My computer was nearly hacked – you can’t be too careful

Transcript of my newsletter from 19th April.

Hey there,

I narrowly escaped having my computer hacked recently.

Given that I depend on it for my living, I’ve always been very careful of the risk of getting malware on my computer – it would cripple my business.

But I had ordered something online that was late, and I had called up the company to find out where it was.

They told me it was on the way and, a day later, I received an email that had ‘Your delivery update’ as the subject line.

Since I was expecting an email along those lines, I opened it.

Inside, I was asked to open the attached file to see the status of my delivery and I actually got to the point of hovering my mouse over the file when I saw that it was a JavaScript file, not a PDF file.

It should have been a PDF file and, had I opened the JavaScript file, it would undoubtedly have done some horrible things to my computer!

Even though I’m fully aware of the risks contained in email attachments, I almost got caught out.

The reason I describe what happened is that it shows you cannot be too careful when opening email attachments – even if you think you’re on the case!

The hackers that carry out phishing attacks (getting you to click infected links in emails) are becoming better and more sophisticated all the time, so keep your eyes open!

On the subject of security online, the recent revelation from Facebook that more than 500 million peoples’ personal data was now available online, prompted me to link to an article I wrote a while ago on protecting your personal data.

This week’s articles

In addition to ways to protect your personal data, I’ve also linked to two articles on how to develop your business’ brand and one on ‘thought leadership marketing’ (yes, another catch phrase!).

Ways to protect your personal data

The recent revelation from Facebook that personal data of more than 500 million users, that was stolen in 2019, has been published online was a hot topic recently.

Cyber-crime in all its forms is growing in both sophistication and volume, and becoming a victim is absolutely no fun at all.

In this article, on my security basics website, I discuss how a VPN can give you some protection from having your personal data stolen.

I use a VPN 100% of the time, but a VPN alone is not the whole answer. It would not have prevented the personal data that you entered into Facebook from being published online, for example.

But it is a good start:

How to protect your personal data

How to Develop Your Brand Promise

Creating a strong brand for your small business may seem an unnecessary exercise – but it’s not!

A strong brand immediately separates you from your competition and attracts the type of customer you are targetting.

Not only does attracting those ideal customers increase your sales, it is a lot more cost-effective than promoting your business to an audience who doesn’t know you.

Colin Finkle goes through the steps you need to take to start building your brand by creating a brand promise, and he sets out 12 examples of strong brand promises:

How to develop your brand promise

Brand identity for small businesses

Ok, the message in the previous article is as relevant to small businesses as it is to some of the companies that were covered in the examples.

But it did focus on large businesses.

In this article, Alana Willis breaks down what it all means for small businesses and sets out 8 steps for building a strong brand identity for your small business:

Brand identity for small businesses

Thought Leadership Marketing

Yes – another catch phrase coined as a means of differentiation!

Yet thought leadership marketing is a friend of branding. It is a way for content marketers to put their personal experience and learnings into the content that they write, which grows their brand.

Probably 90% or more of what you read online is the same information, making the same points, regurgitated in different ways.

What Thought Leadership Marketing means is digging a bit deeper. Explaining what you tried and how it worked for you – whether good or bad.

Some people are hesitant about putting their personal thoughts and experiences out there but, if you’re able to do so as a small business, it creates authenticity.

And people want authentic!

Thought leadership marketing

Fun flashback

I love real music, played by real musicians, as opposed to music programmed using drum machines, sequencers and sythns..!

Watching bands like Status Quo always brings a smile to my face – they clearly love what they do and they’re very good at it!

Here they are with ‘The Wanderer’:

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Martin Malden

Martin Malden
Owner – WealthyDragon

Website owner: Martin has been working online since 2006 and focuses on two areas: 1) affiliate marketing and 2) designing and building websites based on WordPress. He has his own WordPress agency, and serves clients in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK.