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Chatbots. They’ve been around for quite a while but only recently, (2016 onwards) they’ve became popularized and mainstream, with brands and enterprises engaging in chatbot development in order to reach customers with better efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Enterprises today, build and deploy chatbots to not only assist but also automate its customer support. For e.g., KLM Royal Dutch Airlines handled an upwards of 16,000 interactions on a weekly basis and in 6 months, the Blue Bot sent out almost 2 million messages to more than 500,000 customers. Talk about scalability.
Surveys show that 37% of Americans would prefer to use a chatbot to get a swift answer, in an urgent situation. Additionally, 64% of Americans feel that the 24-hour availability of chatbots is the best feature with 55% appreciating the instant response and instant communication.
We’re a specialist chatbot agency that’s 100% focused on building and developing new chatbots for websites of any kind. We work with you to understand what your site needs and our team then build you a bespoke chatbot to meet your requirements.
Chatbots are one of the premier marketing services we provide for our customers. Our team is experienced at building chatbots for different industries, writing chatbot content that converts, and, designing chatbots that are extremely engaging and fun for the end user.
A sample of about half of the nearly 100 available chatbots templates can be seen here. (Click for closeup)
Our experienced chatbot and AI team will work with you to identify the best course of action for your specific needs – crucial to ensuring you can focus on the right areas.
Statistics from HubSpot show that 48% of consumers would connect with a company through live chat than any other means of contact and 55% of consumers are more interested in interacting with a business or store using a messaging app to solve a problem.
Additional stats when it comes to business profitability show that 47% of consumers would purchase through a chatbot and millennials (26 to 36-year-olds) are prepared to spend up to £481.15 on a business transaction through a bot.
So far, enterprises that have adopted chatbots have done so by creating and using them in silos. Although this approach may work for businesses that need to automate a handful of tasks, it doesn’t exactly align with the high-end needs of an enterprise – scalability, agility, and cost-effectiveness across a smorgasbord of functions.
How should modern enterprises go about chatbot development?
When it comes to enterprises, chatbots should be readily available and accessible across a myriad of channels and integrated with internal business systems with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems being top priority.
When coming up with a bot development strategy, enterprises have several options. A single task bot is not a feasible option for enterprises that need an automated workflow coupled with the integration of internal and external ecosystems and application of natural language processing.
Chatbot frameworks assist programmers with structures with which they can build individual chatbots. However, these frameworks are merely just a collection of a set of tools and services. The frameworks apply to a fixed set of use cases and can be used to assemble and deploy a single-task bot which, at the end of the day, lacks the end-to-end development and ongoing management capabilities.
Frameworks tend to be useful if the use case is small, however, for an enterprise where the overall requirements and scope are more demanding – this is where a chatbot platform comes into the picture.
Chatbots are software applications that are programmed to send messages to users in a conversational interface, much like a live chat widget. They act like digital agents and are used to interact with your site visitors.
They can complete a number of tasks that your visitor might require, whether it be pointing them to the right product of interest, helping direct them through to your sales team, or taking a booking or reservation. There is no end to what you can get a chatbot to do for you and everyone has slightly different requirements.
Ultimately they can act like a digital agent on your site, interacting with as many visitors as you have on your site at any one time and working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year! They never stop.
Chatbots are the only marketing service we provide for our customers and our team are experienced at building chatbots for different industries, writing chatbot content that converts and designing chatbots that are extremely engaging and fun for the end user.
Our experienced chatbot and AI team will work with you to identify the best course of action for your specific needs – crucial to ensuring you can focus on the right areas.
2- Take a look at the chatbots on that site, from the portfolio on the site, and,
from the active chatbot located at the bottom right.
3 – Go through as many of the menus as desired.
4 – Imagine how your chatbot might be differently configured than the one on this page.
5 – Complete the form below, add your requests for your industry-specifc chatbot.
6 – We’ll return with a ready-to-go chatbot, prepared for quick installation on your blog/site.
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Banking applications on Android phones are most vulnerable to cyber crime, the chief executive and co-founder of Russian anti-virus software maker Kaspersky Lab said on Monday.
A targeted data wiping malware has been discovered by The Iran National CERT, or Maher. The malware, referred to as Batchwiper by Cupertino, Calif.-based security vendor Symantec Corp., wipes files on different drives at predefined times.
Researchers say the design is primitive but the malware is efficient. Batchwiper can wipe disk partitions and user profile directories without being recognized by anti-virus software. It is not widely distributed.
Symantec has recovered samples of the Trojan matching the hashes in the Maher advisory. According to Symantec, the samples will wipe any drives starting with the drive letters D through I, along with files on a logged-in user’s Desktop. Symantec researchers are continuing to analyze the binaries.
Targeted malware attacks have been on the rise in recent years. Batchwiper, however, shows no similarities to more sophisticated targeted attacks like Stuxnet, Flame or Gauss. Experts say companies need to make malware defense a top priority. Steps IT teams can take to protect their companies against malware include offline malware and threat detection, whitelisting, and browser security.
Sep 10, 2012 at 11:33am ET by Adam Riff
There is little doubt that mobile search is the hot topic in the SEO world at the moment. Some brands are now finding that more than 30 percent of all searches come from mobile devices, according to Mobile Marketer. It’s fair to say that mobile search is quickly moving out of the Stone Age and into the digital age.
That’s the premise of a new insight paper, Mobile SEO Best Practices, published recently by my company, MediaWhiz (disclosure: I lead MediaWhiz’s search marketing and digital strategy divisions). In addition to a list of our top-10 tips for effective mobile SEO, the paper offers marketers a step-by-step guide to delivering effective mobile search campaigns.
The tips range from the simple (e.g., understanding the differences in how people search on mobile devices compared to their searches on desktops) to the complex, such as best practices to ensure a site’s mobile content can be properly viewed and crawled by search engines.
Below are my top-10 tips for effective mobile SEO. What are yours? Share your tips in the comments section.
Searchers using mobile devices enter keyword queries differently than they do with desktop applications. They use shorter tail phrases.
Often, their searches are more local in nature and more prone to rely on Google’s Autocomplete feature complete a query. When optimizing meta title and descriptions, it is important to optimize for these shorter tail queries.
Mobile users tend to want to be “entertained,” and in many instances, they are connected 24/7 to their social media networks via apps. Content displayed for mobile users should be “entertaining.” When developing online content, think social-first, mobile-second.
Mobile sites should have social media links embedded on every page, as many smartphone users are connected to their social networks 24/7. Doing so will increase exposure, traffic and engagement by ensuring content is easily shared across social networks.
The examples below from Macy’s and Tiffany’s show how a social-first, mobile-second mindset with site design leads to more visually appealing mobile sites.
When optimizing webpages for mobile, ensure that the user agent for both searchers and for the search engine bots are going to the same version of the webpage. Don’t inadvertently get a site flagged for cloaking.
Mobile devices typically have touchscreens, and pressing a navigation link can be cumbersome. It’s important to streamline the navigation so users focus on the most important and/or most popular pages of a site.
Web developers should consider vertical menus. These are typically easier for users to maneuver when deciding which link to click on. In the example below, the Toys “R” Us mobile site utilizes vertical menus to optimal effect.
A successful mobile strategy includes developing a revamped site specific for mobile search. It should not merely be a scaled-down version of the desktop website, retrofitted for a smaller screen. Preferably webservers should be configured so that the mobile version of the site resides on a sub-domain leading with the “m.yourdomain.com.”
Many of the highest trafficked websites, and those that set the standards for best practices concerning user experience, have fully developed mobile versions of their websites to ensure mobile users get the best experience possible.
A good example of this is Twitter’s mobile site:
Each mobile-friendly page should have a link to the main desktop site — clearly marked — so access to the full site is not limited.
Example #1: The American Express website detects a mobile user agent and displays the mobile version of its site for best user experience. However, there is a link located at the bottom-right corner of the mobile site that allows users to change the user agent to the desktop version of the site.
Example #2: Subway has a link to “view full site” so users can easily and quickly switch to the version of the site that best fits their needs and device.
Make it easy for customers to call you directly from your mobile site. Each mobile-friendly page should have the phone number predominately displayed with easy click-to-call access embedded in every page, as seen in the GoDaddy.com mobile site below.
Webpages with rich content (images and videos) are difficult to load on mobile operating systems. Reducing file sizes of rich content ensures those pages render properly on users’ mobile devices and give this highly sharable content better visibility.
A company whose mobile site effectively displays rich content without requiring long loading times is Coca-Cola:
When deciding on application development versus mobile-friendly webpages, remember the intent of someone visiting a website versus using an application.
Applications are for resources that a person will use multiple times. The intent is that an application is either a resource or a business tool (e.g., mobile banking apps versus visiting a bank’s mobile website to learn more about home mortgage loan services).
For companies like Bank of America, which operate almost entirely on a transactional basis with their customers, a mobile app makes sense. For many companies, an app simply won’t be relevant or effective for their customers or business needs.
Search engines understand that the mobile-friendly versions of your webpages are just that and not duplicitous content that could penalize your brand’s search rankings. Make sure search engines’ mobile content crawlers are directed (via setting the user agent) to the same mobile version that users are sent to. Doing so avoids content and penalties, such as cloaking.
Remember the primary reason consumers use mobile devices. Studies show that approximately 85 percent of people use mobile devices to “pass time,” “be amused” or for “entertainment reasons.” Develop mobile versions of your website with these aspects in mind for full engagement value.
Special thanks to Heather Fernandez, senior SEO strategist at MediaWhiz, who also contributed to this article. As a reminder, you can download a copy of MediaWhiz’s insight paper mentioned above “Mobile SEO Best Practices”, here.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.
|Sophos Products||Security News/Trends|
|Malware from B to Z : Inside the threat from Blackhole to ZeroAccess|
Drive-by downloads on the web are nothing new—these attacks exploit a user’s browser to distribute malware and steal data. The most popular drive-by malware we’ve seen recently is called Blackhole. It’s a crimeware kit that allows cybercriminals to deliver malicious code and carry out sophisticated attacks like the ZeroAccess threat – a kernel-mode rootkit.
Join Richard Wang, Director of Threat Research at SophosLabs to learn how hackers are using Blackhole and ZeroAccess together to compromise your security. Richard will discuss the following:
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Attend a webinar
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A well-known security consultant has gone public with his startling hypothesis that Conficker, a notorious but still-mysterious computer worm that confounded IT managers for months in 2008 and 2009, was actually a dry run for Stuxnet, the worm that infected and apparently disabled an Iranian nuclear facility in 2010.
“Conficker was a door kicker,” John Bumgarner, a former U.S. Army and U.S. Marines officer who’s also worked at IBM and Lucent, told Reuters in a story that was posted online Friday morning (Dec. 2). “It built out an elaborate smoke screen around the whole world to mask the real operation, which was to deliver Stuxnet.”
If Bumgarner’s hypothesis is true, it would finally explain the mystery behind Conficker, which had infected perhaps 15 million PCs by early 2009. The worm built a huge botnet army of linked computers, yet never switched it on. Its authorship has never been determined, though evidence hints at Ukrainian cybercriminals.
Stuxnet is thought to have been created by U.S. and Israeli intelligence services to cripple the Iranian nuclear-fuel-processing facility at Natanz, which suffered unexplained accidents and shutdowns in the summer of 2010.
Other security researchers aren’t convinced by Bumgarner’s scenario.
“This account stretches my credulity to [the] breaking point,” said Britain-based Trend Micro researcher Rik Ferguson in a blog posting later Friday.
“Conficker/Stuxnet is quite the stretch,” tweeted Kaspersky Lab researcher and ZDNet writer Ryan Naraine on Friday.
Too many coincidences?
Bumgarner, who is now the chief technology officer for the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, a nonprofit think-tank that advises government agencies on cybersecurity, thinks there are too many similarities between Conficker and Stuxnet to be coincidental.
Both were highly sophisticated, both spread via USB sticks and both rapidly mutated, he said. Bumgarner also said there are overlapping dates marked in the developed code for both, as well as in Duqu, a recently discovered Trojan that many security experts think was created by the writers of Stuxnet.
Ferguson didn’t buy it.
“The levels of sophistication in Conficker and Stuxnet are in different leagues,” he countered. “Stuxnet was a far more sophisticated animal, taking advantage of zero-day vulnerabilities and requiring specialist knowledge of SCADA systems and nuclear facilities.”
Ferguson pointed out that all of Conficker’s exploits were of already-known vulnerabilities that many people simply hadn’t bothered to patch. In contrast, Stuxnet used four rare and valuable “zero-day” Windows exploits that had never before been known of, and Duqu used one.
Bumgarner also leaves out the fact that Conficker initially spread through a vulnerability in the networking component of Windows. Only later did it move on to exploiting the “instant-run” feature that automatically ran programs on USB sticks as soon as they were plugged into PCs.
Conficker was eventually defeated by a group of security and software companies that Microsoft put together in early 2009. It is now detected and destroyed by most major anti-virus software packages. Microsoft is still offering a $250,000 reward for information leading to its creators.
Nevertheless, Bumgarner told Reuters that Conficker, like Stuxnet, is a cyberweapon, not a criminal creation, and that its silent botnet may someday wake up.
“Conficker represents the largest cyberarmy in the world,” he said. “These soldiers are just waiting for their next mission.”