The Dark Side of Social Media

Our brains are hard-wired to believe. We take in information literally and then evaluate it against our knowledge to decide whether or not it is true. For a moment, no matter how brief, humans will believe anything that they are told. This belief is compounded if the source of the information is someone that we know, trust, or respect.

Consider the famous Nigerian Prince Scam, a simple, fraudulent e-mail that promises a future cash reward in exchange for a small advance payment. Of course, the scam is ridiculous but, according to historians a version of the scam has been used by con artists for over 200 years. Now, social media has opened up a whole new industry for cyber-criminals and while e-mail spam is decreasing in frequency, social media is ripe with scammers looking to make a quick buck.

Social Media Affiliate Programs

social media scams

Through affiliate programs, scammers can trick you into participating in a survey and/or signing up for a premium service. In this way, scammers collect your info and make money.

All scams have one thing in common, the goal is to make money and social media scams are no different. Most commonly, social media fraudsters monetize their efforts through participation in affiliate programs. These are incentive programs in which companies pay “affiliates” for driving traffic to their website. For instance, some unsuspecting person sees an ad for a free $1,000 gift card if they will only enter their e-mail address. When they enter their e-mail address and click submit, they have earned a referral fee for a criminal. They will never see the gift card because it never existed. It was only a ploy to get personal information.

Common Social Media Scams

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all other social media platforms have changed the way people interact socially and professionally. We crave likes, comments, and re-tweets like a pregnant woman craves pickles and ice cream. We are able to follow our best friends and favorite celebrities and interact with them on a daily basis. All of these benefits are noticed by scammers who use them to their advantage when designing their schemes.

Facebook scam

Manual sharing plots are the most common and rely on social media users to spread. Usually, scammers will embed links to an affiliate site or malware inside of videos, pictures, or fake offers meant to entice people into unknowingly sharing the links with their friends. Fake offering scams are related and request social media users to join fake groups or events and share personal information in exchange for a free gift. Together, manual sharing and fake offering scams made up 93% of social media threats.

Phishing

Another type of cyber-fraud, phishing is the collection of personal information for the purposes of moneymaking. In regards to social media, phishing links are almost always hidden behind a hook (pun intended) such as a shocking news story or outlandish celebrity scandal. Once a user clicks on the link, they will be taken to a phishing site where they will be asked to login before they can proceed. Criminals will take the login information and hack other accounts for which the user has the same password (Apple ID, Bank Accounts, E-mail, Cloud Storage, etc.)

What is phishing

How to Protect Yourself

Knowledge and preparation are the two most important defenses against social media scams. While on social media, watch out for sensationalized stories, wild celebrity news, and offers for free money. Instead of clicking on links within social media, search for the stories on reputable news sites to see if they are legitimate. Also, never fill out a form unless you are certain the transaction is secure. Cyber-criminals are very creative and can use just about any personal information against you to make money for themselves.

Android Antivirus

Android Security Suite

In terms of preparation, one of the best investments a social media user can make is an antivirus app that can recognize threats. Apps like Android Security Suite that offers 24/7 real-time protection provides the most comprehensive protection and download directly to your device. Good antimalware will scan and detect malicious websites, phishing sites, and viruses to protect your device and your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.

How to remove malware and viruses from Android devices (Video)

Remove malware and virus from Android

There’s a misconception that Android devices cannot get malware but the reality is that there are more than 1 million apps infected with malicious code.

According to the 2015 Internet Security Threat Report conducted by Symantec, cybercriminals are developing new variants of malware that can surpass security policies and restrictions, hence getting to our devices through innocent looking games and apps.

Many of us are unaware of the consequences of having malware in our devices and the personal data hackers chase, which in most cases are bank account details and user ID’s. Furthermore, fake versions of banking and other well-known apps can deceive us in an attempt to collect our bank account details.

This is why, if your device starts acting strangely, slowing down or bombards you with advertising; you should get an antivirus app for Android capable enough to scan files and apps and find the source of the problem.

In the following video, we will tell you what hackers are capable of and how to remove malware from Android devices so you can take action and fight cybercriminals.

To get the most advanced anti-malware and Antivirus protection for Android go to Android Security Suite

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Mobile Cloud Labs CEO on Android Security Suite Release

Mobile cloud labs will release one of the most advanced anti-malware apps for the Android mobile platform, Android Security Suite.
Mobile Cloud Labs CEO, Richard Sylvester, answered some questions with details about this upcoming release in the following interview.

Anti-malware for Android

Android Security Suite is a completely secure and comprehensive solution where Android users can protect their devices from malicious viruses, malware and apps that could potentially steal their information or damage their system.

If you’re an Android owner, you deserve top-of-the-line protection for your investment. Here are just a few of the amazing features our security suite offers:

• Automatic scanning of your system, including apps and files
• Scans for both Android and Windows viruses to prevent spreading between devices
• When enabled, our Suite’s deep scan breaks apps apart and looks at their contents
• When enabled, our Suite breaks zip files apart and looks at their contents (unique)
• Real-time detection scans new apps and updates
• Real-time detection also scans new files and changes to files (unique)
• When enabled, our Suite protects your browsing against malicious websites

For more information, visit:
Mobile Cloud Labs

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The evolution of location based advertising [Infographic]

If you have heard about location based advertising, then you may know that it has become more relevant for businesses and marketers to know their audience and the best places to reach them.
 
For a good mobile advertising campaign to deliver desired results, it’s important to have high quality, accurate location and place data. This info must be top notch in terms of accuracy and comprehensiveness.

AdAbouts gathers the requirements for accurate place based advertising with a simple, evolutionary solution that has the capability to provide remarkably relevant mobile ads.

AdAbouts infographic

Have comments or questions about AdAbouts, send us an email to info@adabouts.com.

Mobile Cloud Labs’ CEO talks about his experience at NOAH 2015

Richard Sylvester talks about the AdAbouts platform.

Richard Sylvester. Mobile cloud Labs CEO.

Every year, the NOAH conference opens the opportunity for Internet CEOs, senior executives and investors to discuss the latest ideas in the digital industry and to establish new business relationships.
Mobile Cloud Labs’ CEO Richard Sylvester flew from his home in the United States to attend the NOAH conference in Berlin on June 9-10, 2015. After gathering with the leaders of technology and advertising, he got a good perspective on some of the exciting technologies on the horizon. He also shared his vision of the AdAbouts platform, which brought significant interest from many players and leaders in the industry.

About his experience Richard Sylvester said:

“The trip to Berlin for Noah was a whirlwind of a trip, by the time the trip was over I was just getting over jet lag and adjusted to the time difference.

All in all Noah 2015 in Berlin was a positive experience. We met with other leaders in the industry and got to talk about and see some of the upcoming, new and exciting changes in several markets.

We met with several people to discuss our upcoming AdAbouts platform and were welcomed with excitement and interest. Discussions with industry leaders further verified that the upcoming features of the AdAbouts mobile advertising platform will be the forefront of the industry.

We are excited for the future of our company and are eager to release the AdAbouts platform, but as with all great things in life, they come in due time.”

Mobile Cloud Labs Attends NOAH in Berlin

Mobile Cloud Labs attends NOAH conference in Berlin

Photo by m.a.r.c. on Flicker.


Mobile Cloud Labs’ CEO Richard Sylvester will attend the NOAH Conference in Berlin on June 9-10, 2015. This will be an opportunity for our company to meet Internet CEOs, executives and investors to establish new business relationships.

The NOAH Conference is a space organized for industry leaders and competitors in technology fields such as automotive, energy, education, travel, advertising, healthcare, TMT (Technology, Media & Telecom), retail, gaming, home automation and wearables.

Mobile Cloud Labs’ goal in NOAH Berlin 2015, is to discuss the evolutionary platform AdAbouts while also learning about the latest innovations in mobile advertising.

Our company is looking forward to establishing new business relationships, being inspired by others’ ideas and of course, having a great time at the NOAH business networking dinner party.

What’s The Craze With Location Based Targeted Ads?

AdAbouts Location based advertising.
Imagine yourself walking in the mall during lunchtime. As you walk by the food court, you receive a notification on your smartphone from a Japanese restaurant stating that if you drop by within the next 15 minutes, you’ll receive a 30 percent discount off their lunch menu. Meanwhile on the other side of the mall, a woman walking near a shoe store sees a personalized message pop up on her phone, alerting her to new sales in the spring boots collection, something she was interested in.

If this situation has happened to you, then you are in the realm of location-based advertising. A new technology that marketers and advertiser are using to show their ads to the right people, at the right time and at the right place. This means that mobile users, like you and me, will be able to see ads based on our genuine interests along with places and businesses we frequent in the physical world.

Currently, several companies are working on the development of this new technology in which most of them are partnering with 3rd party apps and publishers to get access to mobile users’ location data. Advertisers and marketers use this data to analyze customers’ location and context so they can build consumer profiles based on their behaviors in the real world.

With all this in mind, this technology doesn’t sound all too bad, but let’s take a brief look at the financial perspectives, benefits and downsides in location based advertising.

First of all, it is worthy to mention the results from a recent report by Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC. This report showed that in the United Kingdom mobile ads make up 23 per cent of the £7.2 billion that was spent in 2014 on digital marketing. Perspectives are not less favorable in the United States, in which according to BIA/Kelsey location-targeted mobile ad revenues are projected to grow 35% annually from $4.3bn to $19.3bn during the 2014-2018 period. According to estimations made by eMarketer, it is expected that in 2015, global mobile ad revenues will hit $65bn with $28bn coming from the US alone.

Considering the financial perspective, this will not only benefit big marketing companies and brands, but will also be favorable for small to medium size businesses that want to drive more in-store visits and increase their brand awareness.

The highest accuracy in location based ads

On the other hand, everybody is getting benefits in the game of accuracy; including mobile users like you and me, who will receive relevant ads that will match our interests and desires with discounts and coupons. With this in mind, location-based ad technologies will enhance our shopping experiences through a more personalized service and access to discounts and deals.

As a matter of fact, users are already showing a growing acceptance towards location-based targeted ads in exchange for relevant shopping benefits . In the most recent report from Cayan “State of Payments Industry”, 78 percent of consumers are interested in using their mobile phones while shopping to get deals and coupons. In another study, conducted by ReasearchNow and Swirl, 77 percent of individuals would be willing to share location data with merchants in exchange for something valuable whereas, 50 percent of people polled by Cisco assure that discounts represent an incentive to share personal information.

All together this technology sounds like a great deal for businesses and mobile users but there are still many challenges to conquer. One of them is concerning privacy, especially for those who are non technology natives or half technology natives; who tend to perceive location-based targeted ads as intrusive and invasive with their personal info. The other issue is accuracy, even though many companies have invested time and money in the development of different platforms and proprietary algorithms to narrow location accuracy, ads are often sent to the wrong people at the wrong time and hence, budgets are being wasted as a consequence of this.

Happy customers
The solution to these problems could be laying in the capability of matching the right customers to every product and also offer marketers the tools to refine their campaigns so they show meaningful ads that connects to their customers’ interests and needs. It is also key to understand that not only is location accuracy important but content as well. Mobile users want to know what deals are available but they also want to feel connected with merchants and the brands they root for. For this reason, analytics and insights are as relevant as location accuracy.

With location based advertising, we will be able to receive ads, discounts or coupons based on places we go as well as our behavioral and search interest. In this way, merchants and brands can measure, analyze and create customer profiles to drive us into the right stores. This is a strategy to compete in the growing online market and connect more with customers.

Mobile Cloud Labs’ team is moving forward in the development of Android Security Suite. What’s new?

Mobile Cloud Labs' team 2015

Mobile Cloud Labs’ team meeting in 2015. In the photo, from left to right: Tray Houston, Vaidas Barauskas, Brian McCauley and Richard Sylvester.

Even though Mobile Cloud Labs’ team is spread around the world, the company made it possible for our directors, designers, marketing staff and software developers to meet in the United Stated to work on the development of Android Security Suite, the most advanced antivirus for android.

Unlike our competitors, Android Security Suite integrates several solutions to protect Android devices to the fullest extent. Our team expects to release the first version in the second quarter of 2015 and assures that our antivirus solution brings state of the art technology never seen in an Android antivirus app before.

What’s new in this release?

As any advanced antivirus, Android Security Suite will protect your Android device from cybercriminals that try to steal your passwords, identity, bank account info and other personal data. However, what is unique is that our state of the art engine scans not only apps but files for known viruses, malware and other cyber threats, something few competitors do.

What sets Android Security Suite apart is that the engine scans for both Android and Windows threats. This feature prevents viruses and other threats from spreading between devices and is so strong that if you enable the deep scan options it will break apart apps and zip files in real time to look for possible threats.

On top of this, Android Security Suite’s real time protection is one of the strongest in the industry and will monitor your app installs, apps updates and changes to your files, something very few do. You can also enable the “safe browsing“ option to protect from malicious websites and potential scams.

Android Security Suite Antivirus

Android Security Suite videos in App will show the most advanced features of our antivirus engine.

Additionally, in our application as well as our web channels, users will be able to find videos explaining the most relevant features of our engine such as Zip File Scan, Deep Scanning and Advanced Real Time Protection. We also had special T-Shirts made specifically for our actors and actresses in the videos and are giving some away for free, just contact us at: info@mobilecloudlabs.com and ask for your free shirt (while supplies last).

With this release, Mobile Cloud Labs looks to offer users across the world valuable android applications starting with the antivirus solution. With Android Security Suite, anyone can “Savor the protection of Android Security Suiteness“.