Category Archives: clutterfreepc

How to Keep False Testimonials from Ruining Your Biz on Google Maps

You could argue that 2011 is the year of the troll. Not the monstrous troll of fairy tales, but of the internet. This type of troll is a bitter little bugger full of snark that waits around every corner of the Web to infect you with his bile. Now there are some regions of the internet where trolls might be appreciated… Celebrity Gossip sites, for example. But one of those regions where he is not appreciated by any measure is Google Maps.

A troll’s bogus testimonial on Google Maps, Yahoo! Local, MSN Live Maps, Yelp, and other online destinations is a serious matter to businesses and customers alike. The last thing a business owner wants is for a troll’s negative comment to taint a prospective customer’s first impression of their business. And a prospective customer looking for a great new place to eat or shop doesn’t need their choices swayed by someone who intends harm.

Many businesses, in fact, have complained about false reviews on their Google Places pages. in response, Google has stated in their support forum: “For any reviews that a user has left through Google Maps, simply choose ‘Flag as inappropriate’ with an explanation as to why this review violates our policies. Somebody will take a look at the user’s comments as well as your explanation.”

In addition to flagging, you can respond to a bad review. Verified Google Places Business owners can publicly respond to maps.google.com reviews on their Places page. Be sure to read Google’s guide before you respond to any reviews.

Whatever you do, do not pay any service to remove a bad review on Google Maps or any other online destination, as these removal services are actually scams that have sprung up over the past year.

Ultimately, the internet is a two-way street. Unlike broadcast advertising, advertising on the Internet is a conversation, and the best way to manage your image online is through what you say in the first place. Invest your efforts in communicating value and showing interest in your customers (for an example of positive give and take with customers, check us out on Twitter. ) This type of effort will trump the trolls every time, as you will generate a wealth of positive reviews that will smother any negative ones.

(I’d like to send a big thank you to @thejoeloflethal for the great suggestion for a post via our Twitter Account. Feel free to add your suggestions for future posts in the comments or via our Twitter and Facebook.)


Clutterfreepc news: British Royal Navy Attacked!

Direct from clutterfreepc:

The British Royal Navy has been successfully attacked – by malware.

The Royal Navy’s website was recently shut down temporarily while military officials repaired the vulnerability. In addition to the website’s motto, which ironically reads “Modern and Relevant,” users saw a message telling them why they couldn’t access any information on the website during repairs.

“Unfortunately the Royal Navy website is currently undergoing essential maintenance. Please visit again soon,” the website read.

Meanwhile, in true cyber criminal fashion, the hackers responsible for the attack celebrated and boasted on anonymous blogs throughout the web. A cyber criminal known only by the moniker TinKode took credit and received praise for the attack.

“TinKode doesn’t need sophisticated weapons to disarm an army. He just need a PC,” an anonymous post on TinKode’s blog read.

Another hacker gave him a pat on the back. “Nice dude, really nice. Good job,” a hacker name Sirarcane added.

Cyber security authorities across the globe have discussed the implications that may come as a result of the attack on the British Royal Navy’s website. Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for security firm Sophos, said the event is “embarrassing” for the British military’s cyber security, and said the country is fortunate TinKode didn’t use the hack for more malicious purposes.

“We can all be thankful that Tinkode’s activities appear to be have been more mischievous than dangerous,” Cluley wrote in a recent NakedSecurity blog post. “If someone with more malice in mind had hacked the site they could have used it to post malicious links on the Navy’s JackSpeak blog, or embedded a Trojan horse into the site’s main page.”

In fact, TinKode, who is believed to live in Romania, has a history of pointing out glaring web security flaws within networks that many users may have previously considered secure. According to Clulely, “TinKode has revealed security holes in NASA’s website, and published information about SQL injection vulnerabilities in sites belonging to the U.S. Army.”

Just as government cyber security has rebounded from these past attacks, Cluley hopes the British Royal Navy can limit the damage from TinKode’s attack and use it to prevent future issues.

“Hopefully efforts are in place now to secure any vulnerabilities and reduce the chances of such a serious security breach happening again in the future,” Cluley wrote. “It is to be hoped that the ultimate impact of this attack will be egg on the face of the Ministry of Defense – and better security practices in the future – rather than a more significant assault on a website presenting the public face of an important part of the armed forces.”

A number of other recent attacks have highlighted the importance of anti-malware software in government networks, including the Stuxnet virus’ successful infiltration of Iran’s energy infrastructure.

If the British Royal Navy can be attacked, anyone can!  To protect your PC, please visit ClutterFreePC at www.clutterfreepc.com.