site to the other two major search engines with very little effort. Both Google and MSN made it very easy to submit the site by providing a coded entry point to protect from spam bots themselves. All one has to do to submit a web site on both of these search engines was enter a site url.

On the other hand Yahoo! attempts to collect personal information at this point in time that makes very little sense for them to have to collect it here. It seems as though this is just a way of getting more contacts for their advertisers to send unsolicited emails to. This is only my opinion, but their privacy policy does state that they do share information with advertisers "trusted partners". They go about this in a round about way. First they say they do not share:
Yahoo! does not rent, sell, or share personal information about you with other people or nonaffiliated companies ...
Then they say they do share:
We provide the information to trusted partners who work on behalf of or with Yahoo! under confidentiality agreements. These companies may use your personal information to help Yahoo! communicate with you about offers from Yahoo! and our marketing partners.
See link

I wonder how many affiliated companies, trusted partners they have. Could it be thousands or more? Who knows? What do they consider a trusted partner?

These are just a few of the questions that I would want to ask.

I could try to send them an email but in the past when I attempted to contact them about other matters there was no response.

Any case, I just wanted to voice my frustration here a little. I now feel better.

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Spamming Marketing

Pictures speak louder than words when it comes to showing the type of virus spam marketing comments going on on the Internet. Do not fall for this type of Internet marketing spam on any of your blogs. These types of marketing comments are online advertising junk. Throw them away as quickly as possible.

To make sure you are not getting advertising spam junk on your blog, make sure you set up email notification for comments in the control panel area of the blog.

Everyone needs to be personally diligent in stomping out this type of virus technology behavior.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

B2B, B2C, & C2C Link Farming

Stay around long enough on the World Wide Web and you will get quite a collection of unsolicited emails asking to trade links.

Trading B2B and B2C marketing links is not necessarily good or bad.

I have certain criteria that I follow anytime I place a link in any webpage or ask for a link back to a specific page on a website.

Marketing Question I Ask:

"What am I attempting to accomplish by placing a specific marketing link right here?"

To really answer that question involves more of an online marketing strategy rather than some people placing a search engine strategy first. Typically 90% of all reciprocal requests for links are nothing more than a path to a (link farm). Link Farms are nothing more than a page with a whole bunch of keyword links all found in one place. Many directories are turning into this.

The webmaster on a farm site is attempting to increase that particular page exposure in the natural search results in order to try to move up the placement in the keywords searches. Most times these types of pages have very little or no original content with only tons of online advertising and of course the links themselves. Other times an unethical webmaster will copy large chunks of text body from another site and not follow proper writing syntax by not block quoting large blocks of body text or properly placing quotes with-in the text. Some have even taken to outright plagiarism and complete copyright infringement by not giving any credits to the original articles while attempting to pass them off as their own.

Marketing Strategy Linking

The beauty of writing on the Web is how one idea can lead to two or more adjoining concepts. Similar to the term side bar, when attorneys are adjudicating their case in a court of law and clarification should be given by a judge, Or, when a side note is necessary for a better explanation of a written article, the internal and external links on a web page can provide substantially more informative information related to concepts within the main text. Not only is this type of linking natural but it really helps the reader in their understanding. The choice is theirs on whether they click or not.

Marketing on the web provides a means to let your products or services shine on the Internet. By providing relevant and informative online information internal links will give a reader more information about the products or services offered. Readers will most assuredly appreciate clarification on various topics. By providing an external link that may have even more detailed or technical information and tying it to the article on your site can help even more in marketing your company. People will remember where excellent info can be found, and readers (potential customers) are more likely to return in the future.

Back on the Farm

What many Webmasters are failing to realize is search engine algorithms are looking more and more unfavorable to both the link farm concept as well as the copying of intellectual property in the form of website content. Algorithms are evolving exponentially in what can be cross referenced, compared, and evaluated for content, links, grammar style, syntax, context, language usage, idioms, particular usages of special key characters and even mis<>spellings give indications of original content. B2B and B2C reciprocal linking foolish Email requests based on an assumption that the search algorithms are going to continue to move a webpage up in the natural results when it is nothing more than a hollow page is foolish indeed.

Proper Usage of HyperLinks

While much of this article is given to the side of the foolish email requests there is much to be said for doing it properly. The Web after all is about Free links. Think of the entire Internet as one Great Big Website. This Great Big Website is composed of many different pages including: Search Engines, Directories, Topical Sites i.e. (sports, news, medicine), And B2B, B2C, & C2C Websites. Navigation on the Internet is through hyperlinks. In fact your browser becomes both an extension of the Web in the form of bookmarks or favorites plus a tool for navigation through the Net.

Most websites are composed of some sort of central theme or themes. Entrance to a sub topic on a site often occurs through search. Providing a logical hypertext linking structure enables readers to follow their thoughts. If a hypertext link takes a reader to another logical site then a handshake has occurred. Everyone is happy, your website, theirs, and the online search algorithm. This then provides a vote of confidence to both the readers and the search engines.

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Note: Improper comments, and virus marketing hyperlinks will summarily be removed.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Identity Theft eMissions

Protecting ones identity is becoming an impossible eMission

New emissions of our private data are flowing out faster than a speeding bullet.

Take for example recent stories of employees working in banking, mortgage companies, credit card processing centers, and even ISP service providers stealing the information right under the noses of management. Data collected ranges everything from private email addresses, phone numbers, drivers licenses, home and business addresses, and social security numbers.

Once this information is collected a person can do just about anything they want with it. In fact, the scams are so much of a problem that there is no end in sight as to how this will continue to affect us in the future. We are told and rightly so to not open any unsolicited emails such as ebanking scams, where viruses can be riding in the message. Once an email is opened it can infect your computer by actually installing spy programs that can see where you have been and what passwords have been typed on your keyboard. But, we seem to have much bigger legal issues problems going on on the world wide web.

The Internet certainly has helped us with NEW information at our fingertips but the downside is that IT information flows at the speed of light and having the information flowing in the wrong hands can really cause a black hole for consumer privacy and all types of illegal activities.

Federal officials not immune to ID theft

This is such a blight that even federal officials are victims. Data from the FDIC was stolen and then at least 28 Employees fell victim to ID theft with having fraudulent loans opened in the names of the employees.

So, what can be done? What is the "RX prescription" to fight against this type of crime?

Better security for our data at all the Institutions

That is an easy answer but hard to accomplish. There really is nothing holding any institution accountable. In fact whenever data has been stolen they simply say oops. (paraphrased) Part of the problem here is that data is handled sometimes at remote locations around the world. Some businesses in order to cut E-business costs have farmed local, state, and national data handling offshore with foreign eyes viewing private info. Identity theft is not only happening in America but online reports are coming in internationally from Canada, the UK, and other G8 member states.

Unreported e-Criminal cases

Another major issue about this reported e-crime is, I suspect, there are many more unreported incidences of this criminal activity. If a company finds out that information has been stolen why would they want to bring on bad publicity upon themselves? Imagine all the small local institutions that have much to lose if they get a reputation of having their eSecurity systems breached. Would customers want to continue banking at the small local bank or even continue doing business at your neighborhood automotive service center? No, these guys are not going to report this crime.

So, where does that leave us?

Identity theft will continue to be the number one crime and will skyrocket in the next few years until something is done

Start with your business. Implement secure ecommerce Web Sites. Then make sure you implement an ethics policy at the HR hiring level and company wide workers level training in ethical principles involved in ecommerce. Include a system of checks and balances within the company structure to keep a check on this type of activity. Certainly where secure data is being handled, E-mail activity should probably be avoided or monitored for security purposes. Do not allow any USB keys, flash cards, CD duplication, or any other type of transfer device. Prevent unauthorized software programs from being installed on enterprise systems which could be used in online file transfers.

Article by: James A. Warholic, President Professional Web Services, Inc. Internet marketing and Online advertising services.


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Saturday, July 02, 2005

Email Catch All and Spam

The days of using a "Catch ALL" Email, are all but over.

The practice of using one of the company email boxes for a "Catch ALL" means that the company might be opening themselves up to major search engines Spam attacks, Phishing, and Pharming Attacks.

Years ago and still goes on today the practice that if someone sends an email to the wrong addressed location the mail would still get through via the general mail box even if someone accidentally mistyped the address. Or, when an employee was no longer employed with a company it would still get delivered to another account no matter what. There may even have been practical marketing applications for this practice. Sometimes companies would have special promotions and/or current activities and having a new name to represent this for email without having to go into the control panel to create a new account was easy.

Today, this practice opens up a means for spammers to find a mail server that has this type of drop box and literally create any name they want as a return address with your company domain name as the sender. By doing this, spammers can load up an email with Windows viruses and get a double whammy. They can send out unsolicited emails to the world wide web and anyone receiving it if the receiver clicks on the return address as a reply they will think that everything is OK because it looks like a reputable company and the email did not get kicked back.

So, today if you want to create special names for mail, spend the little bit of extra time and set up a dedicated box or forward ONLY the special name without having an open drop box. If you don't you may CATCH ALL more than you want.

Internet Marketing Ethics

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Cheap Software For Sale Beware Spam

Many times during the day I receive E-mail from sources I have never subscribed to.

A friend was asking me about one of these emails and the discounted software titles that were available. I mentioned to him about software pirates in other countries shipping copied software that looked like the real thing.

Personally, I would not trust any email from a source that I did not subscribe to on the world wide web. A number of factors to consider.

One: If you give credit card billing and E-mail information online to these companies you have no idea what they are going to do with it. Are they going to feed it to the BOTs, sell it to other non-reputable companies, steal your identity, and compromise your privacy?

: Even if your order the product you may never get it and then have to go back to the credit card company and register a notarized affidavit stating what happened.

Third: Is the software product actually going to function or is the key a copied key that the software company can turn off because multiple copies all have the same lock.

Fourth: When you go to register the product you bought, if it is stolen, the company will find out from cross referencing information.

Fifth: Is it worth it in the long run to run the risk of buying stolen intellectual property?

My personal feeling is do not fall victim to this type of marketing, advertising, and sales scam.

Now, as one of the syndicated radio shows says, "Now, go do the right thing."

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Credit Cards Thieves

This really ticks me off!

I read this article today about how 40 million credit cards are at risk. This on the heals of 10 million Americans having sensitive information stolen from ChoicePoint card processing services which could be used for identity theft.

Apparently the credit card processing center was infiltrated by a rogue program that was harvesting credit card numbers from MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover Card, and a number of others.

All ready there have been over 68,000 fake charges to accounts.

Now for the big rub.

No one is going to do anything about it. They are going to leave it up to individual card members to double check and verify charges made. The processing center is leaving it up to the Credit Card Companies and the Credit Card Companies are leaving it up to the individuals to catch fake charges.

The article stated that new cards could be re-issued with new numbers but the bean counters feel it would be too expensive at a cost of over 1 billion dollars. So instead management has decided to do nothing. Further more, they are not even going to tell the people who had their personal card information stolen.

So now, not only do we have to worry about thieves stealing our wallets and website scam thefts for our personal information but now we have to consider the theft of our card numbers through all the financial institutions. Is it any wonder that identity theft is on the rise?

Financial institutions need to develop better security measures to fight against this.

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For info about crimes against business visit the Crime Prevention Service

Friday, June 17, 2005

Pharming for Information

Just when your thought your were secure with the phishing attacks come the pharming attacks.

Image copyright
Posted by Hello™
Now there is a new concern for all of us using the Internet for conducting business and personal use that is more severe than the email phishing scams. Pharming is the new scam that is starting to show up and users unfortunately have little control on this new crime that is coming upon us.

Pharming is occurring at the DNS server level. How this works is, the DNS servers or "domain name servers" are located all over the world and essentially store a url address to direct a person using a browser to the website. In this latest scam the scammer infiltrates the DNS server and redirects the person to a different location for the website being typed in the browser. The website that may be displayed is a bogus site that for all intensive purposes, looks like the real thing. Then a person typing login information at this bogus site can have their information stolen and be recorded for future criminal activity in the form of identity theft or other types of online stealing and offline crimes.

Ways of fighting this war needs to occur at the server side of the equation. Sites that need to have a login or private information shared should incorporate a SSL, Secure Sockets Layer and a digital security certificate to verify to the user that the website is the real thing. Unfortunately this is still not being done at many of the largest financial institutions. In fact some of these institutions do not use a secure login at all.

To check if your institution has a secure login, a small lock appears in the locked position on the bottom corner of the browser page. This represents that the information that is typed on that page is shielded from others on the Internet. Click here for an example of a secure Login

OK, What can you do to stop this crime?

Start with your bank and credit card companies and insist that they develop secure logins. Verify and insist that your private information on every site requesting confidential info remains private and is not shared with any outside sources. This can be tricky because some so called privacy policies are not actually privacy policies at all but a legal document allowing them to share and exchange info with others.

For more related info browse our blogs and visit our internet marketing and online advertising website for help with your online marketing strategies. Feel free to email this article to a friend or colleague by clicking on the email post below.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Spamming lawsuit

Legal Battle Brewing
A legal battle is brewing for those that are sending spam and hijacking email addresses.

When a company hijacked an email address and sent out unsolicited emails to hundreds of addresses online they had no idea that they picked a lawyer for the e-mail as the return sender.

According to the article a company had hired a firm to promote the company's stock and had no idea as to what the promoter had done in the form of spamming.

Well, this lawyer has had it. Not only did it cause him extensive time dealing with an overloaded mailbox and the potential for lost customers but also a credibility issue with his name. He is now bringing a lawsuit against the companies involved.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. People are getting tired of this type of activity. I have customers that have been so polluted with spam that they are switching to another email address.

It is just a matter of time when some large company hires an email marketing firm that does something like this on a larger scale. Imagine what this could do not only for the bad PR that would be generated but also it could have a major financial impact if more lawsuits like this occur.

Bottom line conclusion

Be careful who you hire to do your e-mail marketing, and even then, mistakes might happen.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Spammed By Tracking Beacons

Reading an email could be an unhealthy diet for your computer and YOU!
by: James A. Warholic

Email advertising is becoming more intrusive everyday. People are packing emails with everything from cookies, JavaSript, Flash advertisements, and even the new tracking beacons. Tracking beacons are a type of web beacon bug that actually are embedded in the e mail or website.

Tracking beacons embedded in an email carry serious privacy concerns. Information is transmitted back to the sender with identifiable information, plus every time the message is viewed, the information is re-broadcasted to the senders site.

Imagine if you receive a message forwarded to you from a friend and unbeknownst to anyone reading it, that information is being tracked back to the sender about you or your friend.

How To Fight Back

Vigilance is probably the most important thing in order to help protect yourself and your computer. Do not forward spam. Do not open unsolicited email without first checking it through an email notification type program. These types of programs allow you to filter out the spam before downloading it to your main program. If any suspicious messages are seen here, simply delete them before downloading to your computer.


This intrusive type of activity is on the rise. ISPs & businesses are starting to block a large percentage of emails received, even to the point of blocking significant emails from reputable companies. Email marketing costs can be significant, while the success of the advertising e-mail campaign is impacted by the lack of delivery.

There are other forms of online advertising that can be effective and not have the same intrusive nature as above.

For help with Internet marketing and online advertising contact us today. Ask for your free website evaluation now.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

The War On Spam

How To Fight Spam From Your Website
by: Jim

While cruising the Internet I found this very useful website on how to take a preemptive approach to combating spam.

A lot of spam is generated by search robots that roam the web from site to site harvesting email addresses. These are then used to mail out tons of unsolicited emails. There are certain things that a person could do to mask the addresses from the robots. Take a look at this link for "Spam-proofing Your Website"

Note: Even if you are using a form on your website for contact information, the address still may be seen by the bots. Refer to the article above. JavaScript seems to be the answer right now. Most browsers can handle JavaScript.

The Battle Lines Are Drawn

As more sophisticated robots are employed for scavenging, the other side will continue to implement stronger measures to fight this war. It is a constant battle between making your e-mail address available to a potential new customer or having it hidden from the scavengers. While using forms might be the way to go, it is not always the best way from a marketing perspective. There are some that will simply not fill out a form. It can be a turn off if too much information is required. Allowing a prospect to use their own email cliental to handle the request for information provides a means of freedom for an individual to customize their own message.

The War Will Never End

One thing can be certain on the Internet is this war will never end. Many organizations and ISPs have implemented spam blocking techniques to prevent the messages from getting through. While this may be helping block spam, it is also having a negative impact on solicited mail getting through.

Share Your Email Fighting Thoughts

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