The Lighthouse IT Podcast - July 24th, 2020
Matt and Griffin discuss Twitter limiting tweets due to some serious scamming, some popular VPNs had their non-existent logs magically released, Snapchat testing out brand profiles, and Hulu targeting the small business market to allow them to advertise on their platform.
Twitter Limits Tweeting
Last week, Twitter severely limited access to its service while it investigated issues whereas crypto-coin scams were being spammed from verified accounts, in a move that had the microblogging service in confusion. The scams promised to return your money two-fold if you sent it via bitcoin to the verified accounts, including Bill Gates, Apple, Elon Musk, Barack Obama, and more.
We're still awaiting an official post report, but early responses have indicated that Twitter employees were the target of a massive social engineering attack to gain access to the accounts.
Non-existent VPN Logs Magically Released
In what sounds more like an Onion article than security news, several VPN providers have had log files indicating traffic flows and data, that was not supposed to have even existed, be released to the public.
But what is a VPN?
A VPN is a private network designed to encrypt traffic between two endpoints. While working from home, you're likely using one to connect to your office. In a world were anonymity is becoming more important, consumer VPNs have popped up promising anonymous browsing. While this is sort of true - it is not as private as one would think. These providers are still subject to legal compliance as well as reliability testing, meaning all of them are tracking and logging your information just as your public internet service provider is required to do so.
VPNs are not a reliable way to anonymize your traffic. Although they can help with some location-based items, don't fall victim to thinking you're untraceable on the internet.
Snapchat Tests Brand Profiles
Last Wednesday, Snapchat announced that it is beta testing "Brand Profiles". This is a feature that aggregates all of Snapchat's tools into one place for marketers. As of now, thirty brands are testing out the platform, including Ben & Jerrys and Universal Pictures.
- Brand Profiles will create a permanent content hub and a profile page just for brands.
- Currently, brands have to use a regular account for their organic efforts, which means there's no permanent store for their content. If Snapchat wants to become a destination for brands, the concept of permanence might be key.
So, the question is, does your brand need one? Brand Profiles are still in closed beta testing mode but it’s never too early to think about the future of your social strategy. My guess is that this platform will begin look very similar to how Instagram currently works.
Hulu Targets Small Biz Streaming
Hulu Ad Manager launched in beta on Wednesday and it's hoping the self-service tool makes it easier for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to advertise with it.
- The minimum campaign spend on Hulu Ad Manager is just $500.
- After being considered “notorious for high pricing, with ads that cost $30 to $40 for a thousand views,” Hulu's newfound breadth of inventory brought that down closer to $20.
- For context, an estimated 58 million people watched Hulu with ads as of May 2019.
Hulu’s low minimum gives smaller operations the ability to start experimenting with OTT advertising as streaming viewership grows.
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