Gmail or Hotmail Account Hijacked or Hacked?

hotmail account hijackI don’t think there are many of us who haven’t received a message from a friend’s gmail or hotmail account that has been hijacked or hacked.

Somehow these individuals manage to get into an account and then send a rogue email to everyone on the contact list. Sometimes it’s just a way to get traffic to their page but, in some cases, it can contain a virus which then infects the contact list of whoever clicks that link.

In most cases, you open the mail – because it’s from your friend. But then you realise that the wording which tries to persuade you to click on the link does not sit right with the language your friend would normally use.

So, you DO NOT CLICK the link. You send it to spam and alert the friend. But what does that friend then do to rectify the situation? How can you retrieve your account and ensure that no further emails go out to the inhabitants of your inbox?

The most important thing is to go into your account and choose a new password. If, however, the unauthorised emails continue, it means that the hackers have control of your account so you should contact your service provider.

Gmail Account Hacked

Here’s a good article which address the issue of hacked gmail accounts

Hotmail Account Hijack

This is an article which deals with hotmail account hijack or compromise as it is officially known.


This entry was posted

on Friday, January 13th, 2012 at 6:44 pm

and is filed under Email.

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Facebook Hidden Posts

facebook-hidden-postsWhilst it doesn’t apply to Personal Profiles, a bane of Business Pages is Facebook Hidden Posts.

This is Facebook’s censor and it seems to have taken umbrage at my friend Sadie of iLocalSearch, putting two of her recent posts on the Lollipop Local Business Page wall into some kind of dustbin.

facebook hidden postsThe cure is simple enough. Click on the ‘hidden posts’ link underneath wall and above Info.

Here you will see the posts that Facebook has hidden away. To the side of each of these is a cog. Click that and a drop down menu will appear which allows you to unhide the post.

For more information about using Facebook for Business


This entry was posted

on Thursday, January 12th, 2012 at 8:07 am

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Google Places Help

google places helpGetting Google Places Help is still rather difficult here in the UK, as evidenced by this example that started with a call from one of the teachers at the yoga studio.

Jo, our Google Places page is now showing my personal home and mobile number not the Centre’s main number. I’ve been getting calls at home.

When I checked it out, we had two listings. The one I had set up was appearing against some keywords and another which had been set up some years before by someone else to advertise a specialist class run at the centre with the teacher’s personal phone numbers for other search terms. And in the latter, the information had been merged with the official version. So there were the photos from the main listing along with the NAP (name, address and phone number) from the rogue Page.

Having read the blogs of Nyagoslav at Optilocal and Mike Blumenthal and Linda Buquet I knew that the best way to solve this is to claim the rogue listing and then remove it from Google Maps. But that phone number needed to be changed a lot more quickly than the weeks that it takes for Google Places to update that type of information online.

Experience had shown me that community edits get picked up far more quickly so that’s what we did first. We were secure in the knowledge that we could then claim the page and get verified, since the address was almost the same as the actual business address in the regular listing – the confirmation postcard would arrive in the right place. Then we would be able to suspend the wrong listing.

We both did a community edit and received the following email from Google Places.

From: Google Maps
Subject: Google Maps Edit – Action taken

Hi Jo Shaer,

Thanks again for sharing your local expertise with other Google users! We have approved your edit of name of business.

Please note that Name of Business is an owner-verified listing and some updates require the approval of the business owner before they are applied.

If you are the owner of this business, you may notice a discrepancy between your Google Places account and the listing as it appears on Google Maps ( The best way to update your listing is to make changes directly in your Google Places account:

For additional help in resolving incorrect listing information, please visit our troubleshooter:

Thanks for your help,
The Google Maps team

I then claimed the rogue page for my client and was surprised to see the option of a telephone verification – but, in the time it took for me to alert the teacher that Google was about to call her with a PIN number, the telephone number changed to the main telephone number of the business!

So I called the business to alert them and we got the listing telephone verified. Problem solved.

Errrr… not!

The confirmation told me that it would take a few days for the listing to go live. I assumed this meant for the changes to take effect in the dashboard. But I was wrong.

What happened then was that the official listing was replaced everywhere by a merged version of the rogue version, retaining the Specialist Class as the Title, the mangled version of the Address, plus the class-specific Description and Categories of the rogue but adding the photographs and Reviews from the official.

OK, I’ll go into the dashboard and unlist it.

But, whilst the dashboards show the two sets of different information and both are active, if you click ‘See Your Listing on Google Maps’ both now show the same mishmash as the live entry – so which one do I unlist?

Sounds like a question for the new Google Places Help desk, proudly trumpeted by Google over the last few weeks. You need to be logged in to the Google Account under which you created your listing.

Google Places Help Centre

About half way down, you see the chance to ‘Fix A Problem’ and the first option is to ask about ‘Two Business Listings Merged Together’. Excellent, just what we want!

But then it gets more difficult.

google places help

If your business name isn’t showing up correctly, edit the listing

But, which one in the dashboard should I be editing? One of them is already correct – and has the impressions and click through statistics listed on that part of the dashboard.

Part of me says suspend that one – but that’s also the one where people originally posted their reviews!

So I need to suspend the other one – but that’s the one that Google is now showing so what happens if I just remove it from the listing? Will they find the other one?

You see my dilemma?

It looks like I need to copy and paste all the information from the correct version into the rogue version and then re upload the photos and videos before suspending the original version.

I’m just so concerned about losing those reviews.

The saga continues!

This was yesterday and I thought I would sleep on things overnight.

Today when I log in to see what happens if I check out the hyperlink about reviews for more info, I don’t see the same page at all. This pops up.

google places help 2

Which is fine and dandy but ‘Report a Problem’ is in the community edit area and Business Owners are instructed to go through their dashboard.

So now I’m thinking maybe I should do as suggested above and then do a community edit also to ensure that the action is taken sooner.

I really don’t want to suspend either of the accounts from which Google is drawing its merge information until I can be sure that all information is retained on the final version.

And breathe!


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on Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 at 6:13 pm

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Welcome To Facebook – A Daily Guide to Using Facebook For UK Business

Welcome to Facebook. Here’s your Starter Guide to Using Facebook for Business in the UK.

Rules to Remember
1. Never sell
2. Follow the rules of the platform
3. Say who you are
4. Be consistent in timing and content – when you post and what

welcome to facebookCheck you’re in the right account – as one of your business pages or your personal profile. Over on the right hand side at the top in the Facebook toolbar there is a downwards pointing arrow which allows you to select which account you are posting as.

1. Update your Facebook status

Be sure to make it relevant to your target audience. Facebook’s UK users really seem to struggle with this. There are two types of Social Media – one that makes you money and which doesn’t.

This is a Business Page, so don’t talk about what you had for lunch unless you run a restaurant. Comment on news events or make a motivational quote or industry specific tip – they all need to relate to your business niche or things that are happening at your business. Tell a story in instalments – but it has to be relevant. You can also Ask Facebook Questions.

If you’ve got a list of keywords, then try to incorporate them naturally – especially if you have your Facebook page linked to your Twitter account.

Having said that, you don’t want to come across as a business automaton, so try to make it fun and always remember not to sell. You’re building a relationship with your updates – engage and be interesting. Include a link to your blog wherever possible/relevant – the idea is to get the traffic to go back to your website to see the great content there without them feeling as if you’re selling something. Include a call to action in status updates and blog posts – remind people to like or share.

This should take 1-2 minutes.

2. Add Content

New blog posts, videos, photos, etc. should be uploaded to your wall every day and some studies say that 3-5 times a day can be a good amount for a Facebook Business Page. Remember the consistency rule – try to do the same thing every day at the same time. You can link WordPress blogs to automatically post using Networked blogs. You can also link your YouTube acccount to your Facebook wall using an Involver function.

Again, try to use keywords in your descriptions and titles for links, pictures and videos – but don’t stuff.

Hootsuite or Tweetdeck are worth downloading. These allow you to schedule status updates as well as showing all the relevant information about your different platforms in columns on one screen.

You can create a content calendar so that you are posting the same type of content at the same time each day of the week as this ensures that you’re not repeating yourself or just posting anything rather than nothing at all.

This should take about 2 minutes.

3. Work Your Wall

Review comments on your wall and respond to them. Reply to answers to your Questions. Like responses – you don’t always need to comment. Remember to add your name to the end of those replies if you are speaking in the name of your Business Page as it helps to humanise the engagement. Give first time users a warm welcome to your Facebook page. And don’t forget to check for hidden posts that Facebook has filtered out for you.

It’s the interaction that’s important so spend about 5 minutes here getting to know people who have taken the time to react to your original posts.

4. Review your Newsfeed

Click the Home page for whichever Business Page you are acting for and spend a few minutes commenting on posts and updates from your contacts’ Pages. Remember who you are – if you have more than one Facebook Business Page, it can be very easy to forget the persona that you are trying to project and speak with the wrong public voice. Just as with responses on your own wall, if you’re posting as your page somewhere else, it always helps to make things more personal if you sign each entry with your name so people know who they’re talking to.

Hang around for 4-5 minutes here. You’re building trust that you know what you’re talking about and have something interesting to add to the conversation.

5. Don’t forget your Message Inbox

Respond to invitations and messages in your inbox.

Depending how many messages – 2 minutes or so here.

6. Growing your fan base

As a Page you cannot like Facebook Personal Profiles or even comment on their walls any more, so you need to focus on businesses that have liked you. Look at the businesses that are interacting on their walls and who they have liked – this shows in the left hand sidebar. You can learn a lot about what does and doesn’t work – how often are they posting, at what times, what are they posting and what gets the most interaction – pictures, links, videos, questions?

facebook talking about thisLearn what works and try it out on your Page – the People are talking about this number tracks who is liking your page and posting on the wall, answering questions, tagging and checking in over a 7 day period – this is also on your Page.

You should also check out Facebook Groups that are relevant to your niche/interest and make join the conversation there. Never try to sell. Just answer any questions honestly and grow trust with people. When they are ready to buy, they will come to you as someone who has proved their value on the subject within the group.

Devote 4-5 minutes to this.

You could spend all day on Facebook, so it’s important to have your content calendar, your list of what you need to do and stick to it. Then leave.

If you have more time later, you can return to check what’s happening but be careful because it can become a bit like the Hotel California.

Welcome to Facebook for Business.


This entry was posted

on Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 at 6:34 am

and is filed under Facebook, Social Media For Business.

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999 or 101 – the new Non-Emergency Phone Number

Interesting news item on The One Show this evening about the new 101 phone number which will attempt to take some of the strain of the 999 Emergency Services.

With people using up precious resources to complain about lost kebabs, pigeon noise and undelivered pizza, it’s not surprising that there have been complaints about not being able to get through when there really is a life threatening emergency.

And that’s the important definition to remember.

It it’s a life threatening emergency, call 999.

If there are intruders in your home, if someone is having a heart attack, if there is a fire – it’s 999.

But if you return home from holiday to discover that you have been burgled, that’s a 101 call. There is nothing that the police can do immediately to apprehend the perpetrators so investigation needs to take its place in the queue.

The new 101 number costs a 15p flat rate fee. Now that is a really bad move if they actually want the people who misuse 999 already to call that number.

For more info, visit the Direct Gov site about reporting non-emergency crimes using 101.

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