5 Reasons You Should Stop Shortening URLs

(AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

“A recent paper by Cornell Tech researcher Vitaly Shmatikov and independent researcher Martin Georgiev demonstrated that shortening URLs  can have serious privacy consequences. Because shortened URLs are so short, they are vulnerable to brute-force scanning, meaning that attackers can guess multiple shortened URLs and read all of the working ones. The researchers looked at Microsoft MSFT -0.95% OneDrive and Google GOOGL -0.51% maps URLs shortened using bit.ly. They found that shortened URLs shared on a cloud service are effectively public. In the case of Microsoft OneDrive, they’re vulnerable to malware injection as well.

“In the case of cloud-storage services such as Microsoft OneDrive, this not only leads to leakage of sensitive documents, but also enables anyone to inject arbitrary malicious content into unlocked accounts, which is then automatically copied into all of the account owner’s devices. In the case of mapping services, short URLs reveal addresses and—via easy cross-correlation with public directories—identities of users who shared directions to medical facilities (including abortion, mental-health, and addiction-treatment clinics), prisons and juvenile detention centers, places of worship, and other sensitive locations; enable inference of social ties between people; and leak other sensitive private information,” the researchers concluded.

Although Google has responded by lengthening URLs and blocking automated scanning and Microsoft no longer allows OneDrive users to share files using shortened URLs, previously shared links are still live, and the exposed data is still vulnerable. But the fact that private shortened URLs could become public is not only reason not to shorten URLs. There are others.”

I had no idea that shortened URLs could be so problematic and dangerous. There is also the idea that some folks could get angry at a misleading title to a link.

This article goes on to explain that twitter now automatically shortens your URLs so no need to do that for Twitter anymore.

“Shortening URLs used to help you save precious characters on Twitter, but this is no longer the case. ALL URLs are now altered to 23 characters.

TL;DR: Using the full URL promotes honesty, transparency, and good digital hygiene. Posting shortened URLs does the opposite.”

You can read the rest of this excellent article here.

Regards,

TimSingleton

 

 

 

 

Tim Singleton

New To Online Marketing?

New To Online Marketing?

If this is of help to you, please comment below and use the share button to tell your friends and tribes about us.

Online Marketing Jobs

Up front, I want to be clear that if you are looking for online marketing jobs this is not where you want to be. This article is aimed at the entrepreneurial type who is looking to master online marketing strategies that will help him or her move their own products and services or those things for which they are acting as affiliate marketers.

Online Marketing Companies

It is an easy position to defend to say that all companies are ‘online marketing companies’ these days. They range in size and capacity from your local web designer who is using Google Neighborhoods to build his clientele of small businesses for web design services to the multi-million dollar advertising agency serving companies like Amazon, eBay and so on.

…and then, of course, we have you.

The question is, what is it you are trying to do online?

What Does Your Brand Say About You?

We here at Earthtiger Networking are in the business of helping you learn to brand yourself and market you to your customers. So, in order to succeed at online marketing definition of your target market and positioning yourself as an expert to that market is critical.

“How do you do that?” you ask.

Branding: Your Customers Are Buying YOU, Not Your Product

Folks do not like to be sold; folks like to buy. I agree the issue is somewhat a fine point at first blush, but the difference is critical.

You can spend your time selling, exhausting because you have to start over again next month, or you can spend your time building a relationship with a customer which means they will buy from you every time they have a problem you can solve.

Don’t sell, market.  To be specific, engage in attraction marketing.

Attraction Marketing

Attraction marketing means to provide value to your market place before they ever buy from you. I know that sounds somewhat unintuitive, especially if you are in financial clench mode.

To build long term, repeat business customers you have to prove that you are:

  1. Interested in solving their problems
  2. Capable of solving their problems.

You do this by solving small problems up front for free, aka ‘providing value’ so that when big problems come along they already know and trust you. Knowing you and trusting you means they are willing to buy from you.

One of the ways you can do that is look at your personal knowledge base and skill set.  Is anything in that knowledge base related to the goods and services you are offering?

In online marketing PDF downloads make for really powerful marketing pieces for you. A really strong move you can make is to put together a paper, as in a downloadable PDF, exploring that area of your expertise and give it away for free.

Now, you can do that as a way to provide value up front or you can also use it as a free incentive with the purchase of something else.

Hope this helps.

new to online marketing

 

 

 

Tim Singleton

Online Marketing Tools You Need For Your Business

Online Marketing Tools for Small Business

Online marketing tools for small business are all over the place. They range in price from free to tens of thousands of dollars. Some are subscription based.

Some of the pricey ones are a total waste of time while some of the free online marketing tools are indispensable and cannot be done without.

Some are so arcane in their application that really, they should not be offered in a broadcast way.

A small business owner who simply wants to know how to connect to his customers has no business buying web analytics research papers commissioned by someone like eBay for which he is charged several thousands of dollars.

He or she likely won’t read it. If they do, they won’t understand it. If they do understand it, it is likely it presents no actionable information based on his or her business.

It is a waste in my opinion.

Nope, the small business owner needs to recognize what the successful online marketers continue to say:

“The money is in your list. Building your list is more important than just about anything.”

Your list is composed of the folks who read your newsletter, your blog. They do LOLs at the cat pictures you post on your Facebook profile.

The people on your list are the people who have said to you, “I want to hear what you have to say.”

Making Your Brand Stand Out

Yes, your brand. If you are not up to speed on the concept, many small businesses and entrepreneurs of all stripes are not, you need to focus on this.

What is my brand? What does it mean to my customers? What do people think of when they see my company name, logo, me running around in my truck?

Embrace the idea that your brand speaks for you and your company. If you don’t have a plan, that’s okay. MLSP does have a plan and its track record is quite impressive.

You need to build your set of web marketing tools so that you can build your brand effectively. Doing one thing this week and flittering over to something else next week is going to result in your online advertising tools never having the time to work and your brand remaining undeveloped.

Email Marketing Tools

Email marketing tools can include an autoresponder that automatically sends a thank you email to those who sign up to receive your newsletter or to be notified when you update your blog.

It can also include an automated set of sales letters in a set that are sent out every so many days until the prospect buys or calls it quits.

It is said that the money is in the list…and in the follow up. A Customer Relationship Management product helps with the follow up.

You are running a business. You’re going to need a Customer Relationship Management package. Here’s the one I use.

It provides more power than many packages costing ten times as much.

SEO Tools

Your online marketing tools are going to have to include SEO tools so that you can give Google a reason to send people to your page. A couple of quickie notes that will help:

  • Google loves WordPress.
  • Common wisdom says an article should be between 300 and 750 words.
  • While you will need to use your keyword in the title and in the body of your post, don’t overdo it. Too high an incidence of your keyword and Google will consider it keyword stuffing and penalize you.
  • OnlyWire is a good place to share your articles once your write them. You can pay like $60 bucks and set up a thousand links to which you can post your articles for exposure.

If you enjoyed reading this, please comment and share. If you have questions about anything I shared here, please feel free to ask.

Best Regards,

online marketing tools

 

 

 

Tim Singleton

 

Sundays, What To Do?

What To Do On Sundays

You could try to rest. I promise you all the work you have worried about all weekend will be there on Monday morning.

Just a thought.

The source escapes me for now, but I do remember reading or being told that the President of the Church made the comment that, absent other pressing matters of a spiritual nature, he could think of no better way to spend the Sabbath than taking a good long nap.

What Not to Do On the Sabbath

This subject I am going to leave be for two reasons.

  1. It is the Sabbath and odds are you know what you should and should not be doing already.
  2. The human race is at a point right now where if you tell it to not do a thing, it will burn down nearly half the planet showing you how he can do anything he please.

Consider Your Life

If you are happy and satisfied or desperate and miserable, Sundays are a good day to consider your life.

Think about where you are.

Ask yourself if this is where you want to be.

If it is not, what do you need to do in order to get where you want to be?

Wherever that is, you cannot get there without deciding to do so and taking the first step in that direction.

Sunday: Not Just Another Day Off

I tend to be very lazy on Sunday myself.   We are instructed to rest, but seriously? Some folks pack an entire week of work into that single day.

“Oh, but we’re doing the Lord’s work.” Well, be that as it may, some folks can get burned out working all week, many working six days a week and then cramming a week’s worth of church related work into one day.

It is called the Sabbath, a day to rest. I don’t think the Lord would have prescribed a day of rest unless He knew we would need it.

Here is a good article to check out on things to do on Sunday, too.

Best Regards,

Tim and MaryJane

 

 

 

Tim Singleton

A Quick Link to a Few Awesome Resources

Blogging Resources and Training

You need to go here and review the Blogging – 3Min Expert – Attraction Marketing Edition course. I purchased it and am more than pleased at the depth of education it provides guided by the man who is arguably THE greatest blogger rolling right now. Making money blogging without the use of paid advertising is not only the dream of all bloggers, it is a necessity to many. This will help.

Still struggling with this? Check this out. The Authority Content package supplies you with done for you, unique to you, high quality articles on a daily basis.

Just a quickie!

Tim

Tax Time: Having A Small Business Helps

Start A Business To Reduce Taxes?

Creating a business for tax purposes is an excellent thing to do because the side business deductions can significantly impact your final tax bill.

Now, I know the issue makes a few folks twitchy because you see news stories and made for TV movies about folks having trouble with the tax man.

I know how you feel. I felt the same way.

After doing my due diligence and researching the issue I found that the time and effort required to keep proper records to take advantage  of the tax law also gave me additional tools and information I needed to make my household a more profitable enterprise.

What Is An Eligible Small Business for Tax Purposes?

I don’t think it matters too awfully much. As long as your business is a legitimate business providing goods and services to your customers and it is run from your home I would think it eligible for using as a source of deductions to reduce your tax bill.

Now, having said that let me add this. While I am not a tax professional it is my understanding that after some period of time your business has to generate some kind of income in order for you to continue to use it to generate income tax deductions.

Besides, you have the business, right? You might as well try to make it profitable.

So, it is my opinion that the best business for tax purposes is one that sells products or services about which you are truly excited about using and representing.  If you like what you are selling and believe it to be of value to your clients then the question of which business is best for your tax situation becomes irrelevant

Your Tax Team

You are going to need a tax team of qualified professionals and I am not on it. That is my way of saying I am providing this in an effort to help but you will need your own trained professionals to help you when it comes down to keeping records and filing.

Years ago I was an agent with Northwestern Mutual Life. One of the things drilled into me was that no one can do everything and that the best plans come from teams of professionals.

Your team should consist of the following:

  1. Accountant.
  2. Tax attorney.
  3. Banker.
  4. Life insurance Agent.

You probably won’t need them all starting out but as your business becomes profitable the choices and options expand greatly.  The four types of professionals working together can create a quite strong set of protections between your wealth and those who like to confiscate it.

Tools for Tax Savings

As we discussed above you will need to hire talent. I don’t mean like a full time accountant. You will just need to begin to develop relationships with local professionals so when you have a problem you already know where to go.

In an effort to find ways to reduce taxable income small business owners will have to invest in not only talent, but also some tools.

Quicken or QuickBooks or similar software packages are essential. You won’t understand everything at once but as time goes on and you develop a need for the capabilities of the software it will come.

Which accounting software are you going to use? Money? Quicken?

You might want to get your accountant person in place first, then ask them which one they use. It will save time and you have someone to ask question of besides the software’s helpline which is generally not staffed by accountants.

How are you going to keep records? I use Day Timer but the Franklin Planner or Day Runner are fine, too. You may go through several until you find the one suited to your brain. How will you know? Because it will be one you finally start using every day.

How are you going to manage your relationships with your customers? A CRM, or Customer Relationship Management package is essential. It is my opinion there is a 100% chance you will leave money and lose customers if you do not use a CRM. These can be expensive.  Here is the CRM I use.

Business Loss Tax Deduction Limit

  • You can deduct as many expenses as you incur for the year.
  • If you have income as an employee, you can deduct business expenses that exceed your business income from your regular income.

There are also ways to carry losses forward but that is a subject for you accountant. As you build your business and it becomes successful the issue of how to reduce taxes for high income earners will move from being an issue that puts you out like a light to one that makes you light up like a Christmas tree with excitement.

Here’s to keeping more of what you earn,

TimSingleton

 

 

 

Tim Singleton

Here are a couple of links related to the subject at hand:

When You Don’t Feel Like Working

When You Don’t Feel Like Working

Straight disclosure, the inspiration for this article is one by Ray Higdon, one of those I consider a mentor and go to guy on a number of things. His article was entitled ‘What to do When you Just don’t “Feel Like It.”’

Struggling as I have been from an on the job injury and the reluctance to do the right thing on the part of those responsible I have found myself caught between enduring the constant pain of bone on bone pain combined with burning numbness in other areas or taking the medications needed to ease such sufferings. In either case, I simply do not feel like doing what I need to do.

Please take note, I am using the present tense on purpose and with purpose.

Well, guess what? The universe does not care. Even those who say they do will get tired of hearing about it so you might as well’s to man up and do what you know you need to do, ‘feeling like it’ or not.

Nobody Feels Like It

There is not one super successful person who got that way by only working on the days they ‘feel like it.’

I should not have had to have Ray tell me this, but well, hey, it is what it is and I am grateful for the instruction.

It’s embarrassing, really. There is a lady in the Philippines who went direct on a limited product line, from a wheelchair. I am at least walking. It is an ugly walk and I look like I am crossing a deck in 30+’ seas, but I am walking on my on power still. Cannot lift much and cannot move fast but at least I am still moving on my own power.

…so screw this “I don’t feel like it” crap.

I don’t feel like going somewhere 8 hours on many days in order for someone else to tell me what to do all day, either. But I do it because I REALLY don’t feel like not eating or not paying my bills.

Super Successful People MAKE Themselves Feel Like It

Folks like Ray, Rob and Brian are just like you and me. The blood flows through their veins and when they get tired or upset or aggravated, they, too, feel the blood pounding in their heads.

Ray lost it all in the real estate crash. Rob thought he was going to die and leave his family destitute. Brian was a youngen who, at a young age, got a very clear vision of what it would be like to be someone else’s indentured servant until he is my age, like I was, and said, “No. Thanks ever so much for thinking of me, but…hell, no.”

I Don’t Feel Like It Days

On days you don’t feel like it, those are the days when you double down and scream at the universe, metaphorically or actually, as you like… You scream at the universe that you are going to do it anyways.

The ‘I Don’t Feel Like It Days’ are the days that either condemn you to spend your life with the ones who don’t even try or separate you from the wishers and wannabes and reward you with laurels given to those who ran the race anyways and won.

Below are some links to training I have used, personally use and have profited from.

Blogging – 3Min Expert – Attraction Marketing Edition

23 Productivity Secrets ($9)   ← $9, Wow!

Best Regards,

Tim and MaryJane

 

 

 

Tim Singleton