Tips for Humanising Your Website

Bespoke Stock Photography Norwich

Tips for Humanising Your Website

I recently read a Linkedin Post from StevenThompson, a former college who I worked with when we were both Police Officers. Steve now runs a PR company called BIGDaddy Digital  and I run Blanc Creative, a Commercial Photography and Video Production business. Steven wrote a short post about people paying more attention if you’re Humanising your website and your social media posts. With so many people throwing ideas about how you should run your business, it’s difficult to know what to take in, but this one really stuck in my mind and a week later, I was re-designing my whole website. There are always so many consideration to make when building your new pages. Trying to play off google crawling your content for maximum site hits, getting your business message across to potential clients and perhaps even giving the impression that your business is ten times bigger than it actually is. It’s a fine line between being truthful and playing a game of ‘smoke and mirrors’ and I’ve been personally so guilty of working terribly hard to deliver such a dynamic and professional overviews of how great our business is at Blanc Creative, that I’ve actually lost a sense of telling people what ‘really’ matters and the concepts that make our own company stand out from others in an otherwise saturated market.

Humanising Your Website

The first step in Humanising your website is about taking an honest approach to your values and knowing that you can deliver your product and services that you’re writing about. It’s no secret that people are more likely to engage if they see a personable, real side to your business and less like your content had been written by artificial intelligence. However, humanising your website can be a difficult task.  It a strange phenomena that making something “human” can be so alien but writing content for blogs and web pages is time consuming and needs a lot of thought. Sure, you can pay somebody to do it, but many small businesses don’t have the budgets to employ as team of copy writers and designers to think for them.

What is Humanising?

The official terminology is;

(redirected from humanising) Also found in: ThesaurusMedicalLegal. Related to humanising: recovererhumanizes

hu·man·ize

(hyo͞o′mə-nīz′)

tr.v. hu·man·izedhu·man·iz·inghu·man·iz·es

1. To portray or endow with human characteristics or attributes; make human: humanized the puppets with great skill.
2. To imbue with humaneness or human kindness; civilize: acts of courtesy that humanize life in a big city.

3.

a. To modify (a nonhuman compound, cell, organ, or organism) such that some of its components are replaced
with human forms of those components, usually by means of genetic engineering.
b. To replace most of the variable region of (a monoclonal antibody from a nonhuman source)
with a humansequence of amino acids so that the resulting antibody
is more compatible with the human immune system. Even the terminology isn’t human!

In a nutshell, Humanising is simply about giving it a “human” touch. It shouldn’t be too difficult to be yourself. I’m sure you gain new business through to talking to people and verbally communicating, so it should be a natural transition to do the same on your website and on social media. I spoke with Steven today about the very subject of Humanising and communicating in a human way through social media and he said one very true comment that people don’t actually humanise on social media or like posts, through a fear of being judged by others. If you’re posting in a professional manner and your content is not offence, contentious or inappropriate, then surely, this can only increase you profile positively online.

 

Humanising your website

Humanising your website

How exactly do you Humanise Your Website?

Your ‘About Us’ Page

Lee Blanchflower PhotographyThe ‘About Us’ page is the best example of humanising your website. It’s a phrase that I actually don’t personally like because ‘About Us’ oozes traditional non-humanised Bios. Tell people about who you are, what makes you tick and how great it’s going to be working with you. There’s no set rule behind this. You have to do what’s right for you, however, you should check out this great article about Bio Pages on the subject from BLOGTYRANT. Tell people about what you do, who you are, and why you will appeal to them. It doesn’t have to be complex.  My previous ‘About Me’ Page was so long, even I got bored of reading it. So, why would I think for one minute that visitors to my page are going to take the time to do the same. Wishful thinking perhaps. So my own profile has been stripped down and replaced with bold, bullet points and a few humanised facts. It can be simple, but engaging. Who you are and what you do can be summed up in a few words  Personalising sections of this page will leave visitors feeling like they know a little bit more about you and makes the process of determining if they’d like to do business with so much easier.

Business Speak

Norfolk Commercial Photography - Blanc Creative

Humanising your website with plain English wording is a great tool. Complex sentences and sector-specific terminology is a great way of trying to increase your own professionalism but turning potential customers away. We like to shout to our clients that;

“We’re a multi faceted Limited Company operating with a diverse corporate portfolio and capabilities for transnational assignments for globally recognised enterprises. 

However, the harsh reality is;

Not only do we offer great photography, but we also shoot creative video productions. We work with all sizes of business, from sole traders through to large international companies”  

You may think you sound super smart but the reality is, you’re probably putting off a huge chunk of potential business and you look unapproachable.

It contains keyword-stuffed copy.

Humanising your website

I mentioned in my opening paragraph about Google crawling your website. Remember back in the days, people would include 50 keywords in the same colour as the page they were writing so they’d appear invisible and hope that nobody would hover of the words and expose what they were doing. I’ve been so guilty of writing copious amounts of utter rubbish because I thought it would be great for my website to keep me up on Page 1. We live in an age where people don’ t have the time to read website material, particularly when it’s generated solely for the purpose of key wording.. Humanising your website is great. Humanising your website is really great. Who wouldn’t want to be Humanising your website? Do you understand what I’m saying? Keywords are crucial to driving SEO success, but the algorithms are so complex now, over key wording will result in your site tumbling through the rankings when you’re penalised. Keeping your content fresh, clean and up to date is really great.

It will keep visitors interested in you and your business. How many times have you been back to a website and seen a post for an event that happened six months ago still on their home page or the same material present year after year? We’re in the process of making our messages BOLD,  CLEAR & CONCISE without the need to overdress the messages we’re giving out. It’s not a quick process, but a steady progression and as things take shape, you may feel like me, that a big weight has ben lifted off your shoulders. It’s your product and services that sell and your own personalities that drive these. Look at how much repeat business you receive and ask yourself why? Because the chances are, it’s not down to having the fanciest descriptions and biggest words online.

Blogging is a great tool and we’ll tell you just why that is?

Blogging

If you’re reading this, you’ll know the importance of a blog on your site  and you’re missing out on huge opportunities. Not only will you gain more ranking opportunities, but your blogs are an awesome way to Humanise your Website too. Write about things you enjoy but try and engage people with the topic. Leave open a comment box and once people start talking, it’s a great way to communicate and show that you’re actually human. Don’t be frightened about blogging about fails. Often your audience is going to relate far more when you share your failures over your successes. Don’t ever discuss air out your dirty laundry, but sharing stories of overcoming barriers is a great way to let people know you’re human. Life experiences are invaluable, especially stories of how your business helped customers overcome failure or problems. You can’t beat a good news story.

Be Social

Humanising your website

It’s so easy to post out your blogs and your pages day after day and hope that people will click on your content, without giving anything in return. To show the real, diverse faces behind your brand, you need to communicate with people. Take a few moments each day to actually engage with others posting on social media or forums at least once. It’s all it takes to increase you online profile and to allow people to identify with you as a person. Think about who your target audience currently are and who you would like them to be. If somebody comments on your post, then reply to them. People won’t take the time to engage with you or your service or product unless you become part of the conversation. We live in an age where you’re accountable for every spect of  your business, so make all of your hard work count and start being a human.

 

Tom Walker Nominated for Brit Award

Tom Walker Leave the Lights on

Tom Walker in Concert at Thetford High Lodge by Norwich Music Photographer Lee Blanchflower

Norwich Music Photographer Lee Blanchflower Shoots Tom Walker in Concert

Norwich Music Photographer Lee Blanchflower has had the pleasure of shooting numerous talented artists over six years at the Thetford High Lodge, Forest Live Concerts. In the summer of 2018, singer  Tom Walker graced the Stage as a Support Act for The Script. Who would have thought that just eight months later, the talented  singer-songwriter would be nominated for not one, but two Brit Awards this year. Tom joins UK pop sensations Anne-Marie and Dua Lipa to name just two fellow nominees. The BRIT Awards 2019 take place Wednesday 20 February at The O2 Arena, London, broadcast exclusively on ITV and hosted by Jack Whitehall. Tom Walker’s Norfolk performance at Thetford  was a much larger affair than his previous visit to Norwich, playing the more intimate Norwich Arts Centre although Tom’s amazing voice filled the amazing woodland venue beautifully. He performed a selection of songs from including ‘Be Myself‘, ‘Fly Away With Me’ left ‘Leave a Light On’ as his finale. After playing to the early crowd at the Forest Live Concert, Tom posted on his Facebook Page to all of those who had supported him, writing;

Massive thanks to The Script for having me support them in Thetford last night and to all you lot for coming down early to say hey ??

Working as a Norwich Music Photographer is a very humbling experience for Lee Blanchflower. In a career spanning almost a decade, Lee has worked alongside internationals across the UK. Norfolk hosts some seriously famous musicians and Lee has photographed names in his home county including Muse, Taylor Swift, Kasabian, Paul Weller, Gary Barlow, Rita Ora & Noel Gallagher. As an established Norwich Music Photographer, Lee works as official photography for Forest Live Concerts in Norfolk. He also works as Press Photographer for Archant Newspaper and and Splash News International Press Agency as well as working for a number of years as official photographer for Sundown Music Festival.

 

Norwich Music Photographer Lee Blanchflower

Forest Live Tom Walker

Norwich Music Photographer Lee Blanchflower

Norwich Music Photographer Lee Blanchflower

Norwich Music Photographer Lee Blanchflower

Tom Walker Lee Blanchflower Ltd Photography

Tom Walker Leave the Lights on

Tom Walker Brit Award Nomination

Tom Walker’s Norfolk performance at Thetford  was a much larger affair than his previous visit to Norwich, playing the more intimate Norwich Arts Centre although Tom’s amazing voice filled the amazing woodland venue beautifully. He performed a selection of songs from including ‘Be Myself‘, ‘Fly Away With Me’ left ‘Leave a Light On’ as his finale. After playing to the early crowd at the Forest Live Concert, Tom posted on his Facebook Page to all of those who had supported him, writing;

Massive thanks to The Script for having me support them in Thetford last night and to all you lot for coming down early to say hey ??

The Script perform on the opening night of Forest Live 2018 at Thetford High Lodge. Photo: Lee Blanchflower

Music Photographer Norwich Lee Blanchflower Ltd

Music Photographer Norwich Lee Blanchflower Ltd

Tom is nominated for British Breakthrough Act and British Single for Leave A Light On (Relentless), made famous for the Sony Bravia TV Advert. Leave A Light which peaked at No.7 in the charts has been downloaded more than  a million times. In the British Breakthrough Act category, Walker is up against Idles, Ella Mai, Jorja Smith and Mabel.

 

Tom Walker Brit Award Nomination

Tom Walker Leave the Lights on

Held annually in seven beautiful forest locations across the country, Forest Live is a major live music series managed by the Forestry Commission. With everything required for a great night out, our concerts are renowned for their informal and relaxed atmosphere set to a spectacular forest backdrop. Income generated from ticket sales helps look after the nation’s forests sustainably, for people to enjoy and wildlife to thrive. 2019 brings an amazing line-up once again to Norfolk with Headline acts including Paul Weller, Foals, Jess Glynn & The Stereophonics

Thetford Forest Live Concerts 2018 from Blanc Creative on Vimeo.

 

 

5 Tips. Shooting Commercial Photography Abroad

Shooting Commercial Photography Abroad. 5 Tips to Save the Day

5 Tips for Shooting Commercial Photography Abroad

Shooting Commercial Photography Abroad or Video Production internationally abroad is a great feeling. You’ve secured the assignment with your client and you can’t wait to let everybody know that know that your reputation is deemed worthy of  working over-seas.  The whole process of ‘Paid’ International Photography is something that many photographers never get to feel, but if you are about to Shoot Abroad for the first time, then the 5 Must Know Tips below, will help you to plan your assignment and prevent some of the pitfalls that come with Shooting Commercial Photography Abroad.

When it all goes wrong!

5 Tips for Shooting Commercial Photography Abroad

Why have we put this blog together? In September 2019, we undertook an assignment in Switzerland for a client which had all the haul marks of what can go wrong when Shooting Commercial Photography Abroad, before you even reach your destination. As a professional Photography who was fortunate enough to win Travel Photographer of the Year in 2013, we are experienced with Shooting Photography Abroad.  Nonetheless, unforeseen problems happen. To find out more about how we worked around our shoot to deliver for our client, please click the link HERE.

Number 1. Insurance

5 Tips for Shooting Commercial Photography Abroad

As a professional photographer, we’re sure (hope) that you will already have Insurance in place. After all, this is essential for any business. Equipment Insurance, Professional Indemnity, Public Liability and Employers Liability are all necessary to protect your business and equipment both at home and when Shooting Commercial Photography Abroad. The chances of losses and problems occurring are multiplied considerable when working abroad, so taking out the right policy with a reputable company is invaluable. You may be operating without insurance as a business, but commercial clients are likely to be reluctant to engage a professional photographer that doesn’t have insurance in place. Many policies will cover you for a limited timespan working overseas. Don’t undervalue your kit because if you do value it under it’s worth and it’s stolen, you will be very heavily out of pocket. Three well known Camera Insurance Companies that offer great products are;

Adukki – Specialist insurance that including equipment cover and liability insurances

Towergate – As of 2019, my own Insurance company of choice.  Towergate offer an All-risks cover for professional photographers and videographers. Towergate’s Camerasure insurance products are pitched primarily at freelance photographers and videographers, as well as those performing similar roles within multimedia institutions (If you’re travelling abroad for a shoot and can’t stash all your camera gear in your hand luggage, you’ll be pleased to know it also covers damage to kit stored in the aircraft hold. Cover also extends to potential legal liabilities to customers, employees and the general public, as one would expect of a pro policy.

PhotoGuard – Many policies will cover you for up to a certain amount of time overseas. If you’re exceeding this, make sure to let them know or else if something happens to your equipment, it’s bye-bye bank balance as you fork out for a new one.

Number 2. Checklists

5 Tips for Shooting Commercial Photography Abroad

 

This is a simple and invaluable Tip for Shooting Commercial Photography Abroad. How many time have you turned up at a job and realised that you’ve forgotten the really important cable that is specifically designed for a piece of equipment you own and it’s stopped you undertaking your assignment. You’ve perhaps arrived on a video shoot and your hard drive is full of 4K raw footage from your previous shoot and there’s no room on your Macbook. Perhaps you’ve not taken enough flash cards and you’ve forgotten to download the original images on the one 128GB card in your camera. These may sound ridiculous but I can assure you that these are problems that have plagued photographers for years and will continue to do so. Make a checklist that covers every single aspect of equipment from start to finish. Document your equipment and what needs to be checked before you pack your kit. Confirm the pre work is complete and use a separate column to ensure it’s packed. Packing your Macbook away and leaving the charger in the wall isn’t an option once you’re on the plane. Shooting Commercial Photography Abroad needs a logistical head and preparation.

Number 3. Airlines

How you travel and what you take when Shooting Commercial Photography Abroad can have a great impact on your overheads and can even make the difference between a client choosing you for an assignment, over using a photographer based in their own country. For examples, Hold Baggage can cost hundreds of pounds for an extra case, particularly on smaller aircraft. Therefore, planning the MUST TAKE equipment against the WOULD LIKE TO TAKE. When packing your kit, ensure your hand luggage bag meets the required sizing and that your case weight is not over. Budget airlines particularly, have the most ridiculous sizing limits for hand luggage to the point where we often wrap our camera and strategically place into an Ortleib Airflex Daypack, which is a waterproof very small backpack  but it fits pretty much all cabin luggage requirements. Airlines will take great pleasure in charging extortionate fees for overweight cases and when you’re at the check-in desk without the option to throw away any items from your case, you will have little choice but to stump up the cash. If our assignments are for a short duration, it’s often work incorporating your camera bag inside your suitcase with a tripod (remove the head and pack this separately) alongside your clothing back.

Where possible, we keep at least one camera, lens, Macbook, chargers, hard drive and flash cards in our cary on luggage. Certain airlines are really strict on allowing camera batteries and this was a factor in own problems encountered during a recent international assignment.

Number 4: Plan Your Contingencies

5 Tips for Shooting Commercial Photography Abroad

When Shooting Commercial Photography Abroad, planning is a must but as hard as you try it’s impossible to account for every eventuality. If you have serious issues, kit malfunctions or your Checklists haven’t been properly completed and you’ve forgotten to take a necessary piece of equipment, it’s good to know your options for sourcing replacements or renting equipment. The deeper you venture into third world countries, the less likely you are to find replacements. If you’re shooting in a major city, then compiling a list of  the best rental stores and well placed camera and electrical retailers can save you a lot of headaches and lost time on location.

 

Number 5: Allow Time For Everything and Be Prepared 

Allowing sufficient time when Shooting Commercial Photography Abroad is so important. Remember to be realistic and think that if it’s your first time in a strange country, you may very well have language and communication barriers, territory will be unfamiliar and you need to take into account, local logistical problems including traffic jams, inconsistent public transport, getting lost and a different pace in life. Always allow yourself some extra time. Don’t confuse Shooting Commercial Photography Abroad with having a jolly and expecting to be out shooting tourism images like you’re on holiday. If that’s your view on working abroad, it may not be for you. Being away on an assignment can sometimes be a tricky one, particularly if it’s not something we do that often. Your priority as a professional Photographer is completing the assignment for your client, earning a living and delivering high quality images with a view to getting repeat business and building your reputation as an International business. Shooting Commercial Photography Abroad doesn’t allow for re shoots a couple of weeks later if you run out of time so your timescales need be realistic and achievable. It’s not uncommon to visit a country, shoot your assignment and never actually get to enjoy the place yourself. Depending on the turnaround time, it’s not uncommon to spend evenings editing until the early hours of the morning before grabbing a few hours sleep and starting all over again. You should perform to the best of your ability and hopefully, scheduling in some down time should allow for at least a few hours travel photography and local culture while you;re away. If things do change on the ground just remember it’s better to do a few things well than everything poorly!

 

 

The Sextortion Blackmail Scam

Photo by Dmitry Moraine on Unsplash

Sextortion Blackmail Scam Continues to Plague Business Emails.

Phishing scams have been around for over twenty-years and are still reeling in victims on a daily basis. Since the evolution of the internet we’ve been warned about the dangers of cyber crime. Yet, two decades later, the vulnerability of even the most astute and street wise individuals continues to be tested. The Phishing email was developed to be a smart hack, literally designed to fish for personal information. The terminology comes from PHREAKS, who were he first generation of notorious hackers to target the internet. Today, more than ever, hacking and cyber crime is prevalent in epidemic proportions.

As we enter 2019, the Sextortion Blackmail Scam is set to take it’s place alongside some of the Top Phishing Scams in history. These include The Moscow World Cup Vacation Rental Scam, Dear Customer Email Scams, Smishing and the legendary Nigerian scam, which involves someone overseas offering you a share in a large sum of money or a payment on the condition you help them to transfer money out of their country.

How Does the Sextortion Blackmail Scam Work?

The highly effective Sextortion Blackmail Scam continues to plague businesses and individuals across the globe by cyber criminals. The latest phishing trend uses cleverly constructed emails claiming to prove that the intended victims have been recorded online viewing pornography. Emails threaten to expose the recorded footage online unless substantial ransoms are paid using untraceable Bitcoin Accounts. The Scam, which has adopted the name of “Sextortion” has been widely reported to National Crime agencies and Law Enforcement  across the world including the FBI and the National Crime Agency to name just two. The Sextortion Blackmail Scam really is nothing new. It’s really a new take on the extortion theme where the criminal convinces the victim into sending naked videos or images before the criminal began blackmailing the victim. The new trending scam takes things to a new level, relying on the elements of shame, guilt and self doubt of the victim,  through a campaign of financially-motivated Sextortion. It’s believed that over 13,000 complaints were made relating to Sextortion Blackmail Scams during the month of July 2018 alone.

Step 1 – The victim receives an email

The emails often appear to have been sent from the recipients own email address and includes content such as usernames, passwords, personal information and other details that seek to bolster the hackers credibility and to immediately shock the recipient into believing that the email is genuine. The Sextortion Blackmail scam brings together a big mix of social engineering and extortion claiming to have hacked your computer’s webcam and recorded your sexual activities while you allegedly watched pornography. The email will often state that  RAT Malware has been opened when you clicked on your website of choice. A (RAT) is a A remote access Trojan malware program that includes a back door for administrative control over the target computer. RATs are usually downloaded invisibly with a user-requested program such as a game or as an email attachment. The email will claim the Malware was downloaded and did a number of things simultaneously. The Virus cloned your whole contact list and social media details. Whilst this was happening in the background, the virus recorded a video of your computer screen along with footage from your webcam. You’ll probably notice that the alleged date of the incident remains very calm. Using terminology such as “A few months Ago…” to place a timescale on when the alleged video was captured. This is deliberately used a s a tactic to confuse the victim, particularly if they have been viewing adult information regularly and making it impossible to pinpoint exactly whay evidence they may or may not have intercepted.

Step 2 – The Sting

It states that you sexual act will be distributed electronically on social media and to all of your business and personal contacts including friends, family and work colleagues, unless of course, you pay a substantial ransom using untraceable bitcoin currency (BTC.) The ransom demand will be time limited, generally offering between 48 and 72 hours for the victim to pay the ransom. The ransom demand varies considerably from email to email but it’s not uncommon to expect in the region of  $200 USD to $4,000 USD.

The emails will contain a number of themes but will essentially carry the same message of which a few examples are listed below;

Sample 1

I am aware one of your passphrase: password. Lets get directly to point. Not a single person has compensated me to investigate about you. You do not know me and you are probably wondering why you’re getting this e mail?actually, I actually installed a software on the adult vids (sex sites) site and you know what, you visited this web site to have fun (you know what I mean). When you were viewing videos, your internet browser initiated working as a Remote control Desktop that has a key logger which provided me access to your display screen and also web cam. Right after that, my software program collected your complete contacts from your Messenger, FB, and email . After that I created a double-screen video. 1st part shows the video you were viewing (you’ve got a good taste haha . . .), and 2nd part shows the view of your webcam, and its u. You do have only 2 alternatives. We are going to understand these types of choices in aspects: 1st solution is to disregard this message. In this case, I am going to send your actual video clip to just about all of your contacts and thus you can easily imagine about the disgrace you feel. Not to mention should you be in a relationship, just how it will eventually affect? Number two choice will be to pay me $3000. We will think of it as a donation. As a consequence, I most certainly will without delay eliminate your videotape. You will keep going on your daily life like this never happened and you will not hear back again from me. You’ll make the payment through Bitcoin (if you do not know this, search for “how to buy bitcoin” in Google).

Sample 2

ATTN: <email address> THIS IS NOT A JOKE – I AM DEAD SERIOUS!

Hi perv, The last time you visited a pornographic website with teens, you downloaded and installed software I developed. My program has turned on your camera and recorded the process of your masturbation. My software has also downloaded all your email contact lists and a list of your friends on Facebook. I have both the ‘<name>.mp4’ with your masturbation as well as a file with all your contacts on my hard drive. You are very perverted! If you want me to delete both the files and keep the secret, you must send me Bitcoin payment. I give you 72 hours for payment. If you don’t know how to send Bitcoins, visit Google. Send 2.000 USD to this Bitcoin address immediately: 3QBCunubfjup2DCFDpUzX2exurv7wws2Nv (copy and paste) 1 BTC = 3,580 USD right now, so send exactly 0.564369 BTC to the address provided above. Do not try to cheat me! As soon as you open this Email I will know you opened it. This Bitcoin address is linked to you only, so I will know if you sent the correct amount. When you pay in full, I will remove the files and deactivate my program. If you don’t send the payment, I will send your masturbation video to ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES from your contact list I hacked. Here are the payment details again: Send 0.564369 BTC to this Bitcoin address: 3QBCunubfjup2DCFDpUzX2exurv7wws2Nv You саn visit police but nobody will help you. I know what I am doing. I don’t live in your country and I know how to stay anonymous. Don’t try to deceive me – I will know it immediately – my spy ware is recording all the websites you visit and all keys you press. If you do – I will send this ugly recording to everyone you know, including your family. Don’t cheat me! Don’t forget the shame and if you ignore this message your life will be ruined. I am waiting for your Bitcoin payment. If you need more time to buy and send 0.564369 BTC, open your notepad and write ’48h plz’. I will consider giving you another 48 hours before I release the vid. Anonymous Hacker

Sample 3

Hello there! There is nothing hidden that is not shown – you`ll see what I mean in just a moment. Recently you were browsing a website that has pornographic content and yes, I saw you masturbating. It is not my duty to teach you what to do or how to do it I want you to pay me to keep this thing private You`ll have to take care of this finance-related issue. Before you question yourself how did that happened, I`ll tell you How did I get it? While you were browsing porn sites yousoraya@eff.org accidentally installed the malware I used to hack the website So consequently I`ve hacked your computer I`ve got all your names and passwords, access to your email, messengers and other things. If you want to know my secret, I used keylogger. When I got ahold of your desktop I immediately installed keylogger on your system. There was one other program involved, I’m not gonna tell you which but it gave me access to your webcam so I recorded all the things you did in front of the computer. Guess what I filmed? You masturbating. I am sure your friends and family will be delighted to see you do your dirty business, a long time will pass before you can get clean of all this mess. Okay, here is what you should do (if you do exactly what I ask, I will delete that embarrassing video and let you be). You must send 650 us dollars To my bitcoin wallet 1FXTXQEWFaPukDUWcMYnbgae1FpPtYNyA6. That`s it, it`s all you have to do. Don`t waste your time replying to this email I`m not gonna read it but the system will notify me when you make the payment. After you read this message, you have 24 hours to make the payment. You can reply to this email in case you need more time (48 hours max) to collect the money. I hope you understand everything I`ve mentioned. Sorry for my English, it isn’t particularly popular in my country P.S. I`am expecting to see the money on my account within 24 hours

Sample 4

Hi, victim.I write yоu becаusе I put а mаlware оn the wеb раge with porn whiсh yоu hаve visitеd.My virus grаbbed all your рersonal infо аnd turnеd on yоur сamеrа which сaрtured the рroсеss оf your onаnism. Just aftеr that the soft savеd yоur соntaсt list.I will dеlеte thе сompromising video and infо if you pаy me 999 USD in bitcoin. This is address fоr рaymеnt : 1K2jNTLdbHEwaALQWKMeGoKLWD67Cb6q8BI give yоu 30 hоurs aftеr you ореn my mеssаge for making the trаnsactiоn.As sоon аs yоu reаd the mеssаgе I’ll see it right awаy.It is nоt necessary tо tell mе thаt you hаve sеnt money to me. This address is соnneсtеd tо yоu, my systеm will dеlete еverything automаtically aftеr trаnsfer соnfirmаtiоn.If yоu nееd 48 h just reрly оn this letter with +.Yоu сan visit thе pоlicе stаtion but nobоdy cаn hеlp yоu.If you try to dеceive mе , I’ll sеe it right аway !I dont live in yоur соuntry. So they саn nоt track my lосаtiоn evеn for 9 months. Goodbyе. Dоnt fоrget аbоut thе shame and tо ignore, Yоur life can be ruined.

 

Step 3 – The Request for Payment

The whole Sextortion Blackmail Scam situation is pretty terrifying,, especially if the extortion revolves around your work computer. In light that the worlds most influential pornographic site receives 75 Million Hits Per Day it’s not unrealistic to make an assumption that mass email campaigns will at some point, reach some of the demographic that makes up these astonishing numbers. The hackers are literally fishing for active people who may just be susceptible enough to part with large amounts of cash in an attempt to hide their activities. The generic Sextortion Blackmail Scam emails are cleverly constructed, There are numerous examples available detailing variations of the same scam, but they all have  underlying similarity that play in favour of the person receiving the threat;

*The email actually gives no credible indication that the hacker is in possession of any of your personal data. You’re not mentioned by name despite the fact the Hacker has allegedly cloned your whole address book and knows all of your personal information.

*When exactly did you visit the adult site. If the Hacker has painstakingly taken the time to target you, your hardware, your computer screen and cameras, then why haven’t they sent you evidence of this?

*Has the Hacker sent you any visual proof of the alleged self-abuse? With this kind of phishing scam (and let’s not confuse it with other forms of genuine Sextortion Blackmail, which can and has serious consequences,) the answer will generally be No. The Criminals behind these scams are playing on words and don’t want you to request proof, because the chances are, there is none available.

*The Hacker will demand payment into a Bitcoin account but they won’t give you details on the process of how to pay or how to set up a Bitcoin Wallet. Why? The answer to this is that the more research the Sextortion Blackmail Scam encourages the victim to undertake, the greater the doubt it places in the victims mind that the email is genuine.

Data Breaches

The truth is, that data breaches are common place and sensitive information and passwords have been intercepted in vast numbers. You only need to look at the Aadhaar Data Breach affecting 1.1 Billion people in India over six months including Aadhaar numbers, names, email and physical addresses, phone numbers, and photos. Why not check out the Top 10 Data Breachers of 2018.  Scammers are likely to directly obtain this information or purchase it through the dark web for mass email campaigns. Using the Have i been pwned? website will give you some kind of indication if your email details have compromised.

For this type of Sextortion Blackmail Scam, it should really only work if a number of factors are in place including;

a) The recipient has a webcam or camera on their device. In 2019, this is a distinct possibility with smart phones, PC’s, Laptops, TV’s or Tablets all with the potential to house cameras.

b) The recipient has been viewing adult content online – In 2016, a survey published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, stated that 16.1% of men watched pornography at work on their smartphone or tablet and 5.4% watched it on a work computer. As much as we may not like the idea, the statics fuel hackers to try and extort victims.

c)The recipient actually communicates with the hacker and pays the extortionate ransom demands.

You may have landed on this page because you’ve received a Sextortion email. You may have

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

You may be reading this because you’ve personally received a Sextortion Blackmail Scam Email either at work or at home. Don’t worry. You certainly won’t be alone. Should you bite the bullet and pay for your extorter’s silence. In our opinion, the answer is a resounding “NO.” Do not pay under any circumstances. The whole premise of this extortion scam, relies purely on the statistics that a tiny number of victims will actually respond out of a batch of potentially thousands, maybe even millions of mass distributed emails. There is an expectation that the majority of these emails will not be answered, in fact, most will probably drop into the Spam or Junk Folders of potential victims only to be read days or weeks after the deadline for payment has passed by. Hackers rely on engagement with victims at which point, they will move to the next stage of the extortion. Without engagement, it’s impossible of the criminals to turn on the pressure of those petrified people whose world’s have literally been turned upside down with fear.

SHOULD I PAY THE RANSOM?

If you’ve ever had an animal and you feed it every day, eventually, it will keep coming back to its’ source of food. The same principle applies to Sextortion Blackmail Scams. Pay once and you’re showing that you either have the money to pay and risk the extortioners coming back time and time again. You should not pay the ransom. Firstly, you will never see your money again. Bitcoin transactions are pseudo-anonymous, which means they can be tracked, however, Bitcoin Mixing, Tor- Onion Router, Logless VPN’s, New Address for Transactions and JoinMarket are a few ways that criminals avoid their identities being linked to their Bitcoin Wallets. In reality, once you send cash to the Hackers Bitcoin Address, your money is gone. Losing your money gives the criminals scope to continue sending demands to potential victims.

HOW DO I DEAL WITH THIS?

There are a number of steps that could help to eradicate this type of email plaguing you in the future and to keep you safer online.

*Don’t communicate with the Criminals emailing you. Avoid the feeding the animals. Once you start, you’ll never be free of them. Your details are likely to be shared and you may start a depressing chain of events that will take a long while to break.

*Changing your password is a must. You ma very well recognise the passwords used in your emails but these are likely to have been obtained from historical data breaches. If an attacker had genuinely intercepted your password, then there are many more lucrative means of  clearing out your bank account or causing financial deprivation using online fraud.

*Remain calm. The people operating these scams continue to practice because believe it or not, victims actually pay the ransom. It may seem difficult to comprehend but the Sextortion Blackmails Scams work. They use psychological damage to drum up fear in potential victims and once this is in place, it becomes difficult to rationalise the situation. Anxiety, fear, and emotion are all used as triggers to extort money.

*Cover your webcam. If it means sticking a piece of gaffer tape or a plaster over it, then at least you’ve taken positive steps to keep yourself safe. The whole taping over of your webcam and microphone was brought into the public domain when Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg posted an image of himself and his own Macbook Webcam was clearly shown as having been taped up. If you’re worried about the cosmetics of doing this, then take a look online and you’ll fins hundreds of webcam covers available at very affordable prices.

*Don’t open any attachments that may be linked to the emails under any circumstances. You may have panicked when you first saw this email, but remaining rational and not making foolish mistakes from the offset will be very beneficial. If you feel better retaining the evidence of the email, then that’s fine, particularly if the extortion differs from the type of scam we are discussing here. If the email address is not your own email, then block the sender straight away.

If you search the internet for this very subject, you will find numerous examples posted in comment sections by victims, targets and worried business owners and staff. We’ve left the comments section open, so please feel free to document your experiences and offer advice as to how you dealt with this type of Scam.

If you are based in the UK, the Action Fraud website will offer further assistance on this subject. 

Festival Video Production. Forest Live

Video Production Norwich

Festival Video Production

Festival video production is about engaging those customers who have attended your concert or festival and setting the scene for future years. Contrary to public belief, it’s not about grabbing a few minutes of headline acts during their set. After all, unless the artist is booked again for the next year, this type of footage has a pretty limited life span. High quality Festival Video Production highlights the atmosphere and fun but also helps to promote future festivals. Video is proven to be the highest form of engagement currently on social media and forms an awesome marketing tool for engaging growth on social media platforms. It’s also a great way to direct people to your business and website.

The concept of Festival Video Production isn’t new, especially with thousands of people uploading smart phone videos of their festival experiences, but high quality Festival Video Production takes your event to the next level. We’ve been working closely with Forestry Commission over the past five years and in 2018, undertook the first promotional Concert Video Production of Forest Live 2018.

Forest Live Concerts

Forest Live is an independent programme organised by the Forestry Commission, bringing you music without commercial branding or sponsorship. Income generated from ticket sales is spent on improving the local forests for both people and wildlife. With everything required for a great night out, including full catering and bar facilities, the concerts are renowned for their relaxed atmosphere.

How does it work?

Or team has a lots of experience in the area of Video Production. Our process starts with planning your video. It’s important that we gain an insight of exactly how you’d like your production to look. We could shoot a huge amount of content of your festival or concert, but a little knowledge of your vision is an important first step before we film. Your ideas will also allow to work with you to ascertain the level of access we require on-site and to allow for all Health & Safety Assessments to be completed long before we arrive to start work.

Once we’ve shot your awesome Festival Video, we begin the process of editing in our studio. We would usually deliver a teaser trailer, that would fit perfectly on social media sites, grabbing the attention of your audience and directing them to the site where you main video would be hosted.

Forest Live Festival Video Production

Our Festival Video Production for Forestry Commission and Forest Live was shot over four days with an emphasis on a number of key areas that make Forest Live Concerts unique;

*Forest Live Concerts are held in the most beautiful of Forests and are organised by Forestry Commission. The Concerts are hidden gems in the festival calendar. The BBC actually took great pleasure in announcing that Kasabian had played an Event ‘in an actual Forest’ 

*The concerts are a ‘Family orientated’ series of Events that encourage everybody from toddlers to grandparents to attend.

*An emphasis on a well structured, professional set of concerts, where staff are approachable, promoting a safe environment for every type of individual to attend.

Aerial Drone Filming

At Blanc Creative, we operate a licensed Drones to capture Aerial Footage of Festivals and Concerts. Festival Video Production using a Drone is not as expensive as you may think and from a creative aspect, drone footage allows a completely different aspect of your Event with spectacular birds eye views. There are lots of safety implications and restrictions flying at festivals and it’s really super important that you employ a Drone Operator who is licensed, has public liability and professional indemnity insurance and has a proven track record operating commercially. To read more about Licensed Drones, we have a great article that can be found by clicking here.  

 

To find out more about options for Concert and Festival Video Production, why not reach out today and speak with one of our team on Mob: 07871 364041 or email studio@blanc-creative.com

 

Thetford Forest Live Concerts 2018 from Blanc Creative on Vimeo.