Weekly Digital News Roundup April 11-15
Flaw Calls for Altering Passwords, Experts Say
•According to the New York Times, a programming mistake from two years ago has forced countless websites to make fixes to protect the sensitive personal information of consumers.
•The extent of the problem was still unclear on Wednesday. The researchers who discovered the flaw — a simple error in a web security measure called OpenSSL — said on Monday that up to two-thirds of websites could be affected. Other security experts said the number of sites could stretch into the hundreds of thousands. Google, Facebook and Yahoo confirmed they had been affected by the OpenSSL flaw and had applied fixes to their systems. Security experts said Yahoo users, in particular, should change their passwords, because that company had not completely patched its software until after the flaw became public.
•Should users change their web passwords immediately or wait until sites have fixed the problem? Changing a password before a site has dealt with the coding flaw, called Heartbleed, means the new password could be vulnerable, and the user will have to pick another password when it is fixed. But changing a password is a minor inconvenience compared to getting personal information like credit card numbers stolen.
•For more information about Heartbleed, see this post.
Facebook’s Unloved Right-Rail Desktop Ads Finally Get a Facelift
•According to AdAge, Facebook is making an update to its ads on the right-hand rail of desktop screens: they will be bigger, but there will be fewer of them.
•The new ads will be a little more than twice the size of the current rendition and sized in the same proportion as news feed ads so that marketers can use the same images in both, which they weren’t previously able to do.
•Early tests of the new design have seen three times more engagement, according to a Facebook blog post. If the new ads are clicked on more, they’ll presumably have a lower effective cost per click for advertisers and fetch higher CPMs for Facebook.
73% Lose Trust in Brands Due to Inaccurate Local Business Listings
•According to a new report discussed by Search Engine Watch, the majority of people (73 percent) say that when an online local listing for a business is incorrect, they lose trust in the local business, regardless of whether the business is really at fault.
•”It is vital that multi-location businesses preserve customer trust by ensuring absolute accuracy in their online location information. Anything less makes the business vulnerable to a constant, ongoing erosion of its brand,” said the report.
•Even when the business listing is incorrect in directories like Yelp, nearly a third of consumers say they blame the brand.