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Bridget Miller

Bridget Miller

By William Comcowich—Boolean search queries are a powerful and easy-to-use tool to improve your search results. This article will teach you how to use them.

Public relations measurement and marketing teams may subscribe to a media monitoring service to find mentions of their brands in news and social media. But many companies miss mentions because they aren’t using the best search strategies. Even worse, they may be inundated with irrelevant mentions about companies or brands with similar names in different industries.

The use of Boolean search queries can assure more accurate media monitoring results. It’s especially useful in eliminating extraneous results. Some PR and marketing folks may cringe when they hear they should use “Boolean,” thinking it’s some sort of geeky computer solution that’s beyond their skills. It’s not. The art of constructing Boolean search queries is actually quite easy to learn and master. Mainstream search engines like Google and Bing as well as social media monitoring services such as CyberAlert permit Boolean searches.

Boolean Search Terms Explained

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Simply put, Boolean search involves words like AND, OR, and NOT, and punctuation like parenthesis and quotes. In the Google search engines, the connecting words must be in all caps.

Simply put, Boolean search involves words like AND, OR, and NOT, and punctuation like parenthesis and quotes. In the Google search engines, the connecting words must be in all caps.

AND — Write AND between search terms to require the search results to include both words in any order. If you enter the search term Dove, you’ll see results for the bird, the soap, personal hygiene products, and a nonprofit foundation, among other unrelated results. Boolean search narrows results to your desired outcome. If you input Dove AND chocolate, you’ll receive results that contain both words, leading with Dove Chocolate.

OR — OR will produce results containing any of the words connected by OR. If placed between several words or phrases, results will display pages with one, several, or all of the words. You can use OR to search for nicknames, abbreviations, and common misspellings of your company and its products, as in Wal-Mart OR Wallmart OR Wally Mart. Including OR in queries is especially useful in social media, given the preponderance of abbreviations and misspellings.

NOT— Place NOT before a word to exclude the word from results. That’s a useful technique to eliminate irrelevant results. If your company name or other search term is identical to an unrelated term, perhaps another company in an unrelated industry, use NOT to exclude undesired results. The search term Volkswagen may not require NOT terms to eliminate unrelated results, but Lincoln certainly does. Example: Lincoln AND (auto OR car OR dealer OR etc.) AND NOT (president OR penny OR emancipation OR St. OR Ave.)

If you’re researching what consumers are saying about a product online, you can use NOT to exclude the company’s own online comments, since those results would skew research results. In some search engines, the minus sign replaces the word NOT.

Quotes and Dashes  — Use double quotation marks for searches for exact phrases. When you search without putting search terms in quotes, many results will be separated by other words, sometimes many other words. That may not be what you’re seeking. Placing the words in quotes will yield that exact phrase – and it that exact order, as in “Wal-Mart sucks” or “College of the Holy Cross”. Phrases can also be expressed in many search engines with dashes between words, as in University-of-Michigan.

Parenthesis — Parentheses group terms together so operators like AND and NOT can be applied to all the terms in the brackets. For instance, Dove AND chocolate AND NOT (soap OR lotion OR beauty) will exclude mentions of the beauty products.

NEAR— A proximity operator, NEAR returns results when two or more words are close to each other. You determine the maximum number of words separating the search terms. For instance, if you seek Dove within five words of “soft skin”, you would enter something like: Dove NEAR/5 “soft skin”. The NEAR operator helps narrow results when different brands are discussed in the same post.

In some applications, the tilde, the ~ sign on the top left of your keyboard, can be used as the proximity operator. Place quotation marks around the search terms and a number after the tilde to indicate the maximum number of words between the keywords. For instance, “Dove skin”~5 will return sites with those words separated by no more than five other words. Some of the major search engines do not support proximity operators.

Additional Filters — Many search engines and media monitoring systems allow you to apply additional filters based on geographic location, social media channels, language, and other factors.

Companies with difficult-to-search keywords or acronyms may wish to investigate the power of regular expressions (REX) to purge irrelevant search results. Used in addition to Boolean queries, REX statements can add greater specificity to a search query and permit even more precise search results. For example, REX statements can specify initial caps as in Orange, the French mobile phone service, thereby ignoring all mentions of orange with a lower case. Another REX statement specifies all caps as in acronyms (which is especially useful if your acronym is also a common word). Among many other capabilities, REX statements can also stipulate the number of times a keyword must appear in an article. REX statements often solve long-standing search problems. The major search engines don’t typically support REX statements. Among media monitoring services, CyberAlert can include a full range of REX statements in its client queries.

Corporate Functions

A Boolean query is mandatory for any acronym since most every three or four-letter acronym represents multiple organizations. Boolean queries are also very useful in sorting out clips for specific divisions, departments, or geographic areas. For example, legal would have a specific set of Boolean terms plus the corporate or brand names.

A query for legal threats of a bank, then, could be constructed as:

([Name of Bank] OR [Nicknames of Bank] OR [Stock Exchange Symbol] OR [Names of Executives]) AND (litigation OR legal-action OR legal-issue OR class-action OR lawsuit OR filed-suit OR charges OR trial OR subpoena OR inquiry OR examination OR probe OR investigation OR alleged OR deceptive OR fraud OR warning-letter OR lawyer OR attorney OR lobbyist OR money-laundering OR capital-requirements OR corporate-governance OR Securities and Exchange Commission OR SEC OR Federal-Deposit-Insurance-Corporation OR FDIC OR Federal Reserve Board OR Office-of-the-Comptroller-of- the-Currency OR Dodd-Frank OR stress-test OR settlement OR pact OR hacked OR customer-data OR data-loss OR credit-agency OR tax-evasion OR off-shore-accounts)

The same principle can be applied to countries. Combine AND with the name of the country to sort and deliver relevant clips to country managers. Boolean requires using foreign language terms for generic words if searching for clips from the foreign country.

Brands can use Boolean search techniques to search for problems and risks by using problem terms or terms that denote anger such as “sucks.” Thus, a complaint query would read: ([Name of Company] OR [Nicknames of Company] OR [Stock Exchange Symbol] OR [Names of Executives]) AND (sucks OR stinks OR useless OR lousy OR stupid OR worthless OR [etc.])

Bottom Line Boolean search queries can improve your media and social media monitoring results, uncover mentions of your brand and exclude irrelevant results.

 Source: This article was published painepublishing.com By William Comcowich

Monday, 12 February 2018 01:34

Web searching died the day they invented SEO

The truth is out there but you'll never find it

Something for the Weekend, Sir? You can find anything on the internet apart from the specific thing you're looking for.

No wonder the boffins at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center are bigging up the enormity of the task of decoding data from its recently rediscovered zombie satellite. They probably did a web search for the old system and came up with a blank.

The horror of horrors, this means they'll have to reverse-engineer the whole thing. What a nightmare. I mean, no one programs anymore, they just nick code snippets off Github and for the rest throw in a heap of lard-arsed libraries. Now they'll have to recreate it all from scratch.

Hang on, though. Surely, surely someone somewhere at some point saved references to the necessary source code in a document, and surely these ended up in a digital repository that can be accessed on the internet. Why can't they find it?

I imagine they found references to references. They probably unearthed news stories about the satellite, along with images, timelines, background information and so on. But not the program itself.

I repeat: you can find anything on the internet apart from the specific thing you're looking for. It's Dabbsy's Principal Law of Web Search.

Sure, I can find links generally related to what I'm hunting very quickly. Internet searching has never been so easy or reliable as it is now. However, I always seem to end up wading through stuff that's generally related to the prize I'm after, rather than the prize itself.

Surely the internet is big enough to contain all human intelligence. So why is it so difficult to find precisely the right thing when you need it? Truth or otherwise, as the gender-pay-imbalanced Mulder might say, it must be out there.

Perhaps I'm not searching the internet properly. This might be a reflection on my inadequate search skills. Like the public at large, I have grown lazy with unrefined web searches. Operators? Nah. Tags? Maybe next time. Quote marks? Such a pain. Boolean? Do me a favor.

Of course, another reason for it being so difficult to find exactly what you want could be because the internet is big enough to contain all human unintelligence. This fogs the search results with bollocks created by people who should never have been allowed near a wooden spoon let alone a computer.

It's a far cry from the strange old days when it was possible to draw a representation of the interconnections between principal internet sites on a large sheet of paper. Even at the beginning of the 1990s, the computer magazine I worked on at the time cover-mounted a giant fold-out poster optimistically labeled Map of the Internet. Bless.

In those days, you knew where your WWW search (as we called it) was going and if you couldn't find what you were looking for, it meant it wasn't there.

This was followed by a golden age in which the internet was still regarded as a sparkly wonderland from which all unimaginable things could spring. If you bought a book from the fledgling Amazon or a pair of second-butt snowboarding pants on eBay, you were ranked by friends and neighbours alongside Harry bleeding Potter in conjuring skills. Hell, if you simply managed to get an entire page on the Boo.com casual clothing retail website to fully load into Netscape using your dial-up access in under half an hour, you were Doctor fucking Strange.

There used to be a running gag in the early Noughties episodes of Nickelodeon cartoon series The Fairly Oddparents. Every time the main character Timmy Turner was caught with something weird or magical given to him by his fairy godparents, he'd be asked "Where did you get that?" and he'd respond "Er... internet".

It was a time when you could attribute/blame the internet for anything you wanted and people would believe it.

"Nice designer shades!"

Thank you. I got them off the internet.

"Nasty cold you got there, pal."

Yeah, I got it off the internet.

What we lost in exclusivity in the following years was surely made up for in terms of ease and speed of access. And, of course, search engines got a whole lot better.

That's the official line. I happen to disagree. What got better was search engine optimization. With the aid of clever phrasing by content marketers, this made it possible for only vaguely relevant content to appear to search engines as the exact thing you're looking for even though it isn't – the very opposite, in fact, to what SEO was supposed to achieve in the first place.

Rather than showing what you're searching for, search results show you links that marketers want you to click on instead. The whole point of SEO today is to direct you to content you don't want and didn't ask for.

As a result, I go hunting for a little bit of old zombie satellite code and all I can find are 47,000 links to George A Romero video clips and Walking Dead fan pages. Ho hum, does anyone have any old Fortran manuals?

"Hey, is that a printed software manual? Is it... ring-bound?"

Yup, I got it off the internet.

Source: This article was published theregister.co.uk By Alistair Dabbs

A recently published Google help document explains why reports are missing in the new Search Console. There are two fairly straightforward reasons for the missing data.

1. It Hasn’t Been Migrated Yet

The first and most likely reason why some reports are missing from the new search console is that Google simply hasn’t migrated them yet. Google is still in the process of building the new search console— keep in mind it’s still in the very early stages of a public beta.

It will take some time before all the reports are migrated. Google notes that more reports will be added in the coming quarters.

2. There’s a Better Way to Present the Data

Not every report will be migrated exactly the same way it exists in the classic version of search console. There may be a better way to present the data, according to Google. In some cases, there may even be a few different types of data combined into one report.

Google also notes that some reports, which once stood on their own as top-level reports, are now part of a flow.

If you haven’t found the data you’re looking for, and it exists in the classic search console, then you may find it by looking in other reports.

Rest assured that Google will not just stop showing important Search Console data to users. Missing data either hasn’t been migrated yet, or it has been moved to a different report. If the data you need isn’t in the new Search Console right now then you can always toggle back and forth between the new and classic versions.

Source: This article was published searchenginejournal.com By Matt Southern

Monday, 29 January 2018 05:50

The 7 Best Data Visualization Tools In 2017

Big Data and the ever-growing access we have to more information is the driving force behind artificial intelligence and the wave of technological change sweeping across all industries.

But all the data in the world is useless – in fact, it can become a liability – if you can’t understand it. Data visualization is about how to present your data, to the right people, at the right time, in order to enable them to gain insights most effectively.

Shutterstock

Luckily visualization solutions are evolving as rapidly as the rest of the tech stack. Charts, videos, infographics and at the cutting edge even virtual reality and augmented reality (VR & AR) presentations offer increasingly engaging and intuitive channels of communication.

Here’s my run-down of some of the best, most popular or most innovative data visualization tools available today. These are all paid-for (although they all offer free trials or personal-use licenses). Look out for another post soon on completely free and open source alternatives.

Tableau

Tableau is often regarded as the grand master of data visualization software and for good reason. Tableau has a very large customer base of 57,000+accounts across many industries due to its simplicity of use and ability to produce interactive visualizations far beyond those provided by general BI solutions. It is particularly well suited to handling the huge and very fast-changing datasets which are used in Big Data operations, including artificial intelligence and machine learning applications, thanks to integration with a large number of advanced database solutions including Hadoop, Amazon AWS, My SQL, SAP, and Teradata. Extensive research and testing have gone into enabling Tableau to create graphics and visualizations as efficiently as possible and to make them easy for humans to understand.

QlikView

Qlik with their Qlikview tool is the other major player in this space and Tableau’s biggest competitor. The vendor has over 40,000 customer accounts across over 100 countries, and those that use it frequently cite its highly customizable setup and wide feature range as a key advantage. This, however, can mean that it takes more time to get to grips with and use it to its full potential. In addition to its data visualization capabilities, Qlikview offers powerful business intelligence, analytics and enterprise reporting capabilities and I particularly like the clean and clutter-free user interface. QlikView is commonly used alongside its sister package, Qliksense, which handles data exploration and discovery. There is also a strong community and there are plenty of third-party resources available online to help new users understand how to integrate it in their projects.

FusionCharts

This is a very widely-used, JavaScript-based charting and visualization package that has established itself as one of the leaders in the paid-for market. It can produce 90 different chart types and integrates with a large number of platforms and frameworks giving a great deal of flexibility. One feature that has helped make FusionCharts very popular is that rather than having to start each new visualization from scratch, users can pick from a range of “live” example templates, simply plugging in their own data sources as needed.

Highcharts

Like FusionCharts this also requires a license for commercial use, although it can be used freely as a trial, non-commercial or for personal use. Its website claims that it is used by 72 of the world’s 100 largest companies and it is often chosen when a fast and flexible solution must be rolled out, with a minimum need for specialist data visualization training before it can be put to work. A key to its success has been its focus on cross-browser support, meaning anyone can view and run its interactive visualizations, which is not always true with newer platforms.

Datawrapper

Datawrapper is increasingly becoming a popular choice, particularly among media organizations which frequently use it to create charts and present statistics. It has a simple, clear interface that makes it very easy to upload CSV data and create straightforward charts, and also maps, that can quickly be embedded into reports.

Plotly

Plotly enables more complex and sophisticated visualizations, thanks to its integration with analytics-oriented programming languages such as Python, R, and Matlab. It is built on top of the open source d3.js visualization libraries for JavaScript, but this commercial package (with a free non-commercial license available) adds layers of user-friendliness and support as well as inbuilt support for APIs such as Salesforce.

Sisense

Sisense provides a full stack analytics platform but its visualization capabilities provide a simple-to-use drag and drop interface which allow charts and more complex graphics, as well as interactive visualizations, to be created with a minimum of hassle. It enables multiple sources of data to be gathered into one easily accessed repositories where it can be queried through dashboards instantaneously, even across Big Data-sized sets. Dashboards can then be shared across organizations ensuring even non-technically-minded staff can find the answers they need to their problems.

I will be updating this list at least on an annual basis so let me know if you know of any other great tool you would include here.

Bernard Marr is a best-selling author & keynote speaker on business, technology, and big data. His new book is Data Strategy. To read his future posts simply join his network here.

Source: This article was published forbes.com

Don't think the police will help you find, let alone catch, cybercriminals if they make off with your corporate loot. And don't think this is only a problem for companies in other countries. South African businesses, like South Africans themselves, are increasingly being targeted.

The story of a local bank being taken for R300 million by cyber criminals who had 100 people withdrawing money from ATMs in Japan made the headlines. But South African companies, unlike their US counterparts, are not required by law to report cases of cyber theft so how much more have gone by unmentioned? The bank reportedly never got its cash back so it's still wise to secure your systems from attack; the more proactive the better.

The likelihood of cyber attackers plundering your vaults is already vast and growing daily. The threat landscape today is highly sophisticated but our defenses are typically outdated and reactive systems. That's because today's hackers are often young professionals who work for organized crime syndicates and in many cases, they target specific, high-value organizations.

A colleague of mine from our business partner, IBM, which supplies the i2 Enterprise Insight Analysis solution, worked with the Mexican secret service to combat drug cartels funding organized cybercrime, for example. The cartels have a well of finances the envy of many enterprises so they get the best skills, the best tools, and they have time on their side.

The i2 solution is a sophisticated, next-generation threat analysis solution used by the Mexican secret service, 32 out of 36 police organizations in the UK, including MI5 and MI6, the FBI, Israel's Mossad, various military units, and the police in South Africa. It has evolved to be relevant by helping catch bad guys for 26 years and is now commercialized and available for enterprises.

The reason you need it yourself instead of going to the police for help, when they already have this tool, is that they are under-resourced, just as their counterparts are elsewhere in the world. And they have much bigger physical world crime issues on their hands. They are good at kicking down doors. They're less experienced at hunting cybercriminals who lurk in basements behind packet sniffers, tapped cables, and who make man in the middle attacks on obscure data centers in Brussels back rooms.

But to get the cops to kick in a specific door you must be able to reliably tell them which one. That's what IndigoCube is doing with i2. And it is helping businesses understand their vulnerabilities at any given moment - as well as giving them the tools to investigate, rapidly find the perpetrators, and give law enforcement actionable insights.

Another fact of cyber attacks is that they almost never materialize out of the blue and they're almost never successful on the first attempt. They typically occur in stages. The crooks test your defenses, fail, and return with new approaches to defeat your static counters. They're fluid and you're not, the warning signs are usually there, and we would have seen them had we looked.

We need to keep tabs on insider fraud via structured transactional data, chatter in the deep Web in services such as Pastebin, unstructured data in our internal reports, and social media feeds where more human chatter occurs. We wrap that up in a dashboard that's easy and quick for executives to keep an eye on but into which they can drill as deep as they like to ascertain the precise facts.

Behind the dashboard, tiered security with intelligent analyses forms sophisticated barriers that help you pivot faster than the bad guys. Tier one firewalls have policies that zap IPs that originate from countries in which you don't operate. They trap known malware and vaporize it. They trap large attachments for human inspection. At tier two you correlate events. They take care of what's known as the 5km, one-minute card rule where a single bank card cannot be used to withdraw money from two different ATMs, 5km apart, within one minute of each other.

Once you've matured tier two you begin to create the intelligence I've spoken about. It's tier three, human-driven intelligence with automated help that visualises the associations to feed intelligent questioning. And the entire time it's updating the dashboard vulnerability scenario so the executives can see that cutting security personnel or other resources increases work in progress and cycle times, indicating problems, and demonstrating their exposure in light of legislation such as Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act.

It's an approach that helps you find the crooks when they're still trying to access your systems and helps you feed law enforcement actionable intelligence they can use to kick down doors

keep your mobile employees connected wherever they call work with WAVE OnCloud push-to-talk service.

Source: This article was published itweb.co.za

After a long wait, Google is starting to roll out their new search console with a significantly updated UI and up to 16 months of data.

Having had one of my sites in the beta the last few months, I found myself relying on it even more.

It will be great to have this much data available for all websites in my Google Search Console account.

Even with the extended data in Google’s Search Console, the data is still normalized and averaged out over time; however, it is some of the best directional data available from any tool.

With appropriate filtering, you can find some really actionable insights that can’t be found anywhere else.

Here are some things you can start looking at right away as soon as you see the new Google Search Console in your account.

1. Brand Search vs. Non-Brand Search

Understanding the breakdown of your brand vs. non-brand is critical on many levels.

Excluding brand impressions and clicks from your search metrics reveals the true visibility of your SEO efforts.

Likewise, viewing only brand search over the 16 months now visible in Google Search Console can shed some valuable insights as to the strength of a brand.

This metric can answer important questions, such as:

  • Is the brand accruing more impressions over time?
  • Is CTR for the brand relatively stable?
  • Are there any variations of the brand that do not rank in a couple of positions?
  • And, when paired with data from Adwords performance, how is brand bidding impacting the CTR of an organic brand listing?

Filtering Brand Searches

You can search for your brand name by choosing Queries containing and typing it into the field.

Tip: The query you are filtering should not be the full brand name as it should also pick up common misspellings.

For example, I truncate monkey down to “monk”.

brand search example

Filtering Non-Brand Searches

Use the Queries not containing a filter to exclude the brand name from search and only see non-brand keywords.

2. Homepage vs. Non-Homepage

Similar to the brand search filter, viewing homepage vs non-homepage traffic can illuminate the effect of an SEO campaign.

While for many larger brands a major portion of traffic will land on the homepage, it is important that non-homepage pages are also ranking and receiving search traffic.

Filtering Homepage Only Searches

You can come up with a homepage-only search report by choosing “URL is exactly” and typing in your homepage URL in the field.

Comparing Non-Homepage Search Reports

You can also compare the traffic of two specific pages if you changed a URL during the last 16 months:

3. Brand Impact by Dimension

More than just clicks to the site, it is also important to look at the other dimensions of brand (and non-brand) traffic.

Within Google Search Console you can see countries, devices, and then view the impressions, CTR, and rankings.

Deep dive into these reports to see if there are any outliers which deserve attention.

Here is how you would get the country (and filter it for specific countries)

Here is how you look at the device.

Within these reports, you can toggle on queries, CTR, impressions, and rankings.

4. Year over Year Data

As there is now 16 months’ worth of data in GSC, you can see YoY data for the last four months.

Look at clicks, impressions rank, and CTR by page and keywords.

Here is how to get 16 months of data:

You can also look at custom chunks of data with beginning and end dates.

Time period comparisons are also available. They are slotted into the dialog box for dates under Compare:

5. Pivot Tables

Google Search Console has an additional hamburger menu which allows you to create items to filter.

You can have multiple filters on at the same time and narrow down to specific scenarios.

Note: It’s hard to demo the power of this data without revealing sensitive data, so you will have to play with this menu on your own.

Here’s how to find that hamburger menu:

Now that you know how to dig through these reports, here are some key insights and action items that you should look for in your data.

  • Discover pages that have a relatively low CTR, but a high-ranking position. (Note: There is no hard and fast rule here on what constitutes an outlier, but as you dig through your data you should notice pages worth attention.) These pages will likely have some sort of mismatch between their meta description/search snippet and a user’s query. You can and should try to address this by updating the title, meta description, and/or on-page content.
  • Sort queries by impression count and ensures that you are effectively optimized for these queries. If you are not ranking high, these keywords could present new traffic opportunities for SEO campaigns.
  • Within the Sort by query impression, filter by country. Discover if there are countries with high performance you have not focused on and consider doing some international specific SEO efforts to get even more of this traffic.
  • Filter the clicks and impression reports by the device to discover if there are potential engagement issues on mobile devices or vice everywhere there is better performance on mobile than desktop.
  • Sort queries by position and looks for keywords ranking on the cusp of the first page of Google search results (Position 8 or 11, depending on the query). These are keywords that if you put a little bit of SEO effort behind should see outsized returns.

Conclusion

Once the new Google Search Console is fully released, SEO pros should see that this new version is light years ahead of the old one when it comes to finding actionable insights.

In the meantime, there are a few things to note:

  • It doesn’t seem like there is a way to download reports yet, but the Google blog posts about the new Google Search Console mention API availability.
  • Rather than checking boxes to add dimensions into a report, you just click on the name of the actual dimension.
  • The new Google Search Console is blazing fast compared to the old one and will make finding data a joy!

 Source: This article was published searchenginejournal.com By Eli Schwartz

If you’re wondering how to find email addresses, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve all been there: you know who you want to contact — now if only you could find their email address.

Ugh. The dreaded search.

Bonus: Find out when the emails you send are being opened. And clicked.

Some might resign themselves to mindless Googling. Or try the old Rapportive guess-and-check “trick” that’s been circulating the Internet for years.

Please don’t do that. 

Not when you could be wrapping up your email address search in under 30 seconds flat.

We did some digging to build a complete list of the best free tools and tactics to quickly find email addresses by name, using publicly available information.

How To Find Email Addresses

1. Clearbit – Super Accurate Email Finder That Lives In Your Inbox

This Outlook and Gmail Chrome extension find email addresses in less than five seconds, and we’ve found that it’s accurate 97% of the time. Just plug in someone’s company name with either their first name or job title. Once Clearbit identifies an address for you, you can one-click compose an email to that person.

Click here to try Clearbit for yourself.

clearbit-gmail-extension

2. SellHack – Search Up To 10 Emails For Free Per Month

Sell Hack is a handy browser extension that checks publicly available data sources to find someone’s email address. The free plan will let you search up to 10 emails per month on Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.

Click here to see SellHack in action.

Email Address Search

3. Head reach – Search by Name, Company, or Website

Head reach allows users to search for prospects by name, company, website, or by using the ‘advanced search’ option where you can search by job position (easy access to decision makers). Once you find your prospect, click “find (name)’s emails and social profiles” and they’ll be added to your contacts. Head reach also includes a log for easy access to all of your searches.

Click here to try Head reach.Email Address Search4. Find that – “The Yellow Pages of Email”

Find that is a quick and easy way to search and discover how to find email addresses that you’re looking for. This database includes several diverse plans. Whether you keep it simple with the free plan (includes 15 monthly credits) or get the whole team involved (their team plan runs for $149 per month with over 3,000 credits).

See Find that for yourself.

how to find email addresses

5. Voila Norbert – Quickly Find And Verify Someone’s Email

Search by first name, last name, and company domain. Norbert pings the mail host to confirm the correct email address, giving you 50 free searches per month.

Click here for more on Voila Norbert. 

how to find email addresses

While simple to use — you don’t need to install a plugin — Norbert does not check for catchall addresses, and it limits the number of queries users can conduct (SMTP servers could block the service if pinged too frequently). In our own unscientific test, Norbert was able to correctly identify three out of five email addresses.

Email Address Search

6. FindThatLead – Get People’s Email With Just One Click

A great source for account-based sales. With FindThatLead, you can search by company URL to find leads.

Click here to try FindThatLead.

how to find email addresses

Their free plan includes 10 credits per day (300 per month), a Chrome extension, and access to their Google Spreadsheet Add-on that lets you upload a .CSV with names and domains so you can find emails in a snap.

Tired of copying and pasting emails? Save yourself time; create an email template.

7. Email Hunter – Find Email Addresses In Bulk By Company Domain 

Another great source for account-based sales. Punch any company domain in and you’ll quickly get a list of all publicly available email addresses associated with it. You can search up to 100 domains for free each month, and plans start at $39/month if you’re interested in searching more.

Click here to see Email Hunter for yourself. 

how to find email addresses

8. Toofr – How to Find Email Addresses By Person or Company

Toofr lets you look up email addresses by typing in your recipient’s name and company. With the free plan, you can access the top choice email addresses (as well as access to their title, headshot, and profile URL for an extra credit) and other guesses for emails ranked by confidence. 30 credits included.

Click here to try Toofr.

how to find email addresses

You can also search by company (“Get Emails”) or find email format patterns (“Get Company Data”).

9. Email Permutator+ – Create a List of Potential Email Addresses

With Email Permutator+, get started by submitting your recipient’s name and email domain:

how to find email addresses

Copy the email addresses to your clipboard and paste them into the recipient line of an empty email. Hover over each email in the list. The legitimate address will display a social profile that matches the person you’re looking for.

Click here to try out Email Permutator+.

how to find email addresses

Tap Into Your Network

10. Conspire – Ask For An Introduction, Backed By Data

One of the coolest email tools we’ve come across recently is Conspire, an app that analyzes your contact list to identify mutual acquaintances who can introduce you to the person you want to reach.

Conspire connection

Simply sign up with your existing email account and search for the person or company you’re interested in emailing. Conspire will churn out a relationship graph showing who has the strongest ties to that person across your extended network, based on factors like frequency, speed, and the length of time they have corresponded.

It even offers prewritten email templates to make your request that much easier. (Although we’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend copying and pasting the text into a Yesware template so you can track what happens after sending.)

Conspire Email Introduction

Click here to try Conspire.

By the way, if you’re looking for more email templates to introduce yourself or make new connections, you might want to check out the 18 free ones we offer in our latest email course.

11. LinkedIn Connections – Export Email Addresses To Google Contacts

Just because you’re connected with prospects on LinkedIn doesn’t mean you have their email addresses in your Google Contacts List.

The good news is that hidden away in LinkedIn’s advanced settings is the ability to export your connections, giving you up-to-date email address in your inbox.

How To Export LinkedIn Connections

You can also use Zapier to sync new LinkedIn Connections to your Gmail Contacts as they come in.

Email Search Tactics

12. Google ‘Em – How To Use Search Operators To Find Emails

Sometimes it really is that easy. Try these basic queries first:

  • [name] + email (or) email address
  • [name] + contact (or) contact information (or) contact me

If that doesn’t work, it’s time to get creative with Google search operators. Try running a search of their company website, like so:

  • site:companywebsite.com + [name] + email
  • site:companywebsite.com + [name] + contact

13. Advanced Twitter Search – The (at) (dot) Approach To Finding Any Email

People get asked for their email on Twitter all the time. You can use Twitter’s advanced search to find the last time your contact responded to such a request:

  1. Search for the terms (at) (dot) in “All these words” under the ‘Words” section
  2. Enter their Twitter handle in “From these accounts” under the “People” section

how to find email addresses

Pro tip: Don’t waste your time searching for the word “email.” You’ll just end up combing through a long list of tweets on the topic of email, and not their actual email address.

Over To You – How Do You Reach The Right People, At The Right Address, At The Right Time? 

Now you know how to find email addresses in seconds.

What tools do you use to find email addresses missing from your contact list?

Source: This article was published yesware.com By Bernie Reeder

Investigative reporting requires that you create a plan. Typically, it's a series of four lists of things you need to do, along with an initial schedule. The lists will change — and often grow — and the schedule may change, but you need to start with a plan to keep yourself organized.

List 1: Research

The first list includes the documents and databases you need. Often, these will include annual reports, budgets, audits or regulatory reports. You might need minutes of meetings, the text of laws or a chronology. The more documents you include, the better. The documents will give you context and point you to human sources.

List 2: Interviews

List the people you need to interview, including experts, advocates, officials, residents, witnesses or victims. Each interview will give you different viewpoints and information.

List 3: Places

Identify where you can observe, take notes and photos, capture audio or video, and talk to people who are there. Depending on your story, you might need to visit a toxic waste dump, a cemetery, an airport or a government office building. Plan for your safety, too. Will you need someone to go with you? Do you need to provide advance notice or get approvals for your visit? Include this in your plan.

List 4: Presentations

Outline the graphics, photos, videos and audio you will need for the presentation of the story. You must start planning how you will present your story before you start reporting. You might have only one chance to talk with a source or visit a place, so you will need to be prepared to get video, photos or audio on your first encounter.

Schedule and Priorities

One schedule will be the master schedule: a working roadmap of the entire investigation from start to finish — probably covering a period of weeks or months. A second set of schedules will map out each week's activities.

Looking at your lists and schedules will help you establish your priorities, which will determine the order in which you go about your reporting and writing.

Taken from Introduction to Investigative Reporting, a self-directed course by Brant Houston at Poynter NewsU. You can also apply by June 20 for our four-week seminar, The Deep Dive: Investigative Journalism That Matters.

Take the full course

Have you missed a Coffee Break Course? Here's our complete lineup.

Source: This article was published poynter.org By Vicki Krueger

Wednesday, 03 January 2018 02:42

THE WORST HACKS OF 2017

2017 WAS BANANAS in a lot of ways, and cybersecurity was no exception. Critical infrastructure attacks, insecure databases, hacks, breaches, and leaks of unprecedented scale impacted institutions around the world—along with the billions of people who trust them with their data.

This list includes incidents disclosed in 2017, but note that some took place earlier. (Speaking of which, you know it's a heck of a year when Yahoo reveals that it leaked info for three billion accounts, and it's still not a clear-cut winner for the worst incident.) The pace has been unrelenting, but before we forge on, here’s WIRED’s look back at the biggest hacks in 2017.

Crash Override and Triton

Security doomsayers have long warned about the potential dangers posed by critical infrastructure hacking. But for many years the Stuxnet worm, first discovered in 2010, was the only known piece of malware built to target and physically damage industrial equipment. But in 2017, researchers from multiple security groups published findings on two such digital weapons. First came the grid-hacking tool Crash Override, revealed by the security firms ESET and Dragos Inc., which was used to target the Ukrainian electric utility Ukrenergo and cause a blackout in Kiev at the end of 2016. A suite of malware called Triton, discovered by the firm FireEye and Dragos, followed close behind and attacked industrial control systems.

Crash Override and Triton don't seem to be connected, but they have some similar conceptual elements that speak to the traits that are crucial to infrastructure attacks. Both infiltrate complex targets, which can potentially be reworked for other operations. They also include elements of automation, so an attack can be put in motion and then play out on its own. They aim not only to degrade infrastructure but to target the safety mechanisms and fail-safes meant to harden systems against attack. And Triton targets equipment used across numerous industrial sectors like oil and gas, nuclear energy, and manufacturing.

Not every electric grid intrusion or infrastructure probe is cause for panic, but the most sophisticated and malicious attacks are. Unfortunately, Crash Override and Triton illustrate the reality that industrial control hacks are becoming more sophisticated and concrete. As Robert Lipovsky, a security researcher at ESET, told WIRED in June, "The potential impact here is huge. If this is not a wakeup call, I don’t know what could be.”

Equifax

This was really bad. The credit monitoring firm Equifax disclosed a massive breach at the beginning of September, which exposed personal information for 145.5 million people. The data included birth dates, addresses, some driver's license numbers, about 209,000 credit card numbers, and Social Security numbers—meaning that almost half the US population potentially had their crucial secret identifier exposed. Because the information Equifax coughed up was so sensitive, it's widely considered the worst corporate data breach ever. For now.

Equifax also completely mishandled its public disclosure and response in the aftermath. The site the company set up for victims was itself vulnerable to attack, and asked for the last six digits of people's Social Security numbers to confirm if they were impacted by the breach. Equifax also made the breach response page a standalone site, rather than part of its main corporate domain—a decision that invited imposter sites and aggressive phishing attempts. The official Equifax Twitter account even mistakenly tweeted the same phishing link four times. Four. Luckily, in that case, it was just a proof-of-concept research page.

Observers have since seen numerous indications that Equifax had a dangerously lax security culture and lack of procedures in place. Former Equifax CEO Richard Smith told Congress in October that he usually only met with security and IT representatives once a quarter to review Equifax's security posture. And hackers got into Equifax's systems for the breach through a known web framework vulnerability that had a patch available. A digital platform used by Equifax employees in Argentina was even protected by the ultra-guessable credentials "admin, admin"—a truly rookie mistake.

If any good comes from Equifax, it's that it was so bad it may serve as a wake-up call. "My hope is that this really becomes a watershed moment and opens up everyone’s eyes," Jason Glassberg, co-founder of the corporate security and penetration testing firm Casaba Security, told WIRED at the end of September, "because it's astonishing how ridiculous almost everything Equifax did was."

Yahoo

Yahoo disclosed in September 2016 that it suffered a data breach in late 2014 impacting 500 million accounts. Then in December 2016, the company said that a billion of its users had data compromised in a separate August 2013 breach. Those increasingly staggering numbers proved no match for the update Yahoo released in October that the latter breach actually compromised all Yahoo accounts that existed at the time, or three billion total. Quite the correction.

Yahoo had already taken steps to protect all users in December 2016, like resetting passwords and unencrypted security questions, so the revelation didn't lead to a complete frenzy. But three billion accounts exposed is, well, really a lot of accounts.

Shadow Brokers

The Shadow Brokers first appeared online in August 2016, publishing a sample of spy tools it claimed were stolen from the elite NSA Equation Group (an international espionage hacking operation). But things got more intense in April 2017, when the group released a trove of NSA tools that included the Windows exploit "EternalBlue."

That tool takes advantage of a vulnerability that was in virtually all Microsoft Windows operating systems until the company released at a patch at the NSA's request in March, shortly before the Shadow Brokers made EternalBlue public. The vulnerability was in Microsoft's Server Message Block file-sharing protocol and seems like a sort of workhorse hacking tool for the NSA because so many computers were vulnerable. Because large enterprise networks were slow to install the update, bad actors were able to use EternalBlue in crippling ransomware attacks—like WannaCry—and other digital assaults.

The Shadow Brokers also rekindled the debate over intelligence agencies holding on to the knowledge of widespread vulnerabilities—and how to exploit them. The Trump administration did announce in November that it had revised and was publishing information about the "Vulnerability Equities Process." The intelligence community uses this framework to determine which bugs to keep for espionage, which to disclose to vendors for patching, and when to disclose tools that have been in use for awhile. In this case, at least, it clearly came too late.

WannaCry

On May 12, a type of ransomware known as WannaCry spread around the world, infecting hundreds of thousands of targets, including public utilities and large corporations. The ransomware also memorably hobbled National Health Service hospitals and facilities in the United Kingdom, impacting emergency rooms, medical procedures, and general patient care. One of the mechanisms WannaCry relied on to spread was EternalBlue, the Windows exploit leaked by the Shadow Brokers.

Luckily, the ransomware had design flaws, particularly a mechanism security experts were able to use as a sort of kill switch to render the malware inert and stem its spread. US officials later concluded with "moderate confidence" that the ransomware was a North Korean government project, and they confirmed this attribution in mid-December. In all, WannaCry netted the North Koreans almost 52 bitcoins—worth less than $100,000 at the time, but over $800,000 now.

NotPetya and BadRabbit

At the end of June, another wave of ransomware infections hit multinational companies, particularly in Ukraine and Russia, creating problems at power companies, airports, public transit, and the Ukrainian central bank. The NotPetya ransomware impacted thousands of networks and led to hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Like WannaCry, it partially relied on Windows exploits leaked by the Shadow Brokers to spread.

NotPetya was more advanced than WannaCry in many ways, but still had flaws like an ineffective payment system and problems with decrypting infected devices. Some researchers suspect, though, that these were features, not bugs, and that NotPetya was part of a political hacking initiative to attack and disrupt Ukrainian institutions. NotPetya spread in part through compromised software updates to the accounting software MeDoc, which is widely used in Ukraine.

In late October a second, smaller wave of destructive ransomware attacks spread to victims in Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Germany. The malware, dubbed BadRabbit, hit infrastructure and hundreds of devices. Researchers later found links in how the ransomware was built and distributed to NotPetya and its creators.

WikiLeaks CIA Vault 7 and Vault 8

On March 7, WikiLeaks published a data trove of 8,761 documents allegedly stolen from the CIA. The release contained information about alleged spying operations and hacking tools, including iOS and Android vulnerabilities, bugs in Windows, and the ability to turn some smart TVs into listening devices. Wikileaks has since released frequent, smaller disclosures as part of this so-called "Vault 7" collection, describing techniques for using Wi-Fi signals to track a device's location, and for persistently surveilling Macs by manipulating their firmware. WikiLeaks claims that Vault 7 reveals "the majority of [the CIA] hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized 'zero-day' exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation."

At the beginning of November, WikiLeaks launched a parallel disclosure collection called "Vault 8," in which the organization claims it will reveal CIA source code for tools described in Vault 7 and beyond. So far, Wikileaks has posted the code behind a hacking tool called "Hive," which generates fake authentication certificates to communicate with malware installed on compromised devices. It's too early to say how damaging Vault 8 may be, but if the organization isn't careful, it could wind up aiding criminals and other destructive forces much like the Shadow Brokers have.

Honorable Mention: Uber Hack

2017 was a year of diverse, extensive, and deeply troubling digital attacks. Never one to be outdone on sheer drama, though, Uber hit new lows in its lack of disclosure after an incident last year.

Uber's new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced in late November that attackers stole user data from the company's network in October 2016. Compromised information included the names, email addresses, and phone numbers of 57 million Uber users and the names and license information for 600,000 drivers. Not great, but not anywhere near, say, three billion compromised accounts. The real kicker, though, is that Uber knew about the hack for a year, and actively worked to conceal it, even reportedly paying a $100,000 ransom to the hackers to keep it quiet. These actions likely violated data breach disclosure laws in many states, and Uber reportedly may have even tried to hide the incident from Federal Trade Commission investigators. If you're going to be hilariously sketchy about covering up your corporate data breach, this is how it's done.

 Source: This article was published wired.com By LILY HAY NEWMAN

Wednesday, 06 December 2017 07:30

12 Ways to Find Someone's Personal Email Address

Give me someone's name, and I'll find their personal email address. Sure, it may take some extensive digging and sleuthing, but I'll find you eventually. And I'm not paying to root you out or buying your private info from a lead gen company (though sometimes that would be easier). This is just good old fashioned, organic searching, scanning and scouring the Internet like a Web gumshoe. And not stopping until I ferret out that personal email.

How to find someone's email address [Summary]:

  1. Google Name + "Email"
  2. Google Name + Place of Work
  3. Search LinkedIn
  4. Search their company website
  5. Use Google's site search operator
  6. Use advanced Google search operators
  7. Try some "kitchen sink" queries
  8. Check social media profiles
  9. Check their personal blog
  10. Check Whois
  11. Check people search sites
  12. Message via Twitter or LinkedIn

We'll look at each of these methods in a little more detail, but first:

Why is it important to use someone's personal email address?

If you're sending out an important email that you really want to be taken seriously and improve your chances of getting an actual response, you need to go directly to the source. Sending an important, personal email to the info[at]companyX.com, or dumping it into a "Contact Us" form is a virtual black hole.

This is especially true if you're trying to get in touch with someone you don't know or you've never contacted before. Primary examples of this include:

  • Applying for a job
  • Any form of outreach, like a link request, interview request for your blog, if you're seeking media coverage for a story, etc.

What's more, by taking this extra step and getting directly to the source, you show real initiative and will distinguish yourself from the candidates applying for that same job or requesting that same link.

12 Tips and Tricks to Find Anyone's Email Address

Now, when I say "personal" email address, I'm not talking about a Gmail, Hotmail or AOL account exclusively. I'm also referring to their personal company email address, Web hosting domain email, blogger mail account, or any Web property email address I can find. Because of the depth and breadth and ubiquity of content sources on the Web, you can find contact information for pretty much anyone who has an email address, even if they don't actively promote it on their website. All you have to do is search and keep refining your searches until you strike pay dirt.

Let the Hunt Begin

1) Basic Name Queries by Googling Emails

You can start your sleuthing by running a generic search query for someone's name. But understand that this approach probably won't get you very far, unless the person you're seeking has a unique name, like say Jets WR Jerricho Cotchery. However, if that person's name is at all common, you'll need to add some distinguishing modifiers. Think of it as engaging in the long tail of name searching.

Some initial modifiers you should incorporate to narrow and refine your search are:

  • [name] + email (or) email address
  • [name] + contact (or) contact information (or) contact me

2) Name Queries with Personal Modifiers

Now, if that doesn't work, get even more granular and add any personal information you may have already or uncovered about this person in your initial search, such as:

  • [name] + "home town"
  • [name] + "company they work for"

You can even mix and match all the above modifiers. If you succeed here, terrific. Mission accomplished. But all too often, this is only the initial stage of your research, as this method yields results less than 10 % of the time. To really find who you're looking for, you'll need to go corporate.

Hunting for Company Email Addresses

3) Business Networking Search Queries

One of the best resources for finding direct contact information is through a company email network. Anyone working for an organization has an in-house email. Now, typically if you're searching for someone's direct email for a job interview, link outreach or media coverage, you likely know where they work or conduct business already. But if you're still in the dark, ZoomInfo and LinkedIn are pretty fertile grounds for harvesting personal information.

You can either search the websites internal engine or run queries in Google, like so:

  • [name] + LinkedIn
  • [name] + ZoomInfo

Notice the quick success I had with a probe of ZoomInfo.

4) Basic Company Name Queries

Now, once you get a place of business from their profile, you should visit the company website and start running queries, using the person's name in the hope that you'll find any indexed document with their email address. Most times, generic name searches yield citations (like so-and-so pitched a gem for the company softball team), not actual email addresses. So again, get more specific with modifiers.

  • [name] + email
  • [name] + contact

Adding these modifiers will really boost your chances of finding your target.

5) Basic Company Search Operators

However, if you're still coming up short, you'll need to roll up your sleeves. This is when I break out my super-sleuth hat and get creative with Google search operators. In the majority of cases, Google information retrieval yields more results than a company's internal search. If you're not familiar with search operators, read this.

So what you'll do now is search Google, using the Google Search Operator Query "site:companywebsite.com" as your root and sprinkle in modifiers, like so:

  • site:companywebsite.com + [name] + email
  • site:companywebsite.com + [name] + contact

6) Advanced Company Search Operators

Pretty much every organization has a unique, yet uniform company email addresses structure, which you can leverage in your search efforts, using advanced search operators. For example, at WordStream our email structure is “first initial + This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.." But since each company has their own format, you'll need to play around with a host of possible email address structures using the root search operator.

Note: Use the standard format here "@," I'm using [at] so as not to activate hyperlinks.

  • site:companywebsite.com + ken.lyons [at] companyname.com
  • site:companywebsite.com + kenlyons [at] companyname.com
  • site:companywebsite.com + klyons [at] companyname.com
  • site:companywebsite.com + ken [at] companyname.com
  • site:companywebsite.com + ken_lyons [at] companyname.com

It's important to mention here that the information you're seeking with these queries will be bolded in the meta tags text snippets, like so:

Find anyone's email site search operators

An example search engine results page (SERP) with results displayed
for site-search operation results 

I'd say this method yeilds results 80% of the time for me.

7) Random Kitchen Sink Queries

However, if you're still coming up short, you can drop the company search operator root and pound away with random combinations of the above suggestions. 99% of the time, this is very effective. For example, here's a random query I ran for a faculty member at Boston University (note: name is blurred for privacy):

Find anyone's email search by email domain

Notice my query: "BU [person's name] @bu.edu." It's kind of nonsensical, but nevertheless this query combination succeeded where the other techniques failed, yielding this person's email address. Point being, at this stage, I throw everything at the wall to see what sticks.

Even More Options to Find an Email Address

8) Social Networking Profile Queries

Another avenue you can explore for personal information are social media profiles. I've had the most success with social sites like Twitter. And chances are that employing the original basic queries that I mentioned above will display if this person has a Twitter profile.

  • [name] + Twitter

9) Personal Website or Blog Search Operators

Very often, my Web sleuthing reveals a personal website that I didn't know existed. Also, people include their personal websites or their blogs on their Twitter or LinkedIn profiles. This provides you a whole new channel to explore to find contact info for them. If you do find a personal site or blog, there's often have a contact page or even their email address listed right on the site somewhere. Even still, I prefer a direct line to that person. So if you've explored the site and come up short, navigate back out to Google and run some advanced search operators.

  • site:personalblog.com + [name] + email
  • site:personalblog.com + [name] + contact
  • site:personalblog.com + ken.lyons [at] personalblog.com
  • site:personalblog.com + kenlyons [at] personalblog.com
  • site:personalblog.com + klyons [at] personalblog.com
  • site:personalblog.com + ken [at] personalblog.com
  • site:personalblog.com + ken_lyons [at] personalblog.com

10) Whois Search

If you're still coming up empty after a deep dive of their personal website or blog, go to Network Solutions and run a Whois search for their domain registration data for an email address. 60% of the time, you'll find a personal email address here.

11) People Search Sites

Another resource for finding personal contact information are websites such as 123PeopleSearch, Intelius, and PeopleSmart. I've had great luck in the past using this type of free people search to locate the hard-to-find, and some sites allow you to search across multiple countries for personal contact info.

However, your mileage may vary from one search provider to another, and these days, it's getting harder and harder to find reliable, up-to-date information on these sites. As the Web has matured, many of these sites have either gone out of business or offer sub-par results. Sure, you might luck out, but be prepared for a mixed bag in terms of results.

It's always worth checking free people search sites as part of your research, but relying solely on sites like this is a mistake. 

12) If All Else Fails

Okay, if all else fails, you may have to resort to alternative, less "direct" methods like emailing your target through LinkedIn, or @-ting them on Twitter and asking them to follow you back so you can DM them and ask for contact information (if they're willing). For me, these are usually last-ditch efforts, which I've resorted to only a handful of times after if I've exhausted all of the other options I detailed in this post. But even though I prefer to send an email to someone's personal account, shooting them an unsolicited LinkedIn message to me is still far better than an info[at]companyX.com black hole.

Point being, 99% of the time if you're dogged, persistent, relentless and love the thrill of the chase like me, then ain't nothing gonna' stop you from finding the personal contact information you seek.

Happy email hunting!

Source: This article was published wordstream.com By Ken Lyons

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