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Grace Irwin

Grace Irwin

Cybersecurity Expert. Trusted advisor to board members and stakeholders, to define strategies for managing cybersecurity risks.

The development of the cyber environment is articulated through new digital scenarios -- from the technological development of smartphone apps to the Internet of Things, from the sharing economy to social networks -- the circulation of personal data has expanded extensively and rapidly. In particular, I recognize a slow but decisive transition from a material, utilitarian and free sharing typical of the sharing economy, for which self-regulation was sufficient, to today's atmosphere of social sharing. If the services of the sharing economy technologies seemed to put the privacy of users at risk, the new system seems to be even more saturated with issues. In fact, the social sharing of photographs, thoughts, and confidential information risks endangering the privacy of internet users and, considering that much of this personal data is also transported overseas where the discipline and the protection provided is profoundly different, the question becomes extremely complex.

This shift is characterized by the diffusion and horizontal expansion of increasingly sophisticated and integrated social engineering methods and techniques, and through the release and sharing of technologically persuasive applications. These scenarios are found in the profile of cyber attacks and are significant characterizations in terms of behavioral matrixes and operational creativity.

Inevitably, the concepts of knowledge and information management have been redefined and are now almost completely digitalized, with significant relapses in terms of security. In today's cyber scenario, a new multidimensional concept of security has emerged, deriving from the interpenetration of the paradigms of social change and digital-media convergence -- both understood as multipliers of instances coming in particular from the underground. This underground becomes ever more reticular, competent and cohesive, from a digital point of view, until it's the "cartilage" of the system exoskeleton, not only in infrastructural terms but also in terms of cultural identity.

As a result, open society, right-to-know and digital info sharing become the pillars of contemporary democratic architecture. It is necessary to explore cyberspace in a deep and scientific way -- to understand it as a human space, one which needs to be identified and analyzed dynamically, with scientific rigor, avoiding any reductionist simplicity dictated by the fashions of the moment. The specificities and the socio-cultural differences between activism and hacktivism are also worth examining in the transition process toward fully digital models of politics and diplomacy.

As an example, Bitcoin should not be considered mere virtual currency, but also as an instrument, product, and modality of self-construction. It's an identity-based dissemination of digital exchange communities and an interactive process through which all the subjects involved create information, innovation, and resources.

It is essential to direct operational research into the elaboration and anticipation of scenarios that are no longer futuristic or even too far in the future -- ones in which we imagine the impact and dynamics of the cybercriminals who use distributed denial of service (DDoS) or botnet attacks. These attacks might be a self-legitimized form of cyber-protest or a revisitation, in a cyber environment, of protest sit-ins that animated most of the 20th century and which often caused paralysis not only of viability but also of the vital functions of important institutions.

The unknown journey that leads humanity toward post-globalization is strongly marked by some pieces of evidence including the conflicts arising from the frictions between the development of the metropolitan institutional environment and the organizational dynamics of transnational digital communities and the advent of new sexual-digital identities.

We are witnessing the progressive emergence of organized and globalized criminals, above all at the level of the media. These criminals are born from the necessity of evolution through the web, pre-existing local and internationalized structures, and by long processes of criminal hybridization. This hybridization has connected them through the web. This evolution requires a resetting of operational missions based on full integration between social sciences and computational technologies in order to uncover qualitative and quantitative strategies that can be used to attain a deep understanding of the organized and now digitized criminal complex.

The triangulation of big data, web intelligence, and information assurance turns out to be the key to managing the complexity and the centrality of information, which is now the regulating essence of every aspect of life. Today, it's important to focus not just on the internet of things but also on the sometimes obscure internet of thoughts, which requires equal amounts of analytical attention. This emphasizes that today cyber can no longer be considered an object external to mankind, and should instead be seen as pervasively connected to it. Therefore, in firmly considering cybersecurity as a dynamic process and not a static product, it is evident that it is not possible to guarantee the security of the globalized citizen in relation to the relationship between freedom and democracy, without using appropriate conceptual tools to understand and manage the complexity that turns out to be unquestionably human, cultural and social.

Source: This article was published on forbes.com By John Giordani

Thursday, 05 April 2018 03:13

5 Ways to Find a Cell Phone Number Online

Tracking down someone's cell phone number can be difficult, if not impossible. After all, one of the reasons that people purchase a mobile phone is so they can have some measure of anonymity.

In addition, phone books do not (usually) carry listings of cell phone numbers, so there's no paper trail to follow, and cell phone numbers are unlisted – meaning that even if the number comes through on your phone screen, the person attached to it is still a mystery for the most part. 

However, that doesn't mean that finding a cell phone number listing is an impossible task. While mobile phone numbers are notoriously tricky to look up, there are a couple of tricks you can try. In this article, we're going to look at five different ways you can use the internet to potentially track down a cell phone number. 

Note: While the Web is a vast treasury of resources, not everything can be found online. Use these tips for entertainment purposes only. 

1-Try Using a Search Engine to Find That Cell Phone Number

 Search engines instantly expand your search. Google

Try a search engine. If you know the mobile phone number already, try entering it into your favorite search engine and see what comes up. If the cell phone number you are looking for has ever been entered somewhere on the Web – a blog, a public job profile – it will show up and you'll be able to track to whom it belongs to.

  • How to Pick a Search Engine: There's no set rule in place that says you have to use the same search engine every time you look for something. In fact, most search industry experts would advise you to do the exact opposite in order to get the most well-rounded results. Every search engine serves up different results, sometimes drastically so.
  • Top Ten Google Search Tricks: While Google is definitely the search engine of choice for most people, there's a lot more to it than just tracking down Wikipedia articles and finding cute cat pics. Learn how you can make your Google searches more powerful than you ever thought you could.
  • Top 10 Web Search Tricks: Do you use the same basic Web search technique every time you look for something? If you do, you're not alone...most people are "stuck in a rut" when it comes to their search habits. With a few simple tweaks, you can make your Web searches more targeted and therefore much more effective.

2-Use Social Media to Find a Cell Phone Number

 Social media sites can yield clues. filo/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty

Try social networking sites. There are literally hundreds of millions of people who are active on various social networking sites all over the world. Many people use these social networking sites to share information with each other, and yes, that does include phone numbers. Simply type the person's name into the site's search function and see what comes back.

In addition, one of the most popular social networking sites is Facebook, which boasts at the time of this writing more than 500 million members. It's a great source for tracking people down and, while most of the ways you can find people here are somewhat obvious, there are other informational sources within Facebook that might not be quite as easy to use. Read How to Use Facebook to Find People to learn more about how you can use Facebook to find cell phone numbers and (potentially) much, much more.

Usernames can be tracked. alengo/E+/Getty

Try searching via username. Usernames, individual identification codes/names for people accessing a computer, network, or website, are also good jumping-off points for tracking down a cell phone number. Since many people keep the same username across multiple sites, you can sometimes hit pay dirt simply by typing that username into your favorite search engine and waiting for the results. If the person has entered in their phone number somewhere on the Web underneath their username, it will come up in a search engine query.

 Quote marks can help narrow searches down. bubaone/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty

Try a niche search engine. There are a wide variety of search engines on the Web, and all of them serve up unique results. While general search engines are quite useful in most search situations, sometimes niche search engines – tools that fulfill a specific search purpose – can come in handy. People search engines can be extraordinarily useful in this regard since they search and retrieve only people-related information, which includes cell phone numbers. Type in the person's name ( use quotation marks around the name to make the search even more focused), or type in the phone number itself to find related information.

5-Finding Cell Phone Numbers Online - Not Always Guaranteed

Don't pay when you can get information free. JoKMedia/E+/Getty

You should not pay for this information. The sites that charge for the service have access to the same information you do on the Web – if you can't find it, they probably can't either.

Unfortunately, failing to find the phone number you're looking for is going to be the norm and not the exception. Mobile phone numbers are kept very private by most people and, since they are not in any kind of published directory (yet), they are next to impossible to track down. However, don't give up! Try the tips mentioned in this article, and you just might get lucky.

 Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Jerri Collins

The Internet is massive. Millions of web pages, databases and servers all run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But the so-called "visible" Internet—sites that can be found using search engines like Google and Yahoo—is just the tip of the iceberg. Below the surface is the Deep Web, which accounts for approximately 90 percent of all websites. As noted by ZDNet, in fact, this hidden Web is so large that it's impossible to discover exactly how many pages or sites are active at any one time. This Web was once the province of hackers, law enforcement officers and criminals. However, new technology like encryption and the anonymization browser software, Tor, now makes it possible for anyone to dive deep if they're interested.

 

Defining the Deep/Dark Web

There are a number of terms surrounding the non-visible Web, but it's worth knowing how they differ if you're planning to browse off the beaten path. According to PC Advisor, the term "Deep Web" refers to all Web pages that that are unidentifiable by search engines. The "Dark Web," meanwhile, refers to sites with criminal intent or illegal content, and "trading" sites where users can purchase illicit goods or services. In other words, the Deep covers everything under the surface that's still accessible with the right software, including the Dark Web. There's also a third term, "Dark Internet" that refers to sites and databases that are not available over public Internet connections, even if you're using Tor. Often, Dark Internet sites are used by companies or researchers to keep sensitive information private.

While many news outlets use "Deep Web" and "Dark Web" interchangeably, it's worth noting that much of the Deep is actually benign. Everything from blog posts in review to Web page redesigns still in testing to the pages you access when you bank online are part of the Deep and pose no threat to your computer or safety at large. As CNN Moneyillustrates, big search engines are like fishing boats that can only "catch" websites close to the surface. Everything else, from academic journals to private databases and more illicit content, is out of reach.

Access

Most people who wish to access the Deep Web use Tor, a service originally developed by the United States Naval Research Laboratory. Think of Tor as a Web browser like Google Chrome or Firefox. The main difference is that, instead of taking the most direct route between your computer and the deep parts of the Web, the Tor browser uses a random path of encrypted servers, also known as "nodes." This allows users to connect to the Deep Web without fear of their actions being tracked or their browser history being exposed. Sites on the Deep also use Tor (or similar software such as I2P) to remain anonymous, meaning you won't be able to find out who's running them or where they're being hosted.

Many users now leverage Tor to browse both the public Internet and the Deep. Some simply don't want government agencies or even Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to know what they're looking at online, while others have little choice—users in countries with strict access and use laws are often prevented from accessing even public sites unless they use Tor clients and virtual private networks (VPNs). The same is true for government critics and other outspoken advocates who fear backlash if their real identities were discovered. Of course, anonymity comes with a dark side since criminals and malicious hackers also prefer to operate in the shadows.

Use and Misuse

For some users, the Deep Web offers the opportunity to bypass local restrictions and access TV or movie services that may not be available in their local areas. Others go deep to download pirated music or grab movies that aren't yet in theaters. At the dark end of the Web, meanwhile, things can get scary, salacious and just plain...strange. As noted by The Guardian, for example, credit card data is available on the Dark Web for just a few dollars per record, while ZDNet notes that anything from fake citizenship documents to passports and even the services of professional hit men is available if you know where to look. Interested parties can also grab personal details and leverage them to blackmail ordinary Internet users. Consider the recent Ashley Madison hack—vast amounts of account data, including real names, addresses and phone numbers—ended up on the Dark Web for sale. This proves that, even if you don't surf the murky waters of the Dark Web, you could be at risk of blackmail (or worse) if sites you regularly use are hacked.

Illegal drugs are also a popular draw on the Dark Web. As noted by Motherboard, drug marketplace the Silk Road—which has been shut down, replaced, shut down again and then rebranded—offers any type of substance in any amount to interested parties. Business Insider, meanwhile, details some of the strange things you can track down in the Deep, including a DIY vasectomy kit and a virtual scavenger hunts that culminated in the "hunter" answering a NYC payphone at 3 a.m.

Real Risks

Thanks to the use of encryption and anonymization tools by both users and websites, there's virtually no law enforcement presence down in the Dark. This means anything—even material well outside the bounds of good taste and common decency—can be found online. This includes offensive, illegal "adult" content that would likely scar the viewer for life. A recent Wired article, for example, reports that 80 percent of Dark Web hits are connected to pedophilia and child pornography. Here, the notion of the Dark as a haven for privacy wears thin and shores up the notion that if you do choose to go Deep, always restrict access to your Tor-enabled device so children or other family members aren't at risk of stumbling across something no one should ever see. Visit the Deep Web if you're interested, but do yourself a favor: don't let kids anywhere near it and tread carefully—it's a long way down.

 Source: This article was published usa.kaspersky.com

Tuesday, 20 March 2018 02:27

The Top 8 Job Search Engines on the Web

Need to find a job? These are the best job search engines on the web

If you're in the market for a new job, you'll want to check out this list of the best eight job search engines on the web. All of these job search tools offer unique features and can streamline your employment search efforts so your efforts are more productive. Each one is an incredibly useful tool that will help you localize your search, find interesting new positions that correlate to your experience and interests, and help you to find employment in a wide variety of genres. 

1- Monster.com

Monster Logo
Monster

Newly redesigned Monster.com is one of the oldest job search engines on the Web. While some of its usefulness has been diminished in recent years due to a lack of good filtering and too many posts by spammy recruiters, it's still an important site on which to conduct a job search. You can narrow your search by location, keywords, and employer; plus, Monster has plenty of job search extras: networking boards, job search alerts, and online resume posting.

Employers can also use Monster.com to find employees for a nominal fee, a useful tool for those looking to expand their hiring repertoire, find a new full-time or contract employee, or gather a pool of potential applicants for an upcoming position.  More »

Indeed logo
Indeed

Indeed.com is a very solid job search engine, with the ability to compile a resume and submit it onsite for employer searches of keywords, jobs, niches, and more. Indeed uncovers a wide variety of jobs and fields that you wouldn't normally find on most job search sites, and they do a good job of making their job search features as easy to use as possible. You can subscribe to job alerts via email; you can set these up for a certain keyword, geolocation, salary, and much more. 

In addition, Indeed makes it as simple as possible to keep track of jobs you've applied for; all you need to do is create a login (free) and every job you've applied for from within Indeed.com or that you've just expressed interest in will be saved to your profile. 

Daily and weekly alerts can be created with notifications going to your inbox; criteria include job title, location, salary requirements, and skill sets.  More »

USAJobs
USA Jobs

Think of USAjobs as your gateway into the huge world of US government jobs. Navigate to the USAjobs.gov home page, and you'll be able to narrow your search by keyword, job title, control number, agency skills, or location. One particularly interesting feature is the ability to search worldwide within any country that currently is advertising a vacancy. 

Just like many other job search engines on this list, you can create a user account (free) on USAjobs.gov, making the application process for government jobs extremely streamlined and easy.  More »

CareerBuilder Logo
Career Builder

CareerBuilder offers job searchers the ability to find a job, post a resume, create job alerts, get job advice and job resources, look up job fairs, and much more. This is a truly massive job search engine that offers a lot of good resources to the job searcher; I especially appreciate the list of job search communities. 

According to the CareerBuilder website, more than 24 million unique visitors a month visit CareerBuilder to find new jobs and obtain career advice, and offers job searches in over 60 different countries worldwide.  More »

5- Dice

DiceLogo
Dice

Dice.com is a job search engine dedicated to only finding technology jobs. It offers a targeted niche space for finding exactly the technology position you might be looking for.

One of the most appealing features that Dice offers is the ability to drill down to extremely specialized tech positions, giving job seekers the opportunity to find the niche tech jobs that are sometimes elusive on other job search engines.  More »

6- SimplyHired

SimplyHired Screenshot
Simply Hired

SimplyHired also offers a unique job search experience; the user trains the job search engine by rating jobs he or she is interested in. SimplyHired also gives you the ability to research salaries, add jobs to a job map, and view pretty detailed profiles of various companies.

If you're looking for a good job search engine that focuses on local job listings, SimplyHired can be a good choice. You can browse by town, by zip code, or by state to find the job that might be right for you.   More »

7- LinkedIn

linked in logo
LinkedIN

LinkedIn.com combines the best of two worlds: the ability to scour the Internet for jobs with its job search engine, and the opportunity to network with like-minded friends and individuals to deepen your job search.

LinkedIn's job postings are of the highest quality, and if you are connected to someone who already knows about that particular job, you've got a way in before you even hand in your resume.  More »

8- Craigslist

Craigslist logo
Craigslist

There are all sorts of interesting jobs on Craigslist. Just find your city, look under Jobs, then look under your job category. Non-profit, systems, government, writing, etc. jobs are all represented here.

You can also set up various RSS feeds that pertain to whatever job you might be looking for, in whatever location.

Caution: Craigslist this is a free marketplace and some of the jobs posted at on this site could be scams. Use caution and common sense when replying to job listings on Craigslist.  More »

 Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Jerri Collins

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 03:01

Is Your Internet Speed as Good as Promised?

These are, of course, the latest technology available to large metro centers.  Your own part of the world will offer speeds that vary with the technology and providers available in your area.

For Cellphone Users in City Limits

Modern cellphone connections should be 5 to 12 megabits-per-second (5 to 12 Mbps) if you have the 4th Generation LTE technology. 

For Desktop Users in City Limits

Modern high-speed cable connections to a home desktop should be 50 to 150 megabits-per-second (50 to 150 Mbps).

Also remember: these speeds are theoretical numbers.  In practice, most users will experience speeds that are slower than these theoretical values. Speeds vary with many factors.

Here are several ways you can test your internet connection speed and see your own performance.

1-Ookla Speed Test for Android

Ookla Android speed test
Ookla Android speed test. screenshot

Ookla is a respected American name that has offered speed testing services for years.  Their Ookla mobile app will perform upload and download speed tests with controlled data over a 30-second interval.  It will then provide you graphical results to show what speeds your mobile device is achieving on 4G, LTE, EDGE, 3G, and EVDO networks.

Important note:  many ISP's will offer to be the target Ookla server for you, so their results may be skewed to inflate their performance numbers.  After your first test, it is a good idea to go into Ookla settings and choose an independent server outside of your ISP's control when you run your second and third Android speed test.More »

Ookla speed test for iPhone/iOS
 Ookla speed test for iPhone/iOS. screenshot

In the same fashion as the Android version, Ookla for Apple will connect to a server from your iPhone, and send and receive data with a strict stopwatch to capture the results.  The results will show in stylish graphs, and you can choose to save your results online so you can share it with friends, or even your ISP.

When you use Ookla on your Apple, make sure to run it multiple times, and after the first test, using the Ookla settings to choose a target server that is not owned by your ISP; you are more likely to get unbiased results from a 3rd party server. More »

Bandwidthplace.com speed test
 Bandwidthplace.com speed test. screenshot

This is a good free speed test choice for residents of the USA, Canada, and the UK. The convenience of Bandwidthplace.com is that you need not install anything; just run their speed test in your Safari or Chrome or IE browser.

Bandwidth Place only has 19 servers around the world at this time, though, with most of its servers in the USA. Accordingly, if you are far away from the Bandwidth Place servers, your internet speed will appear quite slow. More »

DSLReports speed testDSLReports speed test. screenshot

 As an alternative to Ookla and Bandwidthplace, the tools at DSLReports offer some interesting additional features.  You can choose to test your bandwidth speed when it is encrypted (scrambled to prevent eavesdropping) or unencrypted. It also tests you against multiple servers simultaneously. More »

5-ZDNet Speed Test for Desktop

ZDNet speed testZDNet speed test. screenshot

 Another alternative to Ookla is ZDNet.  This fast test also offers international statistics on how other countries are faring for internet speeds. More »

6-Speedof.Me Speed Test for Desktop

Speedof.Me speed test
 Speedof.Me speed test. screenshot

Some network analysts claim that speed tests based on HTML5 technology are the most accurate mimic of how internet traffic really flows. The HTML 5 tool at Speedof.Me is one good option for testing your desktop or cell phone speed.  This browser-based tool is convenient for how it requires no install.

You don't get to choose the servers with Speedof.me, but you do get to pick what kind of data file you want to upload and download for the test. More »

7-Where Does Internet Sluggishness Come From?

Where does internet sluggishness come from?
 Where does internet sluggishness come from?. Buena Vista / Getty

Your performance is likely to fall short of the theoretical maximum on your ISP account.  This is because many variables come into play:

  1. Online traffic and congestion: if you are sharing a connection with many other users, and if those users are heavy gamers or downloaders, then you'll definitely experience a slowdown.
  2. Your location and distance from the server:  particularly try for those of you in rural settings, the more distance the signal travels, the more your data will hit bottlenecks across the many cable 'hops' to reach your device.
  3. Hardware: hundreds of pieces of hardware connect you to the Web, including your network connector, your router and model, many servers and many cables. Not to mention: a wireless connection has to compete with other signals in the air.
  4. Time of day:  just like the roads during rush hour, the cables of the Internet have peak times for traffic. This definitely contributes to your speed experience slowing down.
  5. Selective throttling:  some ISP's will actually analyze data, and purposely slow down specific types of data.  For example, many ISP's will purposely slow down your movie downloads, or even dial all your speeds down if you consume more than your monthly quota of data.
  6. Software running on your system:  you may unwittingly have some malware or some bandwidth-intensive application running that will rob your internet speed.
  7. The other people in your house or building:  if your teenage daughter is streaming music in the next room, or if your building neighbor below you is downloading 20GB of movies, then you'll likely experience sluggishness.

8-What to Do When Your Speed Doesn't Match What Your ISP Promises...

What if your internet speed is far below your ISP promises?
 What if your internet speed is far below your ISP promises?. Buena Vista / Getty

If the speed variance is within 20-35% of the promised speed, you may not have much recourse.  That's to say if your ISP promises you 100 Mbps and you can show them that you get 70 Mbps, the customer service people will probably just tell you politely that's you need to live with it.

On the other hand, if you paid for a 150 Mbps connection, and you are getting 44 Mbps, then you are well within reasonable to ask them to audit your connection.  If they mistakenly toggled you at a slower speed, then they should give you what you paid for, or credit you back fees.

 Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Paul Gil

Friday, 09 March 2018 03:29

The Best Twitter Search Tricks

The Twitter Archiver and Twitter Bots app fire each time a new tweet is found that match your search query. You can write simple search queries (like #Oscars) or more complex query (like obama min_retweets:10 filter:news) that uses one or more Twitter search operators.

Twitter SearchHow to Search Twitter Like a Pro

Here’s a complete list of Twitter search operators that can help you perform more accurate searches on Twitter:

from:BarackObama

All tweets sent by a particular Twitter user

filter:verified cool OR amazing

Only show tweets from verified Twitter accounts (with the blue tick)

gangnam style filter:replies

Only show tweets that are replies. You can use exclude:replies to remove @reply tweets from search results.

gangnam style filter:retweets

Only show tweets that are retweets. You can use exclude:retweets to remove RTs from search results.

to:BarackObama -filter:links

Tweets sent to @BarackObama but not containing any links

elections list:TIME/time-staff

Search for tweets from users who belong to a particular Twitter list

youtube.com min_faves:100

Tweets containing YouTube videos that are favorited by at least 100 users

iPhone near:NY within:10mi

Tweets sent by users within the 10 mile radius of New York containing iPhone

#foodrecipe lang:en

Tweets sent in particular language (en = English)

iPhone Reviews since:2016-04-01 until:2016-04-09

Tweets sent in a particular time range (may not work with Twitter APIs)

YouTube good OR amazing OR awesome filter:links

Tweets containing YouTube videos that are described as awesome or amazing

#Emmys filter:images

Show tweets for a particular hashtag but containing images

Barack Obama filter:news

Show only tweets that mention a keyword and contain links to news websites

from:john to:peter -RT

Tweets from user @John that @mention user @Peter but exclude Retweets

family games filter:safe

Filter tweets containing adult or potentially sensitive content

tornado filter:media

Show tornado tweets containing images or videos

music concert filter:native_video

Show tweets that contain native video (uploaded inside tweet)

twitter search tricks

How to Find the Most Popular Tweets

The engagement filter inside Tweetdeck surfaces the best tweets and removes the noise from Twitter search results but the most surprising part is that Twitter has not made this filter available outside Tweetdeck. You don’t even have it inside the official Twitter app.

Well, here’s the trick. You can actually filter tweets by engagement level on the Twitter website or inside any Twitter app using an undocumented search operator that Twitter doesn’t want us to know about.

Go to the Twitter search box, type any search term and append the operator min_retweets:[number] or min_faves:[number] to filter your search results. For instance, here’s a sample search that will only show tweets pointing to the labnol.org domain that has been favorited or retweeted at least 5 times.

 Source: This article was published labnol.org By Amit Agarwal

Do you use hashtags for marketing campaigns on Twitter?

Looking for hashtag tools to help improve your use of hashtags?

In this article, you’ll find seven hashtag tools for researching and reporting on Twitter hashtags.

Why Is Researching Twitter Hashtags Important?

Twitter users often follow hashtags that pertain to their interests, so social media marketers can use targeted hashtags to improve their reach among users with specific interests. However, with only 280 characters in which to squeeze both your message and hashtags, you need to choose the hashtags you target carefully.

When you set aside time to research what hashtags are the most popular with your customer personas, you’re better able to target users who reflect your ideal audience. Luckily, several tools available can help you identify and track the best hashtags for your industry.

Each tool has its own strengths. However, generally speaking, a research tool can help you monitor hashtags, improve influencer outreach, discover demographic and geographic information, and gauge sentiment. With the right toolbox, you can simplify social marketing on Twitter.

#1: Discover Hashtag Popularity With RiteTag

RiteTag helps you find new hashtags and track your current hashtags. In addition to showing important hashtag data, this tool helps you find the best possible hashtags for your text and images. With the handy Chrome extension, you can highlight text or right-click an image (as shown below) and instantly get hashtag suggestions for it.

RiteTag hashtag suggestions

The RiteTag hashtag search feature organizes results so you can see at a glance which related hashtags will help your tweet visibility now or over time. The results also indicate which related hashtags are less popular.

RiteTag hashtag search results

For $49 per year, you can use RiteTag for up to 1,000 queries a month for both images and text. Other plans are available if you’re looking for help crafting, publishing, or enhancing posts; these plans range from $7.50 to $15 per month.

#2: Purchase In-Depth Hashtag Reports With ExportTweet

With ExportTweet, you can track hashtags, keywords, and accounts. This tool also helps you find top tweets, related hashtags, influencer data, device source, geographic location, and more. The free tool (accessed via the Try Now button) gives information on the last 100 tweets, but the paid searches offer unlimited tracking time and unlimited report downloads.

ExportTweet hashtag search results

With the pay-as-you-go pricing options, ExportTweet is a great option for new hashtag trackers or those who want to focus on only a few hashtags. You can purchase reports for both real-time hashtag tracking (25,000+ tweets) and hashtag historical data(2,000+ tweets), which include CSV spreadsheets of top related hashtags and all images, videos, and URLs. Real-time reports start at $19.99, and historical data reports start at $16.99.

#3: Reveal Top Hashtags and Influencers With Hashtagify

If you’re not sure where to start with your hashtags and prefer a more visual interface, check out the Hashtagify search tool. Like other search tools, it helps you find relevant hashtags. In addition to data about a hashtag’s popularity over time, you can see which influencers use the hashtag and get details about the hashtag’s reach in different languages and geographic areas.

Hashtagify hashtag search results

The search tool is free to use. You can purchase a Hashtagify plan starting at $9 per month to add hashtag trackers, two months of data storage, full access to the top ranking hashtags, and a bookmark feature to save any favorite hashtags.

#4: Get Day-Of Hashtag Data With Tweet Archivist

Tweet Archivist is another free search tool for hashtags. Other search tools give you a range of several days, but with Tweet Archivist, you get real-time data from the day of your search with the number of tweets and impressions for the day, as shown in this result for the #socialmedia hashtag:

Tweet Archivist hashtag search results

With the free report, you’ll see the top associated words, top URLs associated with the hashtag, the source of the top tweets, top languages used, user mentions, associated hashtags, and an influencer index.

Tweet Archivist hashtag search results

For $14.99 per month, you gain the ability to download data and receive three archives that are updated every hour. If you don’t want a recurring monthly payment plan, other pricing options are also available.

#5: Discover Local Trending Hashtags With Trendsmap

For a local business, Trendsmap is an amazing tool for finding trending hashtags in your area. This tool will reveal the most popular trending topics on Twitter based on geographic data. Yes, you can use Twitter itself for this, but you get only a few trending topics compared to the many you’ll see via Trendsmap.

This tool will show local trending hashtags, users, and words. For example, here you see trending words, hashtags, and users in the Houston area during an uncharacteristic ice storm:

Trendsmap hashtag search results

Trendsmap has a free search feature and pricing options that start at $25 per month. The free search feature provides only real-time hashtag data, whereas the paid plans offer longer historical data.

With the free search, you’ll have to find your location and zoom in to see the top hashtags, users, and words. With the paid plan, you can narrow your search by your physical location, city, or region and customize whether you see hashtags, users, or words.

#6: Track Campaign Hashtags With Socialert

Socialert is a budget-friendly tool, making it perfect for individual users or small businesses. You can do a free search before the tool asks you to upgrade to a paid plan. The free search will analyze 300 tweets over a 7-day period to give you a snapshot of relevant data. You’ll see the hashtag reach and impression rate along with geographic data and overall sentiment.

If you upgrade to a paid plan, you can get in-depth analytics, historical data, search filters, and influencer tracking. The paid plans start at $9.95 per month for two campaigns, and you can upgrade your plan as required to track more campaigns. Here you see a report on the hashtag #smm:

Socialert hashtag search results

#7: Follow Hashtags in Real Time With Keyhole

Keyhole has a free search function for surface-level analytics. Enter a hashtag you want to research. In the results, you’ll see data that’s useful for quickly gathering general information on a hashtag. Get real-time data on the number of posts, users, impressions, reach, demographics, sentiment, and top sources.

For instance, here you see a section of Keyhole results for a search on the hashtag #marketing:

Keyhole hashtag search results

For additional features, upgrade to one of the paid plans.

Conclusion

With Facebook’s new algorithm change, you may need to focus more on your Twitter marketing. Hashtag usage is incredibly important for Twitter, and many tools can help you track hashtags for Twitter optimization. However, some tools may be more useful to you than others.

Every social media campaign has its own strategy, so the level of data you need for each will vary. The free search functions will help you gather initial data, but you might want to dig deeper in other cases.

What do you think? Have you used any of these hashtag tracking resources? What tools have you found most useful? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 Source: This article was published socialmediaexaminer.com By Lindsay

Google updates the search results features with an expanded featured snippet targeting broad, nuanced queries

Google has been rolling out many new search features over the past few months related to images, featured snippets, and the knowledge graph. Today the search giant released another feature called “multifaceted featured snippets.”

Multifaceted featured snippets will be surfaced for queries that are sufficiently broad enough to allow for more than one interpretation of what was submitted. In these instances, the SERP returned will include more than one featured snippet, with the original query rewritten as the questions the algorithm assumes the user may have intended, and the results displayed in the multifaceted snippet will reflect those new questions.

From the announcement:

There are several types of nuanced queries where showing more comprehensive results could be helpful. We’re starting first with “multi-intent” queries, which are queries that have several potential intentions or purposes associated. The query “tooth pain after a filling,” for example, could be interpreted as “why does my tooth still hurt after a filling?” or “how long should a tooth hurt after a filling?”

For example:

Google Multifaceted Featured Snippet

Multifaceted Featured Snippets vs. Multi-Perspective Answers

Back in December, Bing began rolling out AI-powered multi-perspective answers as part of its “Intelligent Search” set of new features, which includes Intelligent Answers, Intelligent Image Search and Conversational Search. Multi-perspective answers are just one of the “Intelligent Answers” features that have been live since the rollout. These results surface two (or more) authoritative sources on a topic, and will typically include differing perspectives/answers to the query.

Bing leverages its deep recurrent neural network models to determine similarity and sentiment among authoritative sources, and extracts the multiple viewpoints related to a topic — providing the most relevant set of multi-perspective answers (covered in more detail here).


Bing – Multi-perspective Intelligent Answers

Google’s multifaceted featured snippets may appear not too dissimilar from Bing’s multi-perspective answers, in that they also provide multiple rich results for a single query, but they are instead based on the presumed multiple intentions of a query (resulting in both multiple queries and results) vs. multiple viewpoints resulting from a single query. With these types of broad queries, many interpretations of what the user is actually asking can exist.

Multifaceted snippets aim to provide a more comprehensive and actionable set of results for these multi-intent query scenarios. They differ from multi-perspective intelligent answers in that they presume a different question might be being asked altogether, and surface responses for each of the queries the algorithm assume the user may have actually intended, as the screenshot below demonstrates:


Multifaceted Featured Snippet

Multifaceted snippets are rolling out first on mobile and will be coming to desktop results over time. Google also plans to expand multifaceted featured snippets throughout 2018 to include other nuanced query types — beyond those that could have multiple intentions — and lists guidance-seeking queries as one example.

From the post:

“For example, guidance-seeking queries like “is it worth fixing my foundation?” have several components that could be important, such as cost, duration, methods and financing. We’ll continue to experiment with multifaceted featured snippets over this year to expand coverage.”

With both Google and Bing have fully adopted deep learning methods and using artificial neural networks to drive search advancements, we can expect to see a steady stream of changes in search results enhancements and improved information discovery.

As always, Google encourages users to submit feedback on these new search features as you encounter them in the SERPs. Read Google’s full announcement here.

Source: This article was searchengineland.com By Michelle Robbins

In a blog post titled, Toward a More Intelligent Search: Bing Multi-Perspective Answers, Bing announced they are now incorporating a technology often referred to as sentiment analysis into their version of what Google calls Featured Snippets.

Sentiment Analysis is the ability to understand whether the content has a negative or positive sentiment. The implications of how this may affect SEO are far-ranging, especially if Google rolls out their version of it.

A criticism Google’s often received is that their featured snippets are sometimes biased by the question asked. Danny Sullivan recently addressed this shortcoming in Google’s featured snippets:

“…people who search for “are reptiles good pets” should get the same featured snippet as “are reptiles bad pets” since they are seeking the same information: how do reptiles rate as pets? However, the featured snippets we serve contradict each other.

This happens because sometimes our systems favor content that’s strongly aligned with what was asked.”

Engineers at Bing were asking similar questions and doing something about it. According to Bing’s announcement:

“There are many questions that don’t have just one answer, but multiple valid perspectives on a given topic. Should I repeat my search with the word “bad” or “good” in it every time I wanted to get a comprehensive picture of a topic and hear the other side? How would I even know how and when to do that? Should I assume that this single answer Bing returned for me was the best or the only answer? Is that the most authoritative page to answer my question?

“…we believe that your search engine should inform you when there are different viewpoints to answer a question you have, and it should help you save research time while expanding your knowledge with the rich content available on the Web.”

Google is Exploring How to Add Sentiment Analysis

In Danny Sullivan’s article, A Reintroduction to Featured Snippets, he confirmed that sentiment analysis is on their to-do list.

“We’re exploring solutions to this challenge, including showing multiple responses.

“There are often legitimate diverse perspectives offered by publishers, and we want to provide users visibility and access into those perspectives from multiple sources,” Matthew Gray, the software engineer who leads the featured snippets team, told me.”

How to Rank for Intelligent Snippets?

Bing offers clues about what signals they are looking for in sites they rank for intelligent snippets. Here are some of the attributes of the sites they rank:

  1. Authoritative and high quality
  2. Relevant to the topic
  3. Content is easy to crawl and index
  4. Good user experience on the web page

Here are the clues Bing’s announcement disclosed:

“…we prioritize reputable content from authoritative, high quality websites that are relevant to the subject in question, have easily discoverable content and minimal to no distractions on the site.”

The way it works is when you issue a question:

1. Their Web Search and Question Answering engine select candidates from web pages.

2. They organize the candidates in clusters to determine similarity and sentiment

3. Bing ranks the most relevant passages from the web pages from each sentiment based cluster

Limited to the United States


These results are currently limited to a few. However, Bing will be rolling out more results in the near future. These kinds of results are also coming to the United Kingdom soon as well.

“This is just the beginning. We will expand this functionality to address many more questions you have, increase coverage, and expand beyond the US, starting with the United Kingdom in the next few months.”

How Will This Affect SEO?

Sentiment analysis can play a role in helping search engines understand if a review is negative or positive. So if someone links to a web page with a negative sentiment (as in a negative review), then the search engine will know this is negative and may decide not to count the link or to count it as a negative vote.  This may be especially useful for local SEO but it can conceivably creep into regular search as well.

The fact that Bing has confirmed they are using sentiment analysis is big news. That Google has announced their intentions to add it to featured snippets is very important. The big question, of course, is if this kind of technology will be used in other areas of search.

Source: This article was published searchenginejournal.com By Roger Montti

  • The Scout browser is the creation of children’s smartphone maker Monqi
  • Features of the new app include safe-search which blocks indecent content
  • Remote access lets parents monitor youngster's online activity at any time 
  • The browser works with Monqi's existing suite of parental controls

A web browser designed to let you remotely spy on your children's online activity has been created by the makers of a child-friendly smartphone.

In a move similar to a storyline from dystopian satire Black Mirror, concerned parents can view searches in real time and block any activity that's inappropriate.

While the move may seem like a blessing for worried mothers and fathers, others may be concerned over the intrusive nature of the software.

Scroll down for video

A web browser designed to let you remotely spy on your children's online activity has been created by the makers of a child-friendly smartphone. Concerned parents can view searches in real time and block any activity that's inappropriate

MONQI: THE CHILD-FRIENDLY HANDSET

Monqi claims to be the safest children's smartphone on the market thanks to its comprehensive suite of parental controls. 

All app downloads and contacts must be approved.

Parents can also schedule how much screen time their children are allowed each day and even turn off the phone remotely if they choose.

The handset has 720 by 1280 pixel five-inch display, with a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel selfie camera, and 8GB storage capacity. 


 

The Scout browser is the creation of London-based smartphone creator Santok, who launched its children’s smartphone Monqi in October 2017.

Features of the new app include safe-search, so children can enjoy the independence to able to search for information freely. 

However, they will never be able to access indecent content.

Remote access means online browsing can be monitored at any time by parents, even if they're not with their child.

The software is similar to technology featured in the 'Arkangel' episode of the latest series of Black Mirror.

It features an implantable chip that lets parents track and monitor what their children see, as well as pixelated images that would cause them distress.

In a written statement, Frederik Albrechtsen, founder of Monqi, said: 'Scout is the critical safety measure, which we know parents have been looking for.

'They want to allow their children to use technology, but we believe that it is important to stay involved and monitor how they use devices.

'Now they can stop any inappropriate searches in real-time, rather than periodically checking their child’s search history.'

'This latest update to the Monqi makes it unique in the market place and the best possible option for parents wanting to introduce tech safely.

'We are constantly developing smart solutions to keep children safe and allow parents to stay close and we will continue to share these with our customers.' 

Monqi claims to be the safest children's smartphone on the market thanks to its comprehensive suite of parental controls. 

The Scout browser is the creation of London based smartphone creator Santok Limited, who launched its children’s smartphone Monqi in October 2017. Monqi claims to be the safest children's smartphone on the market thanks to its comprehensive suite of parental controlsThe Scout browser is the creation of London based smartphone creator Santok Limited, who launched its children’s smartphone Monqi in October 2017. Monqi claims to be the safest children's smartphone on the market thanks to its comprehensive suite of parental controls

All app downloads and contacts must be approved.

Parents can also schedule how much screen time their children are allowed each day and even turn off the phone remotely if they choose.

The handset has 720 by 1280 pixel five-inch display, with a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel selfie camera, and 8GB storage capacity. 

In a written statement at the time of the launch, a company spokesman said: 'Children today are growing up with mobile technology fully integrated into their lives, from the moment they wake up until they fall asleep.

'So, it is crucial for parents to help their children to develop a healthy relationship with technology from the start. 

'Rather than attempting to shield our children from mobile technology, I would advise that parents teach them how to use it responsibly and promote healthy habits from the start.'

Source: This article was published dailymail.co.uk By TIM COLLINS

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