Entrepreneur: stress management

Everyone must have gone through lots of stressful situations. Stress can be beneficial and motivational, if you can get control of it. On the other hand, stress can be the cause for irritation and anger, if its out of control causing serious impacts to the person.

As an entrepreneur, there are always, lots of responsibilities and work to complete. You might get so much involved with your work that you won’t have any social life. Your family complaining for you non availability, lists of pending tasks to complete, the deadline, finding an investor….. infact there is a lot to do as an entrepreneur.

Stressful situations are common for an entrepreneur and of very high risk. Its very common to loose your control and make mistakes when you are too much stressed, which might have long term negative impact for your business. As an entrepreneur, you must have people working under you. You might not want anyone to see you loosing control, and lose faith on you. So, stress management is the necessity for an entrepreneur. Here, are few ways, how you can handle your stress:

  • Know your limits and stick to it. Even if its your personal or professional life, you should only take on responsibilities that you can handle.
  • Distribute your workload. Get one or few on the management team whom you can trust and who can really help carry the workload.
  • Take a break. Get some fresh air, take long walks, long drive… refreshen yourself so, that you can give 100% when you are back to work.
  • Express you feelings instead of bottling them up. You might also, want to share it with someone whom you feel comfortable with. That will really make you stressed out. You need an advisor, whoever they may be.
  • Finally and most important is the time management.

SoakSoak Compromise via RevSlider Vulnerability

Another wordpress threat which was named SoakSoak was found to be injected into the sites via RevSlider plugin. The attack vector was confirmed by Security firm Succuri. The vulnerability with this plugin was already disclosed by Succuri a few months ago, but it seemed that many webmaster have either not heard or did not take it seriously.

After investigating thousands of compromised sites, Succuri has published the attack sequence as below:
(as mentioned in Succuri Blog)

1. Discovery: There appears to be an initial reconnaissance scan occurring where the attacker[s] are looking to see if the file exists. Snippet of the code
soaksoak-malware-dicovery

2. Exploit:If the discovery phase is successful and they find a site using Revslider, they use a second vulnerability in Revslider and attempt to upload a malicious theme to the site:
soaksoak-malware-exploit

3. Take over: If the exploit is successful, they inject the popular Filesman backdoor into the website, which they access directly at /wp-content/plugins/revslider/temp/update_extract/revslider/update.php this provides full access by circumventing existing access controls:
soaksoak-malware-takeover

From there, they inject a secondary backdoor that modifies the swfobject.js file and injects the malware redirecting site visitors to soaksoak.ru.

This malware might have long term impacts on sites if not actioned carefully as it has been mentioned making use of a number of new backdoor payloads as images, admin user creation, etc. Replacing swfobject.js,swfobject.swf and template-loader.php files might help you remove the infection as suggested. But it isn’t sure your site is completely safe as per the nature of the malware until and unless you are using a Website firewall.

Worried about the potential risk, visit Sucuri website for free site scan.
Sucuri Security

Pagevamp: Social Website Builder

There are lots of website builder services available online, that makes it easy to create a website. Some provides drag and drop interfaces and other uses various methods to make your process of making websites easier without any complexity. People are looking for easier and cheaper methods to make a website. Thus, there has been competition from the very beginning to which website builder provides easier, better and cheaper services.

Getting into the similar competition is the another startup company “Pagevamp”. Pagevamp allows its users to create and update their website easily from Facebook page in just one Click. It is the easiest and the fastest way to publish a website with no technical skills. Saying that, it helps us to escape from learning the whole new site creation process and management interface. Anyone can create a good looking and up-to-date website using Pagevamp.

Some of its features includes:

  • Instant update from facebook page
  • Responsive designs, to translate seamlessly to all types of devices
  • Powerful Hosting, managed by Rackspace
  • Cheap rates upto $12/month on annual service
  • Create many pages as per user needs
  • switch designs as per user needs, users can choose from different themes available with themes being added every month which are well tested and device friendly
  • unlimited features, with features being upgraded + added each month

From its time of launch, till now, lots of features like SEO, photo inquiry, multiple gallery pages, pdf uploads, filtering albums, news, updating content, etc and many themes have already been added to the list.

For more information: www.pagevamp.com

Udemy “The Academy of You”

With the growth in access of internet users, e-learning has been most popular in todays market. You can get access to lots of courses online, free or paid, helping you to learn from anywhere, anytime as long as you’ve got an internet connection.

Most of us must be familiar with any of the popular outsourcing marketplace such as freelancer.com, odesk.com, elance.com,etc.. where employers and employees are able to find each other starting from employers posting a job following with anybody inside its platform to offer a quote to complete the job.

Similar to this concept, another marketplace which is getting much popular these days is Udemy — which infers “The Academy of You”. Udemy is the marketplace for teaching and learning. Unlike academic MOOC(Massive Open Online Course) programs driven by traditional collegiate coursework, Udemy provides a platform for experts of any kind to create courses which can be offered to the public, either at no charge or for a tuition fee. Also, Udemy provides tools which enable users to create a course, promote it and earn money from student tuition charges.

Udemy courses ranges from programming, entrepreneurship, photography, yoga, marketing, sales, cooking, design… infact everything. Thousands of expert instructors have already published online courses on Udemy for different categories. Currently no Udemy courses are credentialed for college credit, students take courses largely as a means of improving job-related skills. Some courses generate credit toward technical certification. Udemy has made a special effort to attract corporate trainers seeking to create coursework for employees of their company.

Millions of students in 190+ countries have already enrolled to one or more courses at Udemy. Every course on Udemy is available on demand, 24/7, so you can learn when and where you want via the iPhone, iPad, Android and Web. Moreover, recent features allow you to save your courses for offline viewing so you can watch them while you’re on a plane or subway. Also, the playback feature at different speeds for quickly refreshing your mind seem to be an addition.

Organizations also use Udemy for Organizations (UFO), a corporate online learning platform, that provides training solutions to thousands of companies. On the whole, as it seems, Udemy already had its place safe on the world’s largest marketplace for online learning.

For more information: www.udemy.com

Another WordPress threat, 100,000+ WordPress Websites infected by SoakSoak Malware

WordPress users are now facing another threat from a malware attack, named SoakSoak. Google has blacklisted over 11,000 domains with this latest malware campaign from SoakSoak.ru.

According to Security Firm Sucuri, who is actively investigating the vector of malware, already 100’s of thousands of WordPress specific websites have been infected with this malware. Though they are not sure of the exact vector, but their preliminary analysis shows its correlation with the Revslider vulnerability which was reported a few months back. Also, they have mentioned specifically, that this campaign does not appear to be specifically targeted towards WordPress only, the victims seem to be blogs relying on its frame work. So the fact that most of its victims are WordPress websites, may just be a coincidence.

Once your website is infected with this malware, you might experience irregular website behaviour including redirects to SoakSoak.ru webpages. You may also, end up downloading malicious files onto your computer systems automatically without any knowledge.

SoakSoak malware modifies the file located at wp-includes/template-loader.php which causes wp-includes/js/swobject.js to be loaded on every page view on the website and this “swobject.js” file includes a malicious java encoded script malware.

Security Firm Sucuri, has provided a free SiteCheck scanner for scanning malware on your websites. So, if you have websites in wordpress, and worried about the potential risk you can always, visit Sucuri website and scan for any malware.

Sucuri Security

No more Facebook Like Gate’s….

Facebook already announced that it would no longer support business pages to have Like Gate’s type of applications where user need to like their fb pages to enter into the contest or receive points in the game. Which means there is no way to track if the user liked the page or not.

As per facebook:
The ‘liked’ property will no longer be returned in the ‘signed_request’ object for Page Tab apps created after today. From November 5, 2014 onwards, the ‘liked’ property will always return ‘true’ regardless of whether or not the person has liked the page.

Facebook changed platform policy:
You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.

The practice of incentivizing users in exchange for liking a page has been for years, which had helped them to increase the number of fans for their brand and overall to increase reach to their customers. However, now this is not possible.

Facebook wants your fans to really like your brand/page, not only your contest prizes or materials that they get from liking your page. Forceful likes, doesn’t really mean they want posts from your page on their walls or they really do care for your brands. Lets say you ran a contest to win an Ipad and user need to like your business page to enter into the contest. You might get an increased number of likes running this contest but you must be aware that people are liking your page not because they like your business or they really do care about your brand.. they are just concerned for Ipad as they are Apple fans..:)

Overall, this announcement by facebook seemed fair enough for users as they connect with a business or brand only if they truly want to and not because they were enticed by “artificial incentives”.

Linux – Command “Free” for memory management

I’m not a server administrator, nor do I have sound knowledge with Linux but recently, I have been involved to setup a server on rackspace. Everything was going smooth, with 20 of my clients site being hosted on server until we got an email from Rackspace regarding over consumption of memory and complete use of swap needing to hard reboot the server. They asked us to oversee the issue and fix it. Now, I didn’t had any idea how to check memory and processes on server, I researched a bit and found this command name “free”. There were other commands which had helped me resolve the issue like top, htop, ps,etc.. which I will be explaining on my further posts. Let us go through this “free” command in Linux and how it works in more detail here.

Free

Login to your server and give the ‘free’ command without quotes. Not sure, what client you use for ssh communication but I prefer SSH Secure Shell Client.

Linux Command Free

Below, is the output screenshot which consists of the four lines also, you will see the results are in Kb.

Linux Command Free - Output

You might want to view the results in megabytes, so you can just add ‘-m’ option after free command to view results in megabytes(Mb) which is more readable.

free -m

Output screenshot as below:

Linux Command Free - Output in MB

First line consists of column headers, 2nd line provides you the memory usage including cached and buffered memory. You just need to concentrate on the third line, which tells you what memory is being used by the system and is not available for other process. In above screenshot you will see, 743 mb of 1998mb is used by different processes. I still have 1255mb of memory available which can be used by other tasks. That’s it.. If you are concerned with the 4th line mentioning swap, let me provide you brief info. on it. Swap is a disk-based memory space that can be configured on some servers and is used incase your application require so much memory that it had to resort to hard drive swapping to work. Consistent swapping or very high levels of swapping make you application run slow. You may need to upgrade to include more RAM, if it coninues to use swap memory even after optimization.

Regular monitoring of server memory utilization must be done on a regular basis. It helps you to have general idea of your server condition and alert you in advance for any possible problems. Like your server might be up and running but it may be struggling using higher level of swap becoming slower and slower. So. it’s better to know any issues beforehand than resulting into any downtime and non-operational site.

Advantages of being a project manager

1. Project Manager is itself a prestigious post. Its one of the highest post in an organization. To be at that post is first of all the matter of pride and prestige. Respect is what you earn from fellow team members and the boss.

2. Technical project manager understands the problems the team member is facing and can solve, if not, talk with the higher authority directly towards problem solving. Sometimes there are situations where a member cannot take a decision on what has to be done incase of inadequate information. At those times, a project manager comes in either to take a decision or t o talk to the ones responsible.

3. The team members cannot cheat on timing of delivering projects, because a project manager has eyes on all the projects. This is certainly benificial for the organisation. The techincal project manager comes from the same technical background as the members. So the time the team is using or needs to use can easily be determined.

4. Can understand the problems of team members as well and the administrative bodies and can play a major role in bridging the gap and bringing up the solution. A project manager’s role comes right between the members and the administrative body. A technical project manager is 50% technical person and 50% managerial person.

Give your online visitors something free

This article explains, the 3rd point from my first article “Success as a freelancer..”. With every article on this topic, we as a freelancer, we are climbing a step to success. By reading this article, you will come to know how important is to help or provide something free to meet your goal, to attract client towards you…Provide something free

Providing something free on your site, will automatically initiate more visitors to your site/blog and potentially more clients. Offer your vistiors something that is useful, like if you are designer then, you can put some free buttons, css instructions or some useful tips and if you are programmer, then you can add some piece of code you have developed and useful to other people, like WP Plugins, JQuery Plugins, some useful classes or some tips and tricks for the framework or open source you are master with which might help to tackle real time problems.

This method of feeding to trap a pray, has always been popular on every fields and succeeds most of the time. For example: You can see lots of free software, which when installed, you will find some ads related to them, or some links that points to their works, latest products, etc. Similarly, you can find lots of free wp plugins but most of the free version consists of their company ads, or free version is the simple version of their paid version which has many limitations, and showing their usability on free version, they are forced to get the paid version. So, finally there is a conversion to the provider…

We can find many other examples on this which really works. Moreover, providing something free to the users, will also help you to show your ability and your work to others and if they are impressed, you might get some good referrals as well. That is why, I would suggest you to try this method, which had worked for many, and infact me..:)