Bing has reprised its Black Friday flyer ads this year, though this time with a different take.

Last year’s flyer ads displayed on searches for some retailers and linked to flyers hosted by Flipp. In the 2016 version, the flyer ads appear in a carousel on desktop searches for general Black Friday-related terms. The individual ads featured in the carousel each link to the Black Friday landing page on the respective retailers’ websites.

Here is an example of a flyer ad that includes spots for Sam’s Club, Target, Kohl’s, Best Buy and Brooks Running in the initial panel.

Black Friday flyer ad carousel on Bing.

Flipp is among the advertisers included farther down the carousel and links to Black Friday circulars tailored to your location on its site. The ads do not appear to be triggering at this point on retailer brand searches, or in mobile search results or the Bing app.

Author:  Ginny Marvin

Source:  http://searchengineland.com/

Categorized in News & Politics

Google is well on its way from being a company synonymous with search and the web to a brand name well known for its hardware products. Now, there’s the Google Home smart speaker to compete with Amazon’s Echo, as well the company’s new flagship Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. Verizon is only the authorized Pixel and Pixel XL seller in the US, besides the Play Store.

Author:  Nick Statt

Source:  https://www.yahoo.com/

Categorized in News & Politics

Researchers list the most and least secure online retailers, warn about vulnerabilities in WordPress e-commerce plugins and warn that crooks are cashing in on top store brands and "Black Friday" to scam consumers.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday nearly upon us, here are three different reports about shopping online.

Amazon and Walmart listed among the “least secure” online retailers

The first ranks the best and worst security of top online retailers. LastPass used a set of six criteria and then ranked each e-retailer on a scale of 0 to 10 points on that password criteria. For example, does a site offer two-factor authentication? That answer is “no” to all of the online retailers in this study.

The online stores were judged to be more secure for things such as if they had a password strength meter, if the password allowed special characters and if passwords with 20 characters were allowed. The results posted by LastPass are surprising, given that Amazon and Walmart – two of the biggest online retailers – were ranked among the “least secure” of online stores.

The five “most secure” online retailers were listed in this order: QVC, Apple, Victoria’s Secret, Neiman Marcus and Best Buy. The “least secure” e-retailers were listed in this order: Amazon, Walmart, Wayfair, Nike and Sears.

Severe vulnerabilities in WordPress e-commerce plugins

So while LastPass ranked the best and worst security of e-retailers, Checkmarx looked at 12 popular WordPress e-commerce plugins and found “severe” vulnerabilities in a third of them. The company reported that over 26 percent of websites globally use WordPress and hundreds of thousands of those sites use e-commerce plugins. If vulnerable plugins are exploited by criminals, “users of over 135,000 websites could find their personal data threatened;” – yes, that includes credit card data.

Four of the 12 WordPress plugins contained “high-risk vulnerabilities” such as SQL injection (SQLi), reflected cross-site scripting (XSS), second order SQL injection and a plugin vulnerable to file manipulation.

Unfortunately, Checkmarx did not provide the list of vulnerable plugins at this time; that’s because responsible disclosure means giving developers time to fix the flaws before naming names which would help bad actors find additional ways to harm consumers.

If you add items to your cart, Checkmarx advised that before checking out you should make certain the SSL certificate is good. On an HTTPS site on Chrome, users can click the green lock to get the scoop on the certificate, connections and secure resources on a page.

Spammy scammers cashing in on store brands and “Black Friday”

Have you been making a list and checking it twice, looking for the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for items on your loved one’s wish lists? That seems smart, but you need to be security-wise and not get suckered by some spammy scammer.

Just as online retailers are counting on another booming year, cyber crooks are counting on another booming year as well by scamming as many people as possible. RiskIQ researchers issued a warning (pdf) without naming names, claiming that cyber thugs have honed in on the top five leading brands in e-commerce.

The company ran a keyword search, looking for five online retailers “branded terms” along with “Black Friday” that appear in blacklisted URLs – ones which are linked to phishing, malware or spam. RiskIQ said its blacklists are collected by crawling over 300 million mobile devices, 1.8 billion HTTP sessions, 783 global locations across 100 countries, 16 million mobile apps and 300 million domain records.

While the stats are interesting, if you are trying to warn people to be aware, to be careful, why not give the silly keywords used instead of reporting that the unnamed “brand” one through five had a combined total of over one million blacklisted apps? It’s good info to have, but it seems like it would be better for the announcement to provide the actual research to the public – at the very least the keyword brands in this study – so as not to scare people about leading brands.

Nevertheless, RiskIQ’s advice is sound. Users are advised against downloading apps from unofficial sources, to be wary about apps that want too many permissions such as accessing passwords or credit card info, and not to be fooled by good reviews that can be easily faked.

Overall when considering these three reports, shopping online for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sounds like a crapshoot…but it sure sounds better to me than being out in the crowds. Just be wise about shopping.

Source : http://www.computerworld.com

Author : Darlene Storm

Categorized in Social

$250 gift cards being bundled with Android smartphones, up to $100 being knocked off Android tablets by big retailers for Black Friday 2016

It’s a lot easier to find Black Friday 2016 deals for Android smartphones and tablets than it is for competing Apple products, so if you’re a fan of Google’s Linux kernel-based mobile OS or willing to give it a shot, then Best Buy, Target and others are more than happy to accommodate on Nov. 25.

Here’s where to look if you want to compare Android products to those from Appleor running Windows

Android smartphones

Verizon: $10/month for Android smartphones

Verizon is offering phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S7, Pixel Phone from Google and Moto Z Droid for $10/month for 24 months, 0% APR, which is a savings of up to $400 on these devices.

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Best Buy: Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge bundled with VR kit

Best Buy will sweeten the purchase of a new Android phone, which costs about $28 per month for 24 months under an installment plan, by tossing in a $250 store gift card PLUS A Samsung Gear VR viewer.

samsung galaxy s7 or s7 edge vr kit

Samsung Galaxy S7 VR kit bundles can be had at cut-rate prices for Black Friday 2016

Target: Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 edge

Like Best Buy, Target is offering a $250 store gift card, plus a Samsung Gear VR headset. In addition, Target includes a $50 Oculus content pack to supplement the VR headset. 

Newegg: ZTE Axon Pro unlocked smartphone

This 5.5-inch Android phone comes in Gold, boasts 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, with a 13mp rear camera and 2mp dual-lens front camera. Online retailer Newegg is slicing the price from $400 to $250.

Samsung: Gear VR headset

Slap this 1-pound device onto your Samsung smartphone and start seeing things in 360 degrees. Samsung is cutting the price from $100 to $70.

Android tablets

Samsung: Galaxy Tab A 10.1-inch tablet

Samsung starting on Nov. 18 will cut $100 off of this big-screen 16GB Android device with Wi-Fi support, bringing the price down to $200.

galaxy tab a 10.1 inch tablet

Galaxy Tab A 10.1-inch tablet

Shopko: Samsung Galaxy Tab E Lite tablet

Shopko’s Black Friday sales start online the day before Thanksgiving and online at 4pm Thanksgiving Day. Among the deals, this 7-inch Android tablet for $70, which is $60 off the regular price. It comes with 8GB of storage and can be expanded via a 32GB microSD card.

Meijer: Samsung Galaxy Tab E Lite 7.0

Marked down from $120 to $70, plus you get a $20 store gift card tossed in. Android device features 8GB of storage, 1GB of RAM and a 7-inch screen.

Sam’s Club: Samsung 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab A tablet

This Android tablet bundle, for $189 ($100 off), comes with 16GB of internal storage, plus a 32GB microSD card. The tablet weighs a bit more than a pound and boasts a 2mp front-facing camera and 9mp rear-facing one.

BJ’s Wholesale Club: Samsung Galaxy Tab A tablet

BJ’s is offering this 7-inch Android tablet with 16GB of storage, plus a bonus 16GB microSD card, for $90, which is $50 off the regular price. BJ’s is offering this deal from Nov. 18 through Nov. 29, though stores are closed on Thanksgiving.

Staples: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7-inch tablet

Staples, whose Black Friday 2016 deals start online on Thanksgiving day, is cutting the cost of this Android device with 8GB of storage by a third to $100

Kmart: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7-inch tablet 

This Android device with 8GB of storage regularly goes for $150, but Kmart is selling it for $100 and including $50 of Shop Your Way Reward points to use at a later time.

Staples: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8-inch tablet

The office supplies retailer is knocking $70 off of this 16GB Android tablet, which is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor.

Toys R Us: Polaroid Wi-Fi tablets

Yes, Polaroid makes tablets, too! The toy store is offering Polaroid 7- or 9-inch Wi-Fi tablets for $30 ($30 off) and $40 ($30 off) respectively. The tablets run Android and come with 8GB of storage.

Walgreens: Polaroid 7-inch tablet

Walgreens might not be the first place you think of to buy tablets and Polaroid might not be the first manufacturer you think of either for this item, but Walgreens is cutting the price of Polaroid’s 7-inch tablet to $30, so if you’re looking for an inexpensive one, you don’t have much to lose here. The Android device comes with 8GB of storage.

Walmart: RCA 7-inch tablet

Walmart is cutting the price of this Andoid device from about $50 to $28. Add a folio or bumper for $8.

Source : http://www.networkworld.com

Author : Bob Brown

Categorized in Social

The company also released a compilation of insights on Black Friday mobile and in-store shopping behaviors.

Google is integrating Store Visits data into more AdWords reporting ahead of the holiday shopping surge. The search giant also shared findings on mobile search trends and store traffic patterns from Black Friday weekend last year.

The Distance report, located under the Dimensions tab, shows store visits based on how far away someone was from a store location (as indicated by an advertiser’s location extensions) when they performed a search and clicked on an ad.

With store visits data available in the geographic and user location reports (located from the Settings tab > Locations tab > “View location reports”), advertisers can see what areas are driving the highest volume of store visits. Advertisers can drill down to the postal code level within these reports.

Having visibility into this data helps further close the online-to-offline loop and can be used to inform location targeting and bid adjustments for areas that are driving store visits.

Retailers with enough ad clicks and in-store traffic volume will see store visits data in Search campaign reports now, and it will be available for Shopping campaigns soon.

According to Google, on Thanksgiving Day last year, 59 percent of mobile shopping searches occurred before 6 p.m., when many stores opened their doors and in-store foot traffic started to pick up. On Black Friday, in-store foot traffic peaked between noon and 4 p.m. See the infographic below for more insights on Black Friday shopping.


Auhor:  Ginny Marvin

Source:  http://searchengineland.com/

Categorized in Search Engine

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