how to tell if you are being scammed online

How to Tell If You Are Being Scammed Online

The cyber world brought us a whole new lifestyle. There are so many avenues out there for everyone to indulge in. You name it, and the internet has it. It’s a utopia of ideas and a platform for rising to stardom. But, among the big players and the glitzy doors that show you promise, there are alleys of darkness.

Cyberspace and Its backdoors

The shady corners of the internet are where people lurk behind fake usernames and IDs that have no roots but pull you into the underworld of cyberspace and show you what temptation feels like by bringing you irresistible offers.  They lure you by dangling bait. These, my fellow readers, are your scammers. They are those who feed off of your ignorance, if not innocence, and get away with it because they have no presence other than one that is parasitical to you.

The network of scammersGlobal Scams

Scammers are all over the place, from every corner of the world, and they continue to exist because of the power they hold over you, in this virtual world of internet addiction we all have rooted in our system. Can we blame them or do we blame ourselves for being vulnerable? Regardless, we are the ones who fall prey, and therefore we must be on the lookout for these traps.

Potential scam zones

How do you know if you’re being scammed online at all? Well, for that you’d have to know where the potential of a scam lies.

Let’s start with the basics. Be aware of scams that happen through:

  • Dating websites—Yes, people are social animals looking to find their perfect soul mate. Dating sites claim to help you in your quest for finding the perfect partner, but you never know when you can be cat-fished. The person on the other side may not be the one you think you know.  They become your emotional trigger by gaining your trust and play on your feelings to get money, personal details, gifts, etc.
  • Job scams—I simply can’t emphasize enough on this. Scammers are smart and vile. They pull info from the internet and analyze where your needs lie. Struggling for employment opportunities? You’re suddenly presented with loaded job offers you never knew you had a chance at! Do keep in mind that unless you’re contacted directly by an agency or a legitimate company, anything that drops in your email with a hundred other people in the CC is not reliable! Getting a job is hard, but if someone claims he can make you the prime minister of a country—do not fall for it!
  • Prize money scams—Oh haven’t we all gotten this? You look at your email one day and have a sensational subject of an email telling you you’ve won a million whatever of your currency is! You didn’t buy a lottery ticket, you don’t remember enrolling in any kind of contest, or participating in a competition, but here you are—a stakeholder to all that money! NO. No one just sends an email telling you you’ve won all that money.
  • Help me scams—Have you been suddenly found by your apparently long-lost sibling/cousin/distant relative or close internet securityfamily friend? Isn’t it odd that they’d send you an email about their situation in distress rather than asking if they could talk to you? Isn’t it strange that if they made such an effort to find your email, that they couldn’t figure out absolutely anything else about you? Anyone who pops out of nowhere asking you to “aid” them only through financial measures is probably not someone too much in distress.
  • Deposit Scams—These guys know they can’t keep calling your bluff for too long, so they talk to you, they stay in touch with you and once you send them the initial deposit after what seems like a good period of time—they’re never to be heard from again. These guys are very patient and will wait for you to start giving in. This could be deposits for merchandise, freelance online jobs, online training or classes, or premium access to some kind of club.
  • Credit Card Scams—With the economy not working in your favor, you end up looking to avail yourself of loans. Banks offering credit cards to free you from your debt could be paradoxical in this case. Banks conduct background checks and verify financial stability. What bank just hands out credit cards like flyers?
    How to tell if you’re being scammed online or not
    It’s actually quite easy, and laughable too, once you see the standard details.
  • Money—This is definitely your most common way to be scammed online! If you’re being asked to shell out money for something you don’t even know about in totality—don’t swipe that card.
  • Spot offers—If recruiters are giving you jobs without any kind of interview or calls—what kind of a human resource activity are they running?
  • Work from home—Do they tell you can make up to $ 5000 a day for the mere price of a onetime deposit of $ 2000? Wouldn’t we all be super rich then?
  • Short, abbreviated URLs—If these tiny URL’s redirect you a bunch of times to a somewhat familiar zone, don’t believe Stay Safe onlineit. These recognizable websites you think you know are probably just bogus sites. They look similar but are actually masking the original websites in hopes of users falling for the facade and revealing personal information.
  • Grammatical mistakes—One look at these paragraphs and you’ll realize that can’t be true. Checking for the phrasing of sentences can easily allow you to tell if it’s a hoax or not.
  • Spam emails—If you receive all kinds of irrelevant offers and opportunities to a richer tomorrow, let’s say it’s better to stay poor. No reputable organization spams its potential employees. These things take time and are highly procedure oriented, so don’t suppose the offers that fill your email box, are true.

What do you do when you come across online scams?

  • Ignore—Once you’ve spotted a number, you tend to ignore these suggestive mails and pop-ups by trashing or getting pop-up blockers.  Be aware of any signs that indicate something isn’t right. Anyone asking you for personal details without a legitimate reason is not someone you can trust.
  • Report—File a complaint. Take action if you think it borders on harassment.
    Limit your presence online—Some of the reasons you could be targeted is due to the amount of information you share about your life.
  • Research—If companies approach you offering you the career you’ve always been dreaming about, don’t jump at it. Research thoroughly and ask around about the credibility of the organization.

This is probably the best advice you will receive. Google is your friend! Use it to research anything that you think is a scam.

Here is a perfect example…

Some of our clients use the Wealthy Affiliate program to host their websites and to learn how to build their online businesses.internet research

If you were to Google, “Is Wealthy Affiliate a Scam?”, you would come up with a host of results that would answer that specific question. Click above for one of the best from Jvanderlaan.com.

All in all, these scammers are completely helpless if we don’t give them what they need. As aware internet users, it should be our motto to perceive these imposters and put an end to their stints wherever possible.
Scammers have zero power over you if you don’t divulge. So beware and be careful!

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing Solutions for Small Business

In today’s business climate it is seemingly difficult to build a thriving, sustainable business without a strong, detailed social media marketing strategy for your company and employees to follow.

In today’s post we will take an in depth look at social media marketing solutions for small business and how you can use these solutions to help implement a social media marketing strategy for your business.

What is Social Media Marketing?Social Media

Social media marketing is the process of sharing content across multiple social media platforms for the purpose of creating engagement with your audience and encouraging sharing of the content in an effort to drive traffic and sales to your web properties.

The main idea is to create and share content that others will share, thereby increasing the number of eyes on your content and getting free exposure to potential clients or customers that are currently unaware of your business and your product or service.

Paid vs. Free Social Media Marketing

The best bang for your social media marketing buck would definitely be with the free version, however, social media platforms like facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Linked In all have paid ad options that will put your marketing message in front of an amazingly targeted audience for very little budget.

Here at Atlom, we have extensive experience with paid social media marketing as well as free social media marketing and we would love to help your business get its message through to potential clients and customers.

Social Media Marketing Resources

There are too many social media marketing resources available to cover them all in one post, but we will list some of them here so that you can begin to see the complexity of establishing a social media marketing strategy and see why we can help.

We have found Canva to be the best place to create graphics to share on social media. If you don’t like Canva, you can try Piktochart. They both offer free options and are great for creating memes to share on facebook as well as images for your blog posts.

Both of the above websites can also be used to create infographics.

More on infographics in a minute.

Some other social media marketing resources that can make your job easier are websites that are designed to automate your posting. Some of the better ones are:

  • Meet Edgar
  • Buffer
  • Hootsuite
  • IFTTT

Let’s take a second to discuss IFTTT because that is slightly different that the rest.

Social Media SharingWhat is IFTTT?

IFTTT stands for If This Then That and it is a program that allows you to set up things that will automatically happen if something else happens.

For instance, If you publish a blog post, Then it will share the post on Facebook.

Or If you publish a blog post, Then it will tweet the post.

The possibilities are endless for this tool and stretch way beyond social media marketing.

I have a friend that has set up IFTTT with this recipe. By the way, they call  these – If This Then Thats, recipes.

Anyway this friend of mine has it set up so that If it is going to rain, Then send a reminder to pack an umbrella!

She does this through a weather app and her Iphone reminders!

Imagine the possibilities!

Using Infographics in your Social Media Marketing

Infographics are quickly becoming all the rage in marketing today and with good reason. People love visual content and infographics are really only visual data.

More importantly, people love to share visual content and that is our main goal in creating infographics.

To get shares…

Probably the most important aspect of using infographics in your social media marketing is that the infographic has to be extremely high quality in order to get shared across the social media platforms, as well as on websites and blogs.

Unless you are a graphic designer and good at what you do, you should consider outsourcing the creation of your infographics.

Here at Atilom we have used Awesome Infographics and we are very happy with the results that we have gotten from them.

Once you have a high quality infographic, now comes the time to share it and get it distributed in as many places as you can.

There are both free and paid submission sites out there and you should utilize both.

Here’s why…

You will get some benefits from the submission sites themselves in terms of backlinks and traffic, but the real benefit comes when others find your infographic on these sites and use it for their own blog post or website.

At which time, they will link back to your website.

Driving more links and more traffic!

And on and on…

You should definitely consider using infographics in your marketing campaigns.

ConclusionSocial Media Marketing

Above is just a brief synopsis of the things to consider when planning a social media marketing strategy. As you can see, there is a lot to think about and a number of moving parts involved in a quality campaign.

For many business owners, there time is better spent elsewhere and as a result this portion of their business suffers.

Unfortunately, social media marketing is one of the most important aspects of a succesful business today and should not be neglected.

That is where we come in…

Let us create a customized social media marketing plan for your business today. This will allow you to focus on what you are good at, while we focus on what we are good at.

Contact us today to discuss your options for a high quality social media marketing strategy that will take your business into the twenty first century and beyond.

How to Use a Blog to Promote Your Business

How to Use a Blog to Promote Your Business

The internet today has become an indispensable part of our everyday lives. It has affected almost all aspects concerning the working of the world in many ways. From promoting your business to finding love, it has proved its worth. In today’s post we are going to explore how to use a blog to promote your business and how we, here at Atilom can help you to do exactly that.

Since the advent of internet in the 1990s, the use of the internet has been incessantly extending to myriad and varied aspects of human society, owning a blog as a channel to express or showcase one’s self and interests being among one of its many assets that it blesses us with.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use a blog to promote your business

Step by Step Guide

Make it stand out

The first step in how to use a blog to promote your business is that it is post optimized for search engines. In a world swarming with a number of sellers and entrepreneurs, to get the attention of the valued customer is the foremost priority.

To make sure you get noticed, the first thing you would need to do to your blog content is to write in a manner such that it’s easily indexible by search engines. To do this, you can look on the internet for terms related to your content that are usually searched for on the leading search engines.

Doing so will lead to your blog posts popping up more often in the search results whenever terms similar to your content are searched for. This, in effect, leads to increased traffic to your blog.

Describe the product efficientlyVideo

When you are well acquainted with the writing technique that you will be following while creating the blog’s content, you can consider effective ways to position your product/business description.

One way to do so is to add videos describing the working or the pros and cons of your product. You can create it to be a descriptive one, or you can also add tutorial videos explaining the working, and taking the customer through an induced realistic experience of using the product.

Once the visitor has understood and formed a sensation of how it would be to indulge, s/he is more likely to move towards taking the next step. As always, making something comprehensible is a great attractor to its pursuit.  You gotta nail it in the video itself!

Target AudienceMention your major customers

When learning how to use a blog to promote your business it is imperative to mention your major customers, which adds credibility to your products and business. Also, you can make space on your blog for customer reviews of your products.

The idea is to try to get more customer reviews on the posts for any particular product with an acknowledgment, rating, and review by past or current customers makes the new visitor feel supported and more apt to take the plunge.
Strategize accordingly while using blogs to market your business to make more visitors or customers have their say, once they visit. It is indulging and adds to the feeling of connectivity conceived by other, newer visitors as well.

Add expert reviews

It certainly adds an edge to your business when you have experts backing you! So, one effective and distinguished way of promoting business through blogs is to get experts to review them.

Find experts in your field. You can ask them to write a review to be put on your blog. You may also try to arrange expert interviews if possible, share them on your YouTube channel, and have the link on your blog as well. This only adds to building confidence for the visitor in dealing with you.

An expert review of a product or a post on your blog will help create much hype or buzz around the same, thus drawing more potential customers.

Update for new product launchesNew Business Launch

After all that has been mentioned above is taken care of, you should pay attention towards that newly launched product which has not gained much traction with your audience.

Though it’s hard to get customer reviews for new launches, you can always look for those from the experts. They are the ones who will instill confidence and security in your blog’s visitors’ minds making them hit the deal!

You can also add promotional videos for products yet to be launched. The key thing is to keep it up to date with the recent advancements and developments in your business. It amounts to adding new traffic and also keeps followers of your blog involved.

The more involved a customer feels, the more they are able to feel connected to your firm, and the longer they are likely to continue their relationship with you.

Showcase existing discounts and promotional offers

Along with the new launches from your firm, also share the discounts and promotional offers, if any, on your blog.

A great way to use your blog to promote your business would be in organizing fun games to giving promotional coupons, such activities keep the traffic on and eventually lead to an increased consumer number.

One sure way to organize good promotions is to offer exciting prizes and gift coupons to the winning lots of the fun games on your blog. Such tactics work well enough for newly launched products and are an effective means to introduce them to the public.

Use social media as a propagatorBlog and Social Media

We could not publish an article on how to use a blog to promote your business without a section an using social media. This is the age where social media has swept and entered people’s lives like nothing else. They provide an ideal and great platform to propagate anything from religion to science, politics to social service— everything finds a place in the massive amount of online space that they offer.

In the wake of the same, you must add a “share” button along with all posts on your blog. This will let other channels of communication have links to your blog as people share your posts on various social networking sites. Promoting business through social media is in the future!

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc., all can serve as huge traffic builders for your blog.  What you can do is to have a “Reblog” button at the bottom of each of your posts too. It will allow your visitors to share the same at their respective websites too.

Thus, adding to the number of links leading to your website/blog on the internet adds a great deal to your blog’s traffic and hence the popularity.
We Hope that you have learned a great deal about how to use a blog to promote your business, you are now all ready to use that blog of yours and set your business on fire!

Contact us here at Atilom for help in establishing a blog to promote your business. We offer blogging and content creation services to get your blog noticed!

Web Design

Website Design Services for the 21st Century

In this day and age it is difficult to comprehend a business succeeding without a well thought out internet presence. Your website is sometimes the first impression that a prospective client or customer gets of your business and we all know that you get only one chance at a first impression. Let me show you how our website design services can position your business as an expert in your field and create a lasting impression that will have your visitors coming back time and time again.

Perhaps the biggest misconception in website design is that your site should have lots of cool animations and special effects, but in reality, tests have shown that visitors are turned off by all the bells and whistles.

Most visitors like a clean look with lots of white space and dark text. They don’t like flash and popups and animations and the sort. Yet, almost every time we consult with a new client, they want to know if we can do all that sort of stuff. To which we reply, yes we can do it, but we do not recommend it if you want your website to be successful.

What are the Key Elements of Quality Website Design?Website Design

  1. When designing a website for any business, the first thing that must be considered is the ease of use for your visitors. Your website must be easy to navigate and your user must always know where they are and how to get back to where they came from. You have to be sure that your visitor can find exactly what they are looking for quickly and efficiently. We like to use a three tier hierarchy starting with the home page and never going deeper than two more levels.
  2. Speed is always an issue for user engagement, so you must have a lightly coded theme that loads quickly and efficiently. This is not only important for your readers, but is also a major ranking factor in the current Google algorithm. We have many themes to choose from that are lightning fast and reliable to ensure user and Google satisfaction.
  3. A website must be visually appealing and must use a color scheme that achieves your objectives. As mentioned above, dark text on a white backgound with lots of white space is the most visually attractive for the majority of visitors. Tests have shown that this pattern engages readers for the longest and makes it easy for them to consume your content.
  4. A high quality website that engages its readers is full of high quality images and video. We can’t stress enough how important this key element is. You should use enough relevant, high quality images on your website so that there is almost always an image on the screen helping to convey your message. Videos not only help your reader to consume more of your content, but they help with your rankings as well. Google loves to see YouTube videos embedded on websites and also uses the amount of time a visitor spends on your site as a ranking factor. Well, if the user sticks around to watch a video, that is a big plus in the Google ranking column.

website themeThese are just a few of the key elements of quality website design and we can help you implement these and more with an in depth strategy for your website design and marketing.

Contact us today for a closer look at our website design services and create lasting impressions of your business in your visitors minds.

What is SEO

How Our SEO Service Can Help Your Business

As a business owner, you have the goal of getting your website on the first page of Google for your selected keywords as one of your top priorities. The only way that is going to happen is if you implement an SEO strategy into your digital marketing.

I would like to give you an in depth look at exactly how our SEO service can help your business by utilizing all of the methods to help Google find your website and, more importantly, find you to be an expert in your field and worthy of a top placement in their search results.

What is SEO?SEO

SEO stands for search engine optimization and it is the process of optimizing your website with all of the proper factors so that Google sees what your page is about and sees you as the best source of the information provided.

SEO can be divided into two parts:

  1. On page SEO
  2. Off page SEO

Let’s take a look at each of them.

On Page SEO

On page SEO, as the name implies, is everything that you do on each web page in order to optimize the page for the search engines.

Here are some of the factors to consider.

  • Use the keyword in the URL.
  • Use the keyword in the title.
  • Use the keyword in the meta description.
  • Use the keyword throughout the post.
  • Use images with the keyword in the alt text.
  • Link to authority sites.
  • Embed a YouTube video in your post.
  • Each post should be at least 500 words.
  • Link to other posts on your site.

Link Building
These are just some of the on page SEO factors that we use to help rank your website on the first page of Google.

Now let’s look at off page SEO.

Off Page SEO

Off page SEO is everything that you can do to help optimize your website off of your web page and mainly comes down to building links back to your site. Google has shown that links to your site help to establish yourself as an authority.

Link Building

There are many ways to build links back to your website and that is something that we specialize in.

Here are a few ways to build links.

  1. Guest posts
  2. Purchase links
  3. Infographics
  4. Broken link building

SEO Services

These are just a few of the methods that we use to build links to your website and establish you as an authority in your field.

This is the one area that most businesses struggle and is probably the most important.

Contact us at Atilom today and let us show you how our SEO service can help your business.

Digital Marketing Tips That You Can Use Today

Digital-marketing-predictionsIf you have a business, then you’ve definitely found out by now that you also need to have a website representing your business. However, even those who don’t have a business in the regular sense of the word – those who have a website for promoting something, for sharing content with the world or simply a blog where they add food recipes – all these people know how important it is to have as many visitors on the website as possible.

Wondering how to do this? Well, it’s quite simple – you need to find someone who is good at digital marketing and have them implement online marketing strategies.

Let’s see some of these that could definitely change the evolution for your business and website.


The Name

Let’s say that you’ve decided to get a website. The name of the website needs to be as close to the business name as possible, as it’s the only way in which people can associate your business with your website. It needs to be something easy to remember and also easy to search for and it has to be something representative for your activity.


The Website Design

This is also very important, because it’s like your visit card in the online environment. The design makes a big difference online, because it’s what can make the difference between failure and success. There are plenty of web design trends that people use, but you need to choose the one that is appropriate for you. Specialists advice that if you choose something simple you’ll have bigger chances of being successful. The trick here is that a crowded page is hard to follow and hard to navigate through, so choosing simple layouts will make it easier for your visitors to move from one page to another and also to find the content that they’re looking for.

A web design specialist could help you in choosing a clear layout for your website, without too many unnecessary things that could distract visitors from their goal.


The Content

This is also important – you need to offer them clear and simple content, something that is meaningful and interesting, to engage them and keep people on your website. You do know from your own experience that it can take you about 15 seconds to decide if what you read is worthy or not.

The same should be valid for your website – people are looking for interesting information, and if they’ve landed on your website, you need to make sure that they are staying.


The Links

Social-Media-MarketingCreating authority is another way of increasing your visibility in the online environment. It’s about linking those important words – known as key words – to other similar pages in content. This determines the search engines to consider your website trusted and with useful information, so linking with websites that also have increased visibility will increase yours.

However, don’t use too many of these because it can confuse the search engines which in turn can avoid indexing your website. Two or three links per page will make a big difference – adding more will only decrease your ranking.

That’s why it’s important to have more pages in your website – the more the better, as this only tells the search engine that your content is different and it can be important for viewers.

In the end, only a digital marketing specialist can tell you which techniques can work for you. That’s why a special analysis is needed and your website should be monitored all the time to see how it evolves – this can tell you where you can work and what you can change to make it better.