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




Which social media sends you the most readers?

Is WordPress Reader, Google, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, or Twitter the best choice?

Or how about Reddit, StumbleUpon, Medium, or a market I’ve yet to discover? Seems a new one pops up every day. So how do we discover which is best for our blog?

Do you have a favorite you search engine? 

Okay, Bloggers hold on to your hat! Deep diving for answers today. 

All of these questions were rolling around in my head this past weekend and got me to thinking…

Am I wasting my time on the wrong platforms? Should I concentrate on just one or two and not spread myself like mayonnaise on bread.

Time for research. Which translates into dropping down the ole rabbit hole.

The first place I started, of course, was the Stats page in WordPress. But that was just a starting point. You can see from my image, according to WordPress, most of my referrers come from WordPress Readers.

But, does that tell me how readers actually discovered Jean’s Writing? I’m not sure. The term “referrer” is referencing online sources – specifically sites or services that the referring page or link clicked on to get to my site. Clear as mud, right?

Look at this section on your STATS page to get a better idea of how many people are seeing your blog.  Below is how many views, visitors, likes and comments made to my blog.

However, that still doesn’t let me know which social media gets me the most bang for my time.

So, I did a little more digging.

Another great source is Google Analytics. Takes a little while to set it up but once you do you can see which social site is sending the most people to your website. I set up my account last year but hadn’t checked on it since. So, I headed over to see what was what.

Holy Cow! Google Analytics had zero stats for my website. Please don’t judge me too harshly. Because I’m embarrassed to tell you, I’d forgotten one very important step. The freaking Accept button. You know that button that says you agree to terms, yadda, yadda yadda…  


So y’all tell me…

How do you figure out all this stuff?

Or do you just go with the flow and not worry about who or how?

Do you concentrate on one social media outlet more than another?

Which social media do you think helps your blog the best?

Want to read more about which social media is sending visitors to your website? Click on the links below.

Who is Driving Visits to Your Site

What social media channels drive the most traffic to your website?

WordPress Stats

How to See Which Social Media Platforms Are Sending You the Most Traffic




Do you know the right Hashtag to use when you tweet?

Authors and writers can find Twitter a great information source.

All it takes is using, and searching for the right #Hashtag.

There are lots of lists and lots of Hashtags to choose from, too bad I lost the cheat sheet I’d used for years.

Thank goodness for WENDY VAN CAMP! And her terrific list. I’m going to print out the dang thing in triplicate and tape one above my desk, one on my desk, and one in my file.

  • Want to connect with other authors for help? There’s a Hashtag for that.
  • Want to connect with writers of various genres? There’s a Hashtag for that.
  • Want to connect with readers? There’s a Hashtag for that. 

WENDY VAN CAMP gives us a list for all of them!

Author #Hashtags for Twitter by WENDY VAN CAMP at No Wasted Ink

From her list, I discovered a new #Hashtag, #WritersTellMe. Can’t wait to see what I find with this one.

Keep watching and learn more about what Twitter can do for you as an author.

Your turn.

Did you see a new Hashtag? One you hadn’t thought of?

What Hashtag do you use the most often?

Do you have a Hashtag to add to the list that might be useful to us?

Did you learn something new about using Hashtags and Twitter for writers?

Talk to me, I love reading your comments.

Please head over and “like” my Facebook page at Facebook at jeanswriting . Or to connect with me, click the “write me” tab. Don’t forget you can follow me on StumbleUpon,  on Twitter @jeancogdell , and

Please stop by and say “hey!”  I’ll leave a light on. 

How to start tweeting like a pro right now

And boy o boy, I need to start tweeting more.

Up until now, I’ve been so lame. That’s right, a lame tweeter. But not for long.

Why? I want to be good on social media and don’t want to do anything half-assed. Even tweeting.

This morning I was excited to read an email from Suzanne Bowditch on how to do just that, tweet like a pro.(click to tweet)

Suzanne gave five good tips on what to do to engage with others on Twitter. Here is what mined from her great post.

  1. People love freebies- so promote free products even if it’s not yours.
  2. Ask a question- yes but also answer questions with questions.
  3. Want retweets, ask for them true- but don’t forget to retweet others.
  4. Use the right hashtag- but don’t go hashtag crazy.
  5. Learn from other successful tweeters.
  6. Mine – Keep tweeting, don’t give up.

Now head over to Suzanne’s blog and read her post. I’d love to hear what you think.

5 tips to get you tweeting like a pro! by Suzanne Bowditch

Did you learn something new about tweeting?

Are you ready to tackle Twitter now?

How often do you Tweet? Every day, once a week, or when?

Do you have any good twitter tips?


Talk to me, I love reading your comments.

Please head over and “like” my Facebook page at Facebook at jeanswriting . Or to connect with me, click the “write me” tab. Don’t forget you can follow me on StumbleUpon,  on Twitter @jeancogdell , and

Please stop by and say “hey!”  I’ll leave a light on.