How consumers can avoid fraud amid big sales week for Amazon, Walmart

  • With e-commerce surging during the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Day and the 2020 holiday season may be the perfect hunting ground for online fraudsters.
  • Business Insider spoke with Amazon’s former Director of Corporate Development Aaron Barfoot, who now serves as the chief financial officer of online security firm Forter. 
  • “Good online hygiene means paying attention and being alert,” Barfoot said. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It’s a potential nightmare for anyone who’s ever shopped online: checking your bank account or credit card statement to find that a cybercriminal has stolen your identity and run up a huge bill.

During Amazon’s two-day Prime Day sales event and the upcoming 2020 holiday season, that’s a scenario that could become reality for more shoppers than ever before. Former Amazon Director of Corporate Development Aaron Barfoot — who now serves as chief financial officer for online fraud prevention firm Forter — said that 2020 may prove to be an especially risky year for online shoppers, thanks to the surge in online purchases during the coronavirus pandemic.

Forter estimates that transactions by first-time online shoppers have spiked from between 4% to 5% last year to around 10% to 14% in 2020. The overall increase in online transactions makes it “easier for a fraudster to hide,” Barfoot said. In its annual fraud report tracking e-commerce transactions, Forter also found that fraud pertaining to “buy-online-and-pickup-in-store” orders has already increased 55% year-over-year.

“More new customers are going online for the first time,” Barfoot told Business Insider. “Once those new customers are online, they are more susceptible to fraud.”

Those looking to prey upon the influx of inexperienced e-commerce shoppers — especially elderly customers and those without the digital savvy to create strong passwords — come armed with a playbook of fraudulent moves. Hussein Ahmad, CEO of digital

France’s Health Data Hub to move to European cloud infrastructure to avoid EU-US data transfers

France’s data regulator CNIL has issued some recommendations for French services that handle health data, as Mediapart first reported. Those services should avoid using American cloud hosting companies altogether, such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud.

Those recommandations follow a landmark ruling by Europe’s top court in July. The ruling, dubbed Schrems II, struck down the EU-US Data Privacy Shield. Under the Privacy Shield, companies could outsource data processing from the EU to the US in bulk. Due to concerns over US surveillance laws, that mechanism is no longer allowed.

The CNIL is going one step further by saying that services and companies that handle health data should also avoid doing business with American companies — it’s not just about processing European data in Europe. Once again, this is all about avoiding falling under U.S. regulation and rulings.

The regulator sent those recommendations to one of France’s top courts (Conseil d’État). SantéNathon, a group of organizations and unions, originally notified the CNIL over concerns about France’s Health Data Hub.

France is currently building a platform to store health data at the national level. The idea is to build a hub that makes it easier to study rare diseases and use artificial intelligence to improve diagnoses. It is supposed to aggregate data from different sources and make it possible to share some data with public and private institutions for those specific cases.

The technical choices have been controversial as the French government originally chose to partner with Microsoft and its cloud platform Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft, like many other companies, relies on Standard Contractual Clauses for EU-US data transfers. But the Court of Justice of the EU has made it clear that EU regulators have to intervene if data is being transferred to an unsafe country when

How to Avoid 10 Common Web Design Mistakes That Hurt SEO

Picture this.

You’ve spent a ton of time designing your website.

You’ve picked an attractive theme, added stunning images, and crafted compelling copy.

You’re sure visitors will love it (and you).

The only problem?

You aren’t getting any visitors.

In fact, your site is nowhere to be seen on Page 1 (or even #2 or #3) of Google.

What’s going on?

Well, here’s the thing.

Your web design might be the reason your site is ranking so low in search engines.

Ready to turn things around?

What follows are 10 of the most common web design mistakes that may be hurting your SEO efforts and your rankings – and how to avoid them.

1. Poor Website Navigation

Ever visit a website and have no clue what to do next?

You know, something like this.

How to Avoid 10 Common Web Design Mistakes That Hurt SEO

I bet it had you running for the hills in panic.

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You don’t want your own visitors to do the same.

Right?

Instead, you want them to know exactly what to do at a glance.

Plus, you want Google’s web crawlers to understand your site.

To achieve this, make sure to prioritize internal linking between your important pages.

2. Slow Page Load Speed

People in the online world move at lightning speed.

They’re constantly zipping through social media, hammering away at emails, and zooming past a ton of generic headlines on the SERPs.

This means if they take the time to click on your site, and it takes forever to load, they’ll be gone before you know it.

After all, you didn’t invent the Keto diet or men’s wool socks.

There are other websites with the same information you have.

If you want your visitors to stay?

Make sure your pages load in three seconds or less.

How to Avoid 10 Common Web Design Mistakes That Hurt SEO

The scary part is the

Lightstep Announces New GitHub Action, Bringing Observability Data Directly to GitHub to Avoid Problematic Code Deploys

cdCON — Lightstep, the cutting-edge distributed tracing tool founded by former Google engineers, today announced their new GitHub Action called the Lightstep Pre-Deploy Check. By automatically bringing relevant Observability data directly into the development workflow on GitHub, software developers can ensure the quality and performance of their software, before it’s actually deployed.

“This is a big shift left for how developers think about Observability,” said Daniel Spoonhower, Co-Founder and CTO of Lightstep. “DevOps is about acknowledging that it’s not good enough to ship code without worrying about how it performs in the real world. I very much believe in ‘you build it you own it’ — but I also believe that we need to make this easier by baking solutions into existing development workflows as much as possible, by automating as much as possible.”

According to the State of Software Quality 2020 report produced by OverOps, two out of three developers spend at least a day per week troubleshooting issues in their code, and are frustrated by the unknowns that come with deploying new code into cloud-based, distributed architectures. Despite the 87M+ merged pull requests per GitHub’s annual Octoverse report, to date there has been zero visibility into the health status of a system within a pull request.

“Automatically confirming production systems and services are healthy before deploying code that can impact them is a great step towards ensuring reliability, without compromising developer velocity,” said Chris Patterson, Product Manager for GitHub Actions at GitHub. “By bringing Observability data directly into the pull request process on GitHub, developers can avoid context switching, gain more ownership of how their code performs in production, and better support DevOps within their organization.”

The Lightstep Pre-Deploy Check leverages publicly-available APIs from Lightstep to provide a deployment risk summary ahead of a code

How to Avoid Mistaking Correlation for Causation in SEO

Every so often the SEO community will erupt into an uproar at the publication of a new ranking factors study.

The usual cry – “correlation is not the same as causation!”

You may be familiar with the terms.

Correlation is the “mutual relation of two or more things” and causation is “the action of causing or producing.”

Essentially, is something genuinely the cause of a result, or does it just happen to change in line with the result?

To put it clearly, here is an unusual example of correlation.

Tyler Vigen - Mozzarella consumption civial engineering doctorates graph

According to the data gathered by Tylervigen.com from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation, there is a direct correlation between the number of Civil Engineering doctorates awarded in the U.S. and the per-person consumption of mozzarella cheese.

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That’s right.

Want more civil engineers to graduate in the U.S.?

You’d better start eating more cheese.

We can all quickly identify that it’s likely being a coincidence rather than a causal link.

This is a good example of correlation not being the same as causation.

Why Are Correlation & Causation a Concern in SEO?

A lot of SEO activity is based on trial and error, experience, and statements from search engine representatives.

Due to this, there are often assertions made like “SEO activity X has a positive effect on your webpage rankings.”

For example: “links from authoritative websites will improve your website’s SERP rankings.”

Sometimes, these will be accurate – the stated activity will be what has caused the ranking increase.

Other times, it is purely coincidental.

The issue with this is that there can be substantial time and money invested in carrying out SEO activities that will never pay off.

For instance, what if there was an SEO study that suggested the number of JPEGs