Be vigilant, scammers are on the prowl

And with this new year comes more vermin searching for an opening, no matter how small.Mouse and hole

I’m referring to scammers, hackers and trolls.

The more gadgets we have, the more avenues and opportunities for a criminal to find you. Don’t fall for these frauds. From our email, smartphones, yes iPhones too, computers, tablets, blogs, websites, Amazon Echo, Google Home, or even smart TVs, we are all susceptible to these damn crooks. AND, of course, we are vulnerable on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and any of the many social media sites. Scammers are trolling for any insecurity or vulnerability in your life, online and real.

Once upon a time, long long ago, Apple products were immune. Or so we thought. But that is not the case, not now. So don’t let your guard down just because you have an Apple product. Scammers are everywhere phishing for your information.

No need to live in fear. Just be aware! Be smart!

Some things you can do to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

  • Install good security and virus software.
  • Keep all software updated.
  • Do not click on an email that requests you verify account details.
  • Be careful about downloading free mobile apps. Know who and where it comes from.
  • Never click on an unsolicited email or alert that comes from a bank,  institution or company. Go directly to their website instead.
  • On smartphones and tablets, watch out for text messages requesting you click on them.
  • Don’t recognize the phone number? Hang up or better yet don’t answer. If it’s important they can leave a message.
  • Be aware of phone number scamming. Fraudsters are now spoofing legit company phone numbers. Be careful, the person on the other line may not be a real Apple, ATT, Netflix, agent.
  • Remember if it sounds too good… well you know the rest.

Last but not least…

Think before you click. Just like crossing a street, take your time and look both ways. Let’s start the new year aware and in control. 

Thanks to Terry Ambrose, Grace Sweeney and Kevin McAllister for these tips and their timely articles on the latest scams and fraudsters.

Below are links from these savvy writers to help you avoid falling prey to a scammer. Keep reading… 

Scam Tip – Apple users beware of Apple phishing scam By Terry Ambrose

New year, new scams: what to watch out for in 2019 By GRACE SWEENEY

Outsmart the Scammers: How You Can Avoid Fraud By Kevin McAllister

Apple iPhone scam returns as new model nears By Terry Ambrose

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How to know difference in your voice and a characters

Sounds hard right?

It did for me. I found myself making the process harder than it needed to be. Between my WIP, blog, and branding I tied myself in knots.

Turns out I just needed to KISS.

NO! Not smooching. Good grief, get your mind out of the gutter. 

But KISS as in – keep it simple stupid. I was trying too hard. Complicating the writing in search of my voice, when I had it all along.

After reading the following article, I rewrote the first chapter of WIP and pulled to the forefront, my voice.

What I learned from  

  • Writers (Authors) voice is how you decide to tell a story and is the same from book to book.
  • Just as we grow and change over the years, so does an authors voice, because our voice is an extension of ourselves and what is important in a writers life.
  • Character voices change from book to book. After all your not introducing the same person over and over unless in a series.
  • Branding is your persona and applies to our writing and not just advertising. Your book branding lets readers know what type of story they will find when they pick up your book. Scary, suspense, romance…

Lisa goes into a lot more detail on her website. Be sure and click the link below and read more.

In the meantime, I’d like to know…

Have you struggled with writer’s voice?

Do you often mix up character and writer voice?

How did you discover your writer’s voice?

Has your voice changed or evolved over the years? 

How To Discover Your Author Voice And Why You Probably Already Know It  by 

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Which is the best social media for a blogger?

Which social media do you use to promote your blog?

There are so many personalized reader/news websites, how do we choose? I can’t keep up with all of them. New ones, old ones, coming and going every day. It’s exhausting.

Flipboard, StumbleUpon/Mix, Medium, Feedly, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus,  Linkedin, Reddit, Tumbler, Pocket, Pinterest or…

  • StumbleUpon. I loved this one until they changed. Every time I added my blog post to their website, I found other great writers.  Now that they’ve migrated over to Mix, I’m not so sure. Changes aren’t always for the better. At 40 million users, I can’t help but wonder how many will make the transition.
  • Flipboard.  Another one I like. But, I don’t use it as often as I probably should. I find the format a bit intimidating and that easy to use. With over 100 million users, maybe I need to stick with it.
  • Medium, ditto to Flipboard. Unless you have a paid subscription, reading the articles is limited.
  • Google Plus, I’m not sure how much traffic it generates. But with over 2.2 billion users, I hope to get a few.
  • Pinterest. I’ve just recently started linking more often and I’m pleased with the traffic. So, I’m going to try to continue with this one, after all, they boast over 2oo million users. I’ll see how it goes.
  • Facebook, meh. Lots of controversies, but lots of traffic go through this site. My results have been mixed with it. However, with over  2.2 billion users I’m not quitting.
  • Twitter. Now I’ve had good success with Twitter. Plus I enjoy reading and discovering new bloggers/writers.
  • Linkedin, I am signed up for this site, but not real active with it.
  • Tumbler It’s been so long since I looked at this one. I’m not sure how active this site is. With over 400 million users, maybe I need to look again.
  • Feedly, I’ve never used it. Looks good, but to share your blog through IFTTT requires the paid service. Still with over 14 million users, might be worth it.
  • Reddit, confusing. I’ve tried to use Reddit in the past but had little success. And of course, as with so many websites, they’ve changed theirs too. But with over 1.5 billion users…

This is just a drop in the bucket. There are even more feeds to connect our blogs. However, there are only so many hours in a day. I do want to grow my blog but can’t be everywhere all the time.

Now it’s your turn, help a girl out…

Which website do you link to your blog posts?

Which one gets the most referral from?

Do you have a favorite?

Want to read more about ways to generate traffic to your blog? 

Go to the bottom and keep reading.

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What are the best news readers?

Feedly vs Flipboard By ABHISHEK MACWAN

How to Use Flipboard as a Traffic-Generating Machine by 

Goodbye, StumbleUpon, one of the last great ways to find good things online By 

StumbleUpon is closing down and moving to Mix – Here is your Mix getting started guide 

 

What is the best way to interact with bloggers?

Do you engage with drive-by readers?

If not, maybe you should.

Why?

Because others, like myself, may be drive-by readers. drive 01

That means reading on the run. Waiting in line, waiting for to pick up grandkids, or in the dentist/doctors office. And almost always I read on my phone.

phone

The absence of a comment doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the blog post. Simply means I wasn’t in a place to write one. Typing on my cell phone is not easy.

 

And even though we’re all very busy with the holidays, remember to read and click the “like” button. Means a lot to bloggers everywhere.

A post by OPINIONATED MAN encouraged me to do more.

So I’m going to start with an apology.

sorry badI’m sorry if I’ve disappointed any of my readers. I’ve read many posts but sometimes failed to click the “like” button. Just because I’m on the run doesn’t mean I can’t click “like.”

What tips did I garner from his post?

  • The “like” button is an opportunity to connect.
    • Don’t miss it.
  • Drive by readers are important.
    • We all get too busy to talk sometimes.
  • When a reader clicks the “like” button, they read my post!
    • Let them know I appreciate the effort.
  • A reader is an opportunity to expand my network.
    • Don’t squander it.
  • Comments mean the blogger is an active reader.
    • Answer them.

Check out the post below and let me know what you think.

Have you been guilty of reading and not clicking the like button?

Have you missed an opportunity to connect with new readers?

If you have the time, leave me a comment. But please click on the “like” button. Thanks!!

Reactive networking / Blogging BY OPINIONATED MAN

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