Just Say No: Listserv Confirmation Email Pioneer Reinvents Self

The world of email marketing changed much when Eric Thomas, an engineering student in Paris pioneered Listserv in 1986. Listserv automated the management of email lists and allowed list owners to create templates and customize replies to subscribers based on specific commands. In 1987, database functions were added which allowed users to search the database. Listserv was also very ethical; giving the subscriber the right to unsubscribe anytime. By 2001, it had surpassed over 100M subscribers and managed over 170,000 email lists. Up until 1993, it was released as a freeware and even now, could still be downloaded free for a maximum of 10 lists with up to 500 subscribers.

L Soft, the company founded by Eric Thomas, released the paid version that included more management tools. Through the years, it incorporated email tracking, customized reporting, built-in antivirus capability, analytics, email marketing, hosting, and integration with emerging social media platforms, especially on content creation; all the while respecting privacy and the freedom of choice.

“In 1993, LISTSERV was the first software to introduce double opt-in, which becomes the global gold standard for permission email. Double opt-in protects subscribers by requiring them to confirm their subscriptions before being added to a mailing list.” – L Soft site

However, other entities were not as stringent and by 2008, spam plagued the online world reaching an all-time high of 92.6% of email worldwide. Despite tighter controls on permissions, the worldwide scam rate was still at an appalling 59.8% two years ago. Just how big is this? As reported by the Radicati Group the volume of spam and unwanted email has risen to 32 Billion email users globally. Just imagine, the distress and anxiety over receiving these annoyances; and the fear that these carry with it malware that can retrieve confidential personal information.

With an eye to take the lead in email marketing while keeping it safe, ethical, as well as more responsive and profitable, Listserv reinvented itself with new features over 30 years after its initial launch – or 25 years after it introduced permission email.

“Successful mass communication is ethical: It comes from a sender-subscriber relationship based on strong prior consent. Eric Thomas, L-Soft’s CEO, invented automated subscription confirmation to prevent unreliable email addresses from being added to an email list. This also protects the list and its subscribers from fraudulent subscriptions and puts permission in the hands of the recipient, where it belongs.” —  Outi Tuomaala, L-Soft’s EVP ( in Newswire)

Currently, Listserv, Listserv Lite, Listserv Free, and Listserv Maestro can be downloaded from the site. Apart from the email list software, L-Soft products include email hosting (ListPlex®), and email marketing (Maestro Add-On). Competitive Features of Listserv include:

  • Integrated Virus protection
  • Double opt-in support
  • Automatic email handling
  • Web integration
  • Support for all list types
  • Automatic Bounce Handling
  • Security options
  • Message posting
  • Message scheduling
  • Content Analysis
  • Newsletter Template Gallery
  • Customizable Mail templates and styles
  • Attachment and content filter
  • Subscriber activity reports
  • CSV reports
  • List reports
  • Moderation sharing
  • Full RSS support and others that increase engagement.

Because of the backlash from users complaining about the incessant deluge of unwanted mail, digital marketers are now more compliant about requesting consent and observing data privacy; including the user’s right to prevent the sale of any information to a third. Consent is now a primary gateway especially in the age of fraud, phishing, and other cyber crimes. Listserv is now at the forefront of all these cautioning users to:

  • be explicit about subscriber opt-in
  • set specific expectations about content that will be received
  • confirm that the subscription was initiated by the subscriber and
  • reassure subscribers that they can opt-out anytime.

Resources:

L-Soft Website

Newswire Press Release

Statista.com

Radicati Group

Phishing: Modern Technology Gives Modern Problems

We live in a world where computers, cellphones and other high-tech gadgets are part of our daily routine. Don’t deny it guys, we’re all in this together! We can say that these modern technologies make our life easier and more convenient. I mean, which would you choose? Hand-written letters which would take so long to reach your recipient or an e-mail which could reach people in just a few seconds? But is it all good — or do we some problems? The number one problem with modern technologies nowadays is Phishing.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a way to “steal” valued information like passwords, pin codes, credit card numbers, among others.  The people behind this fraudulent action use malicious links disguised as login window in order for the victim to put in their sensitive information. The word “phishing” is connected to “fishing” because hackers use the links as “bait” for their potential victims.

Phishing Attack

What will happen if your sensitive information were compromised?

People who clicked a malicious link will have their information taken by the hackers. They can use those information to use your credit cards or get money from your bank accounts. They can also use your username and password to the social media site that they hacked from you to scam people.

How do we avoid becoming a victim?

It’s actually easy to avoid being a victim of this hideous scheme. First, you have to be very careful with the links that you click especially if it is sent by an anonymous person. If the person who sent the link is suspicious, block that person immediately.

We must be very careful with the things that we do today because even just one click can give us a whole bunch of problems.

 

New Facebook phishing scheme steals credit card info

A new phishing scheme was once again discovered in Facebook.

According to David Jacoby of Kaspersky, this new scheme allows access to a user’s account through this method. Once they succeed in gaining access to your account, the scammer would then change the profile picture to the logo of Facebook and change the user’s name into “Facebook Security”. It would now appear to your friends that this is an official Facebook account. The scam artist would then chat with your friends and send them a link that says “Your Facebook account will be turned off because someone has reported you. Please do re-confirm your account security by” ‘Insert Link’ Thank you, The Facebook Team.”

Once you click on the link, it would redirect you to a page outside of Facebook but look similar to that of the social networking site. The page has fields such as name, email, Facebook password, email password and a security question. Once the user fills up the field and clicks on confirm, it would then open a page that would ask the user about his or her credit card information to “confirm” his or her identity. If the user clicks on confirm again, they would then be asked about name, billing address, full credit card number, expiration date and the card’s security code.

Phishing schemes have been common in Facebook so users are warned not to click on any links that seem questionable.

Image source: xcoselete.blogspot.com

One hundred phishers charged

Following a multi-national investigation into a phishing scheme that covered the United States and Egypt, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced today that it had charged 53 defendants in the U.S, thirty-three of which were already arrested while the others are still being sought.

Authorities in Egypt on the other hand have charged 47 defendants who are also linked to the phishing operation, taking the total to 100, the largest number ever charged in a cybercrime case.

The investigation, which was dubbed “Operation Phish Phry”, begun in 2007.

“The sophistication with which Phish Phry defendants operated represents an evolving and troubling paradigm in the way identity  is now committed,” Keith Bolcar, acting assistant director of the FBI in Los Angeles, said in a statement.

“Criminally savvy groups recruit here and abroad to pool tactics and skills necessary to commit organized theft facilitated by the computer, including hacking, fraud and identity theft, with a common greed and shared willingness to victimize Americans.”

The 53 defendants in the U.S. face charges of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud that could cost them a maximum of 20 years in prison. Hmmn, let’s see if they can hack they’re way of out that.

Source: http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/attacks/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=220301571

Hackers attack Hotmail thru phishing

Credit: AFP/Getty Images/File/Stephen Brashear

Phishing might sound like a harmless word uttered by a drunk guy talking about an activity involving some aquatic animals 😉 but the word definitely spells trouble. Microsoft can attest to this because thousands of thousands of email addresses of Windows Live Hotmail users were exposed and posted on a website. These users are victims of phishing.

According to Microsoft, they have learned of the problem over the weekend and concluded that hackers obviously tricked users into revealing their account and access information through email attachments riddled with a malware.

“We are aware that some Windows Live Hotmail customers’ credentials were acquired illegally by a phishing scheme and exposed on a website,” Microsoft said to AFP.

“We have taken measures to block access to all of the accounts that were exposed and have resources in place to help those users reclaim their accounts.”

In addition, the US technology giant said that this attack was not a breach of internal Microsoft data. They further warned users to ” exercise extreme caution when opening unsolicited attachments and links from both known and unknown sources, and install and regularly update anti-virus software.”

Well, there you go. Always, and I mean ALWAYS, be wary if you get unsolicited emails, especially if they’re offering access to free access to some er…interesting images of celebrities or some millions of dollars apparently waiting for you to be claimed. You get the idea. 😉

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/hackers-expose-slew-of-hotmail-acount-passwords-1798686.html