Scam ads on Google target the vulnerable, indebted and stressed

Laveta Brigham

Google's pay-per-click service allows businesses to pay for prominent spots on search results (Getty Images)
Google’s pay-per-click service allows businesses to pay for prominent spots on search results (Getty Images)

Scam ads for debt charities, car insurers and investment firms make looking for money advice on the world’s biggest search engine a risky business.

An investigation of Google’s pay-per-click service, which allows businesses to pay for prominent spots on search results, found scammers have effectively hijacked searches for financial services to advertise fake and fraudulent websites.

Which? found the search results for common saving terms such as “top Isa”, “best bonds” and “best fixed rate bonds” were dominated by dubious ads for “investment finder” services that encouraged prospective investors to fill in their details.

In a bid to discover exactly what happens when the unsuspecting public clicks through, one Which? investigator posing as a novice investor completed a form on a suspicious ad for fixedrates4u.com. They were contacted by someone claiming to be from SGZ

Read More

How Yoshihide Suga Can Finish What Shinzo Abe Started

Laveta Brigham

(Bloomberg Opinion) — There was no puff of white smoke, but Japan has a new Prime Minister. Yoshihide Suga, who was Chief Cabinet Secretary under Prime Minster Shinzo Abe, won an overwhelming victory in an internal contest within the long-dominant Liberal Democratic Party. Widely considered to have been one of the chief architects of Abenomics, Suga is likely to keep the government’s focus on resuscitating the economy. His top priorities should be a more efficient corporate culture, gender equality, and raising low-end incomes.

Under Abe, Japan went back to work. Buoyed by monetary easing, the employment rate soared:

This was especially true of women, who entered the workforce in record numbers. Increased immigration also added to labor supply. The coronavirus pandemic will cause employment to fall, but it should bounce back quickly, enabled by continued monetary easing and the fact that Japan’s disease outbreak has been relatively mild.

Encouragingly, productivity

Read More

Google grilled on ad business dominance by U.S. Senate panel

Laveta Brigham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s <GOOGL.O> Google faced a bipartisan buzzsaw of tough questions about its ad business in a hearing on Tuesday, with a particular focus on whether it misused its dominance in online advertising to drive profits.

Senator Mike Lee, a Republican and chair of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, pressed Google’s Don Harrison, who testified remotely, on the company’s dominance of the interlocking businesses which connect advertisers with newspapers, websites and other firms looking to host them.

“As that business has grown, so too have complaints that Google – which both operates the ad selling and buying platforms, and sells its own inventory through those platforms -has conflicts of interest and has manipulated or rigged online ad technologies and auctions to favor its own interest,” Lee said.

He and others pressed Harrison on advertiser complaints that Google was opaque where ad dollars went; specifically how

Read More

To be a great innovator, learn to embrace and thrive in uncertainty

Laveta Brigham

<span class="caption">Innovators are comfortable dealing with uncertainty. </span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/lost-and-confused-businessman-walking-in-meadow-royalty-free-image/1181272310?adppopup=true" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Gremlin/E+ via Getty Images">Gremlin/E+ via Getty Images</a></span>
Innovators are comfortable dealing with uncertainty. Gremlin/E+ via Getty Images

Madam C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, was America’s first female self-made millionaire. She pioneered a line of hair care and beauty products for people of color early in the 20th century, and the recent Netflix series “Self Made” details the story of this talented innovator and the challenges she overcame on the way to her success.

To accomplish her goals, she had to face overwhelming uncertainties. How would she finance her business? Would her partnerships fail? Would her products sell? Would ruthless competition and racism get in her way? Madame Walker’s future was far from certain when she began her journey, but that did not dissuade her.

A historical photo of Madam C.J. Walker
A historical photo of Madam C.J. Walker

It is tempting to think that innovators are a breed apart or perhaps lucky to be in the right place and time. But research shows this

Read More

A Job That Isn’t Hard to Get in a Pandemic: Swindlers’ Helper

Laveta Brigham

Denise Newton, 24, who was contacted by a company called Heies this year after she lost her job, in Birmingham, Ala., Aug. 13, 2020. (Wes Frazer/The New York Times)
Denise Newton, 24, who was contacted by a company called Heies this year after she lost her job, in Birmingham, Ala., Aug. 13, 2020. (Wes Frazer/The New York Times)

After the fitness center where Denise Newton worked closed down in April because of the coronavirus, she posted her résumé online to look for a new job. She soon got a call from a company she had never heard of.

The woman who phoned from the company, Heies, invited Newton to apply for a job as a “local hub inspector.” When she started work in May, Newton began receiving boxes with Apple Watches and laptops in them. Her job was to open the boxes, check the contents and then mail them off to foreign addresses.

But something was off. The boxes were suspiciously plain, even though they included brand-name products. The name on the labels was never Newton’s. When she asked

Read More

‘Grim on so many levels’

Laveta Brigham

A fashion blogger and influencer is facing backlash online after taking part in a photo shoot on a California beach while the state is engulfed in a raging wildfire.

Influencer Colette LeClair, who has more than 30,000 followers on Instagram, decided to bid adieu to San Francisco before she moved down to Los Angeles with a series of photos at the beach. In the photos, she wears a bright orange tulle dress, which matches the dystopian sky tinted orange by forest fires raging across the Pacific Northwest.

“My last day here! Wanted to say goodbye to the ocean and beach and do something I used to enjoy so much here for years — TRIPOD PHOTOS,” she initially captioned the photos. “Currently gathering a lot of clothes to donate — yay! This one will not make it with me to L.A., but there is someone here who will adore it.”

LeClair’s

Read More

What is WhatsApp? A guide to navigating the free internet-based communication platform

Laveta Brigham

From video calls to document sharing, WhatsApp offers many ways to communicate worldwide. <p class="copyright">Samantha Lee/Business Insider</p>
From video calls to document sharing, WhatsApp offers many ways to communicate worldwide.
  • WhatsApp is a free, multiplatform messaging app that lets you make video and voice calls, send text messages, and more — all with just a Wi-Fi connection.

  • With over 2 billion active users, WhatsApp is especially popular among friends and family who live in different countries and want to stay in touch.

  • WhatsApp’s global popularity is due in large part to its accessibility, cross-platform functionality, and simple, straightforward features.

  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

WhatsApp might be a little-known messaging app in the US, but in many parts of the globe, it’s an essential part of everyday life. The Facebook-owned app is easily one of the most popular messaging services in the world.

To understand WhatsApp’s popularity, you need to understand it was one of the first mobile apps

Read More

Online learning provider Everfi makes $100 million commitment for curriculum that pushes for social change

Laveta Brigham

Education has been a hot topic lately. There are questions about the impact remote learning will have on kids, and controversy swirling around President Donald Trump’s recent calls to end racial sensitivity training across federal agencies and clamp down on a New York Times initiative called the 1619 Project, used by some schools to teach the history of slavery and its far-reaching consequences. In short: There’s lots to talk and worry about. 

To be sure, this is also an opportunity to rethink and revamp how and what we teach, for those who seize it. Online learning platforms are seeing a boom, and technology in general is being incorporated in unprecedented ways, which is actually helping to broaden the reach of educators in some regions of the world. What’s more, despite the rhetoric from the White House, the current racial reckoning is leading many in the private sector to up their

Read More

How gamers Formula and Randumb are building their own online empire

Laveta Brigham

The world of gaming and esports has exploded in recent years.

Even if you aren’t familiar with any of the players, games or streaming platforms, the industry is booming: It’s anticipated that global esports revenue for 2020 will be over $1.1 billion.

Viewership has transformed esports from what used to be a pretty niche form of entertainment into a mainstream money-maker — thanks in part to celebrity involvement, Twitch and the rise of games like Fortnite.

Gamers Alex Kushelevskiy and Jordan Schnieder, known online as Formula and Randumb respectively, are renowned for their Fortnite streams. They became popular on YouTube and now are attempting to create their own online gaming empire.

“We started this as a hobby and one day just decided, ‘Hey, let’s get a house, let’s make content together, let’s blow this up into something huge’ and here we are now,” Formula told In The Know.

The pair

Read More

7 Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe Online During Remote Learning

Laveta Brigham

You can’t supervise them 24/7. Here are easy ways to make sure they’re protected on their own.

Boy on Laptop
Boy on Laptop

Virtual learning means more time on the web, which means a greater need for cyber safety lessons.

iStock

This back-to-school season looks a little different in much of the country. With over 6 million kids distance learning, working families are met with an entirely new set of challenges. With kids on the computer for several hours a day—and working parents not able to give their full supervision—cyber safety is a concern now more than ever. Here are seven top tips on how to keep your child safe online from cybersecurity company NortonLifeLock.

Check your surroundings: With children remotely attending school through Zoom and the like, families now have multiple surveillance cameras throughout the house, potentially making their homes far less private than they might otherwise be. If your child

Read More