Heartbit Computer Solutions Ltd Blog

Quick Solutions To Business

Month: April 2010

Use of Social Networks as Marketing Tools

(Advertising on Websites like Facebook or MySpace for Online Markets)

There’s a change in the dynamics of the marketing mix for busines in Kenya. Marketers in Kenya are using more online marketing tools like search, social networks, blogs, podcasts and RSS and less traditional marketing tactics for businesses. In fact, social network marketing is fast on the rise and is currently the second most popular online marketing tactic. Whether you are marketing to other businesses or marketing to consumers, social networks must be in your marketing mix.

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7 Strategies to Choosing an Effective Domain Name

We’re often asked how to go about picking effective domain names, so as your website people, we’re only happy to oblige.

1. What’s the purpose of the domain name?
How are you planning to use this name? If the domain name will be your primary company website, try finding the closest version to your company name that you can. If you’re just starting out, choose your business name and domain name with care. Make sure your visitors know what your domain name means or, if it’s an acronym, what it stands for.

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How to Set Up Yahoo Mail as The Default Email Client

For Windows users only

Yahoo Mail is a very popular email technology that has millions of users in every corner of the world. That’s why numerous consumers are looking for simple solutions to access and controltheir accounts as well as send and receive messages. As you probably know, Yahoo provides POP3 support only for the premium members so, if you want to set up your Yahoo Mail account to work with an email client, you should pay for it.

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Reduce Spam by Protecting Your Email Address Name

Tips for having a clean inbox
If you leave an email address on your site in order to be contacted by visitors or site users, this could be easily detected by spiders or robots which crawl the web to find email addresses for spam purposes. There are many methods to protect your email from spammers, but none of them will guarantee a full protection.
The simplest methods would be either using equivalent ASCII codes for your email or email encryption.

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Adding a Search Engine Feature to a Website

Improve your website navigation

When you have a large website, composed of many pages it is time to include a search option for your visitors inside your web pages. Because a lot of pages are more information to your site visitors, the adding of a search facility will induce an interactive browsing experience and as a consequence, they will be pleased to stay longer on your web space.

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Secrets of a Good Site Design

Be Your Own Site Designer

good site design is defined by various aspects. The first stage of a new site building is planning the site structure. For example, if your website will have an educational destination such as web development and programming tutorials, you should organize the logical structure of the information first, then the articles’ order and so on. Based on a preliminary scheme regarding the quantity of information that will be published, you will decide if your site will have only static HTML pages, as it happens in case of a presentation of a single service or product.

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Content Management System Selection

The desired features of a PHP / MySQL content manager
The most common question that comes in your mind when you need to deploy a web site with a content management system (CMS) is “What is the best content manager that I should choose?”. The answer is difficult to find, because you will have to choose from hundreds of content managers available on the Internet.

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A Comparison between Static and Dynamic Websites

Introduction to Content Management Systems

The Content Management Systems (CMS) are widely used on the Internet. They separate the content creation from the site design. Users without having web design or programming knowledge can create a professional website using a ready-made application that allows them to concentrate only over the content creation. A site powered by a CMS is called a dynamic website, because its content (text, images, animations) could respond in various ways to the
visitors’ requests.

The dynamic content is created using client site programming (javascript for example) or server side programming (ASP, PHP). Static websites are made only from HTML files. In order to modify them you must edit one by one.
Usually CMS are database driven. The visitors will look at the frontend, which is the final website displaying your content, while the backend allows you to manage the content that is stored in a database.

Dynamic sites are easy to update and maintain. When you deal only with static html pages, the updating process could take hours, while the use of a CMS will simplify the content editing process. This is performed from an administration panel through a simple browser based interface. Another advantage of CMS is the increased interactivity and functionality of your website. Most of CMS have lots of modules that allow you to enhance your website in minutes, website development being faster as compared to creation of static html files.

For example you can have a news publishing system, a forum, a blog and an image gallery on the same website due to the CMS modularity. The disadvantages of CMS over static websites (formed only by HTML pages): low pages loading speed on client side due to multiple database requests and the SEO (search engine optimization) process is not always optimal due to the web addresses format, because the pages address names are dynamically generated.

These impediments can be eliminated by optimizing CMS using PHP cache optimizers and short URL’s names generators. The best practice is to carefully decide when a CMS is necessary, depending of the website size, the time interval when the content is updated and the webhosting services details.

Is Joomla! The Best CMS on the Planet?

There are many PHP open source content management systems available to public. Joomla! seems to be a powerful content manager since it is nominated again, for the second time as a contest finalist for the 2007 PacktPub Open Source CMS Awards. It is used for the development of both common websites and complex e-commerce portals. You can install Joomla! 1.5RC2, which is the latest development version (30.08.2007) if you have an Apache web server with PHP and MySQL.You will need a single MySQL database. First, download Joomla! and unzip the file to a directory named joomla.

You can use the free 7-zip application for the zip archive management. If you want to test Joomla! on your computer with Windows operating system, you can install XAMPP, which contains all of them. If you do not have installed XAMPP application with Apache and MySQL as Windows services, then start XAMPP and start Apache and MySQL. Open a browser window and type in the address bar: http://localhost/phpmyadmin. An instance of phpMyAdmin application will appear. Then in the “Create new database” field type joomla and hit the create button. You just have created an empty MySQL database that will be used by your Joomla installation. Locate the XAMPP directory and inside it find the directory named htdocs.

In the htdocs directory you must copy or move the directory joomla created earlier and resulted from the unzipping of the Joomla! distribution archive. Open a new browser window and type http://localhost/joomla.You will be prompted to select an installation language for your Joomla! content management system. After you have selected the desired language press the next button. The next screen will display a report concerning your system requirements. If you use the default Apache configuration, as it is provided by the XAMPP, your system has all minimum requirements needed by Joomla! installation (all items are coloured in green). Again, press the next button. On this screen you must agree to the GNU General Public License in order to use the Joomla! application.

You agree with it by pressing the next button. On the next screen you must define the database settings. Database type: MySQL, Host Name: localhost, User Name: root, Password – live this field empty if you have not set up a password for MySQL database access, Database Name: joomla. On the next screen you can live the FTP configuration for later and press again the next button. On the main configuration, give a generic name for your test website, an email for testing purposes, such as root@localhost.com and the Admin password.

Press the “Install Sample Data” Button in order to have sample data installed on your website for testing. At the end you must delete the installation directory from the joomla directory in htdocs folder. And now you are ready to test the Joomla! CMS using the default installation. You should try to discover from the administration panel the settings you can change and how to customize this default Joomla! installation.

Searching On World Wide Web – Online Dating

In the marketplace for romance, mega pixels are now officially more effective than bar-side flirtations.More than twice as many couples who married last year met through online dating services than at a club or social event, according to a new survey commissioned by Match.com. The survey found that 17 percent of those who married in the past three years met online, making it the third-most-frequent method of introduction, behind meeting through a mutual acquaintance or at work or school.

“Online dating is by now a preferred way for singles to find dates,” says Joe Tracy, publisher of Online Dating Magazine. “I think the stigma that has been attached to online dating — and there’s still some of that today — has greatly decreased. Everybody knows someone who has done online dating, so people are less fearful to talk about it.”

The study, conducted by the research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey, shows how quickly online dating — in existence for less than two decades — has revolutionized the way people find and pursue potential mates.
“It does seem to have displaced all other forms of dating,” says Susan Frohlick, a cultural anthropologist at the University of Manitoba who has studied online dating. “I would say that it’s been in the last five years that it’s become hyper-mainstream.”
The survey also found that one out of five singles has dated someone they met through an online dating site and that one out of every five new relationships owes its origins to the Internet. It also claims that among recently married couples who met online, 30 percent initially made contact through Match.com. The site has about 3 million active users at any given time, according to the company.

Online dating statistics have always been hazy and are frequently contradictory. The Match.com-sponsored survey, for instance, found that 17 percent of couples who married in 2007 met through online dating sites, but a Harris Interactive poll sponsored by eHarmony found that only 9 percent of couples married that year were introduced through such services. (The Harris study claims that 2 percent of recently married American couples met through eHarmony.)

Regardless of discrepancies, the findings point to the increasingly prominent role the Web is playing in helping singles find someone with whom they want to walk down the aisle. Online Dating Magazine estimates that 120,000 U.S. couples who marry each year met online.”It’s pretty seismic, if you think about it,” says Greg Blatt, chief executive of Dallas-based Match.com. “You’ve got this new thing out of nowhere that has really jumped in and taken on a significant piece of this basic human interaction, which is meeting people.” Blatt attributes the industry’s growth to the rise of technology and changes in society that have made it more difficult to meet people through traditional methods. People marry later, work longer hours and live farther from family members who might introduce them to a neighbor’s handsome, eligible nephew. Laptops and modems stepped in to fill the void.

“This is just meeting,” Blatt says. “It’s no different meeting on Match than it is meeting at a party, or at a restaurant or on a subway. . . . Once you’ve met, it’s real life; you either fall for each other or you don’t. You either have a great romance or you don’t. “It’s not like computers are taking the place of romance,” he says. “It’s just another way to put yourself in a position to meet somebody that then gives you a chance for romance.”

People going in search of love online have found that their high hopes for online romance have been hit by some unexpected behaviour. Emails are routinely ignored and many people seem loathe to meet in the dangerous offline world. Are internet daters simply floundering in a new medium with unclear rules or is there a more fundamental problem? Research into people’s motivations is beginning to uncover some answers.
Below are some of the few answers to people’s motivation on online love,(the names used do not represent real people)

James, 29, has only just started internet dating and is having a few teething troubles:”I’m finding it really frustrating at the moment, I’ve been sending out a few messages to women whose profiles I like and I haven’t been getting much response. Sometimes they will email you a few times then go quiet. Or when you offer to meet up in real life, they suddenly turn out to be extremely busy. Frankly, I wonder why a lot of the women are on there.”

Becky, 31, is having similar problems with the men she has contacted:
“We’ll be getting along well,” she explains. “But they are sometimes very slow to want to actually have a face-to-face meeting. It’s as though they’re scared to step outside the safe cocoon that email and messaging provide and take a chance. Perhaps the men on there really are just scared to meet a real life woman. That’s why they’ve got to rely on internet dating.”

As in real life, there are a huge variety of people all looking for different things on internet dating sites. Your task, as a fresh-faced adventurer, is to work out who wants what, and whether anyone wants the same thing as you.Research carried out in 2001 provides some interesting clues to the motivations of internet daters. While this research was carried out fairly early on in the life of online dating it does provide some useful pointers. Overall, the survey presents a confusing picture, which is not surprising as people’s motivations are not always straightforward.
I Just Put it There for a Laugh
Of most interest to James and Becky is the statistic that about 40% of both sexes (men: 39%, women: 5%) put their profile on internet dating sites, “Out of curiosity or fun with no intention of making any kind of contact.” This fact provides a clear lesson for those disappointed to receive no reply to their carefully crafted emails. Some people are never going to reply whatever you write or whatever your photo looks like. That’s a fact you need to be aware of straight away otherwise you’ll be easily disheartened.

Time Wasters
While many internet daters are not prepared to make any contact whatsoever, these might be considered a reasonable bunch compared to the next category. According to this survey 40% of women and 30% of men often using internet dating sites, “For casual online chatting or flirting and nothing more.” This means that these people are not intending to ever meet up in the real world – an attitude many people would consider wasting other people’s time.

Finally. A Real Live Person. I Think.
The good news is that almost 80% of both men and women do often use internet dating sites, “To find someone you’d like to meet.” That’s encouraging, but confusing, as this category must overlap with those who responded positively to the two previous categories. This gives the first clue as to people’s confusion about why they are using these internet dating sites.

Sex and/or marriage
Around 50% of men and 20% of women claim to be using online dating to obtain a sexual relationship. On the other hand around 60% of both men and women claim to be also using the sites to obtain a long-term partner and around 37% of both sexes are looking for a marriage partner online.

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics
If you assume people’s motivations are always pure and simple then some aspects of this research seem directly contradictory and confusing. How can 80% of people want to meet someone online, while 40% don’t want to? If, however, you see people’s motivations as more complex and inherently contradictory, then perhaps the research is providing some very clear messages.

I’m In Two, No, Four Minds About This
There are always going to be some people at the extreme ends of the spectrum who are using internet dating just as a way of obtaining sex, and there are going to be those who are just interested in marriage. What this research is telling us is that most people lie somewhere in between. It’s quite normal for people to be thinking that it would be nice to have sex, but then again it would be nice to have a long-term relationship. These two motivations are not mutually exclusive, although some might disagree!

The moral of the story
When you start out as an internet dating newbie, it seems only reasonable to assume that the majority of other people are going onto internet dating sites for the same reasons that you are. The most usual reason being meeting someone you get on with on the site, then in the flesh, and then hopefully going on to have a long-term relationship with them.

What this research does is point to some fairly common alternative motivations for being on an internet dating site as well as highlighting people’s confusion about their own reasons. And as you negotiate the online dating jungle, you need to be aware that not everyone’s motivations are as pure (or as debased) as your own.

What Does She Have Over Me?
One of the many mysteries about online dating is why people choose to communicate with one person over another. What is it about Jane that makes her receive 10 emails a week from interested men while Janet receives 3 a month? While much of this has to do with the way a person’s profile is written and his or her interests and ideas, online daters also rely quite a bit on demographic and social factors when making the decision whether or not to email a member or respond to a received email.

What Do Online Daters Want?
Before getting into the results, it is important to understand the relationship interests of those people using the online dating used for the study. According to the research data, 39% of people in the research pool had stated on their profile that they were hoping to start a long-term relationship, 26% were “just looking/curious”, while 9% stated that they were specifically looking for a casual relationship. Men overall were more interested in the casual relationship option (14%) than women (4%).

Based on research, the majority of online daters that participate in active emailing and interaction are interested in a serious long-term relationship as opposed to casual hooking up. The researchers suggest that if you take into account that “just looking” may be chosen over long-term relationship options because it sound less committal, more than 75% of all active users are interested in a long-term partner. Also keep in mind that the researchers found those using online dating sites to be typically single, somewhat younger, more educated, and receiving a higher income than the general population.

Knowing that the majority of those exchanging emails over online dating services are interested in forming a long-term relationship, here are some surprising, and perhaps not so surprising, factors that go into which types of people members choose to contact. Remember, this is only examining what goes into an initial contact; assuming that the people are honest in their profiles, this may lead to interactions in person and possibly marriage, but this research project only examined the reasons behind why online daters initially decide to contact another person or respond to a first contact.

Who is Likely to Respond to Emails?
According to the research, men seem to be much more receptive to first contact emails than women. An average looking man has a 40% chance of hearing back from an average looking women while an average woman has a 70% chance of getting a response back from an email sent to an average guy. Good news for ladies, possibly nerve-racking for men.

When comparing extremes – men on the low attractiveness scale who get the courage to contact women who are considered highly attractive – men can expect to hear back from 14% of those women. Also, something that may not come as too much of a surprise to any who have felt rejected, more attractive men and women tend to be picker when deciding who to respond to or whom they contact. The least attractive women are 2-4 times more likely to a send out a first contact email to a man than the most attractive women.

Reasons for Sending the Initial Email
When examining the demographic and socioeconomic factors that go into the selection process during online dating, researchers found that looks were the most important factor (31% for women and 19% for men) with income and education having less of a pull when examined alone, but a combination of factors are most impelling. Below are the details about what features and social standings get the most response.

Long-Term or Short-Term Relationship
One deciding factor in whether or not a member is contacted is whether or not they are interested in a serious relationship or causal relationship. Men who indicate that they are interested in a more casual relationship are contacted less often that those interested in a long-term relationship while women seemed to have the opposite response. Women who indicate that they were seeking a casual relationship received 17% more first contact emails and men received 42% less.

A long understood factor in whether or not a member starts getting emails is if they include a picture with their profile. Those who include a picture get a much larger response than those who don’t. According to this research, women with photos receive more than twice as many emails and men receive about 50% more emails than members who did not post a photo but describe themselves as having “average looks.” This proves that looks play a very important part in online dating, just as they do in traditional dating.

Those members that described themselves as “chiseled” or “toned” got more responses than height-weight proportionate members and those who described themselves as “voluptuous/portly” and “large but shapely” received much fewer. When taking into account body mass index (BMI) – the height to weight ratio – both men and women have an “ideal” BMI that is most successful, although this differs between genders.

Interestingly enough, a BMI of 27 is ideal for men’s online dating success, even though the American Heart Association claims this BMI is slightly overweight. The most successful BMI for women is around 17, which, according to the American Heart Association, is considered underweight. Women with this BMI receive 77% more first contact emails than women in a normal BMI range of 25. While men usually prefer women of a lower BMI and women prefer slightly larger men, both men and women also appear to have a preference for a partner that is closer to their own BMI.

When it comes to height, women typically contact taller men (6’3” or 6’4” tall men get about 60% more first contact emails than men around 5’7” – 5’8” tall) while men prefer women somewhere between 5’3” and 5’8”, with taller women receiving far fewer emails. Men seem to prefer shorter women and try to avoid women who are taller than them while women prefer men who are taller than themselves and try to steer clear of shorter men.

Hair Color
Men with red hair are less likely to get responses than those with other colored hair and men with curly hair receive about 22% fewer first contact emails than men who describe themselves as having “medium straight hair”. Blonde women with long straight hair seem to have the best luck for their gender while women with gray or “salt and pepper” hair suffer a sizable penalty. Women with shorter hairstyles have moderately less success.

Only about 64% of men and 51% of women report their income when filling out their online dating profile even though it is an important deciding success factor. Income strongly affects the success of men in receiving first contact emails but is only marginally related to a woman’s success in receiving first contact emails.
Success outcomes for men start to improve quite a bit once income begins to reach above the $50,000 level. The more money a man makes, the higher his rate of success in getting first contact emails. With women, incomes in the $35,000 to $100,000 range fare only slightly better than those with lower incomes but higher incomes above $100,000 don’t seem to improve outcomes.Although men with larger incomes may receive more emails, women still seem to have a slight distaste for men who are richer than they are and men seem to have distaste for women who are poorer than them. Ideally, similar incomes seem to be preferable.

Education Level
Even though the relationship between online dating outcomes and education is not as distinct as appearance and income, it was still found that higher levels of education increase online success of men but not women. Relative to those men listed as high school graduates, a college degree is associated with an increase of 35% in the number of first contact emails from women, with graduate degrees associated with a similar premium although not much improved from undergraduate degrees. Women seem to want a man with a similar equivalent of education levels rather than those above much above their own education level. Men with a high school education seem to have a preference for women with a similar education, but men with college or graduate degrees do not seem to base their choices on education level.

The top four most desirable occupations for men to hold are (in order) legal professions, military, firefighters, and health related professions. Manufacturing jobs actually hinder the probability of getting a first response email by about 10% for men. Men were not generally influenced by the occupation a woman had, and men actually seemed to prefer women that were students rather than involved in a profession, but this was only a slight preference.

Any preference to ethnicity varies between different ethnic backgrounds but, taking that into consideration, 38% of all women and 18% of men say that they prefer to meet someone of the same ethnic background as themselves. The research found that members of all four ethnic groups examined did in fact “discriminate” against users belonging to other ethnic groups and women seem to discriminate more. For example, African American and Hispanic men only get about half as many first contact emails from Caucasian women as Caucasian men do while Asian men only get about one fourth as much contact. Asian men and women seem to be least discriminating when pursuing other ethnicities.

Age and History
As probably expected, online daters tend to look for and contact partners that are similar in age to themselves. Men particularly try to stay away from contacting women that are older than them while women try to avoid younger men. Single, never been married, women tend to avoid divorced men while women that are divorced actually prefer a man that has also been though a divorce. Men tend to lean toward these preferences too, although not to the extreme that women do. Men and women with children both prefer to find a partner who also has children but are much less desirable to men or women that do not have children.

Final Thoughts
While the idea that interest is based on physical and socioeconomic factors may seem disheartening, online daters shouldn’t give up yet. Yes, its true that factors such as weight, height, and income will most likely always be somewhat of a factor (whether we want to admit it or not), this research does not take into account things like personality traits, sense of humor, friendliness, etc. that are too diverse to accurately measure.

Remember, there are things you can do to improve yourself and your financial situation. For some ideas, read Online Dating Magazine’s Self-Improvement section.Even if you aren’t the tallest, richest, or thinnest, if you can express your positive personality traits well in your profile and have a bright and shining smile in your photo, your chances of meeting your match may be greatly increased. And women, don’t be afraid to make first contact, remember, 70% of women can expect a response from men when they take the initiative and send out the first email!

So whatever it is that makes you go to that café in your village, use the office PC or start up your laptop and then click on one of the hundreds of dating sites, have a positive thought on it and don’t shy off on your profile because you never know……….

But this does not give you license to have some malicious motives on unsuspecting victims.

Henry Njoki

Web Development Glossary

  • Banner ads — Adverts, usually animated, that appear on web pages and come in various sizes. When clicked these take you to the advertised site.
  • Branding — The specific identification of a company by which it becomes known, used, trusted and quoted by the consumer.
  • Content Management System — or ‘CMS’: A content management system is a program installed on the server which allows someone with little or no web authoring knowledge to update and maintain their website. A CMS usually has two interfaces or login modes: one for the administrator, where they can make necessary updates, and one for the website viewer, where they see the result of those updates.
  • Corporate Identity — How a particular business is perceived by its customers and the rest of the marketplace. Its name, logo, typeface, colors, slogan, etc., are all elements that help comprise a company’s corporate identity.
  • Corporate Literature — A company’s advertising material: usually leaflets, pamphlets, booklets, brochures, flyers etc.
  • Design — (In this case) Noun: A decorative or artistic work; Verb: to create a design, create or execute in an artistic or highly skilled manner.
  • Graphic Design — The branch of visual arts concerned with the aesthetics and production of layout, design and typography to communicate an idea or concept
  • Web Design — The production of the look and feel of a site and all its visual elements including page layout, background and spot imagery, color scheme, typography, navigation buttons, etc.
  • Design for Print — As Graphic Design, above, but specifically for the print medium.
  • Domain Name — The unique name that identifies an internet site: a website’s address (e.g. www.heartbitsolutions.com)
  • E-Commerce — Electronic Commerce. Refers to the general exchange of goods and services via the Internet and use of credit and debit card numbers.
  • Flash — An authoring software developed by Macromedia used to create graphics-based animation with full-screen navigation interfaces, graphic illustrations, and simple interactivity. Uses vector shapes which helps to keep file sizes to a minimum.
  • Flyer — A single-sheet, printed advertisement, usually around A6 size (approx. 10cm x 15cm)
  • Graphic Design — See Design, above
  • Hosting — The housing of a web site. Your web site must physically reside on a computer (a server) that’s connected to the internet, and managed by a hosting company, which ensures it is always available. Hosting companies typically charge a one-time setup fee in addition to the monthly hosting fee. Pave Graphics can host your site at great rates and we charge yearly.
  • HTML and Javascript — Languages used for communication between web pages and the web site browsers (e.g. Internet Explorer) that display them.
  • Identity — see Corporate Identity, above
  • Keyphrases — see ‘Keywords’ below
  • Keywords — Single terms or short phrases that best define the main points of your web page topic. Keywords are used by search engines to match a website topic to a phrase entered in the search bar.
  • Logo — A combination of characters and/or graphics creating a single design used to identify a company. Short for ‘Logotype’
  • Meta Tags — Information placed in the HTML header of a Web page, providing information that is not visible to browsers. The most common meta tags relevant to search engines are keyword and description tags.
  • Multimedia — The delivery of information, usually to a personal computer, in a combination of different formats including text, graphics, animation, audio, and video.
  • Presentation — (In this case) a series of informational ‘slides’ to be projected onto a screen during a talk or conference.
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) — The process of crafting a site’s content so that the site gets high rankings in the various search engines: Google, Yahoo, Ask etc. (both the site and individual pages), and includes tailoring on-page text (such as headlines and subtitles) as well as choosing the proper keywords for a page’s meta tags.
  • Typography — The art of arrangement, style, appearance and publishing of type and typefaces.
  • Vector Graphics — Generation of images from mathematical and geometric descriptions that determine the position, length, and direction in which lines are drawn.
  • Web site (Website) — A collection of “web pages” or files linked together and available on the World Wide Web.
  • Website Maintenance — The act of updating the elements (e.g. images and text) of a website

New virus extorts cash from porn fans

A new virus is making the rounds, and this one employs a startling newtactic for making a mess out of the lives of those unfortunate enough to get infected. Known as Kenzero, the infection originated in Japan and, in its initial at tack phase, is targeting users of a file-sharingservice called Winni, which claims about 200 million users. When Winni customers use the site to download illegal copies of games in the adult, animated “hentai” genre, their PCs are becoming infected with the Kenzero virus, which makes a copy of their web-browsing history and posts it online, where it is visible to the public.

The Kenzero virus appears on Winni as a standard game installer, deceiving its victims. Suffice it to say that anyone who’s downloading illegal hentai games — which feature extremely graphic (and conceivably illegal in the U.S., see here) sex acts — probably does not want his browsing history published to the world. After infection and the publication of the Web history, the victim is then held for ransom, and a pop-up note or email demands a relatively small financial payment (about $16) from the user in order to “settle your violation of copyright law.”

The BBC reports that a similar extortion attack targets European users, demanding much higher fees of $400, which is termed a “pretrial settlement.” It’s a very brazen way to attack users, pretending to be a law enforcement agency while also engaging in explicitly illegal extortion activities — but in a world where Web users are hopefully becoming a little more sophisticated and aware of garden-variety malware attacks, I suppose crooks have to resort to increasingly extreme measures in order to extract money from their victims.

Nonetheless, remember that this attack is fundamentally no different from others. Antimalware and antivirus software should clear it up, as architecturally it is no more advanced than any other attack. In no case should you actually pay an extortionist looking for a handout: There’s little assurance they will actually follow through on what they say they’ll do, and giving credit card or bank account information to one of these crooks invariably opens you up for much more serious financial losses. As for any Web histories published to the Internet, well, you might just have to live with it. Call it a lesson learned.

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