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LinkedIn and Social Media Stocks

Last Thursday, LinkedIn's stocks soared nearly 10% in value in after-hours trading. The company reported strong second-quarter earnings that were much higher than anticipated by Wall Street analysts. Also, the company released its sales projections for the rest of 2014, and it seems the company has a lot of momentum going forward.

LinkedIn also reported a sales increase of more than 40% in its three main business divisions: recruiting, premium subscriptions, and advertising. These strong and promising numbers come after Twitter also released its higher than anticipated sales last week of nearly 20%.

Meanwhile, Facebook's shares soared to an all-time high last week after a very profitable second-quarter, coupled also with the company's success in mobile advertising.

Read more about this story by visiting the original article: http://money.cnn.com/2014/07/31/technology/linkedin-social-media/index.html

Why Things Are Looking Up for Twitter

Twitter's stock prices soared more than 20% last Wednesday after it released strong sales for the second quarter of 2014. Twitter had a much better than expected quarterly report which helped to calm fears among investors who worried that this social media outlet wasn't a company that would have sustainable growth over the years.

A lot of Twitter's success in recent months has come from its mobile users. The number of people using Twitter Mobile grew nearly 29% from 2013. Also, Twitter has raised its projection for total sales for 2014 to $1.3 billion.

Investors say that this hasn't been a great year for Twitter since in early 2014, its shares dropped more than 40%. Investors questioned the growth of the company and whether it would be able to cash in on its current customer base. Further adding more fear to investors was the resignation of the company's COO, Ali Rowghani in June.

Wall Street analysts have questioned whether recent growth in the company's stock was due in part to the World Cup. Many users joined the social media outlet and invested in the company on the on set of the sporting event which occurs once every four years. Posts were numerous about the soccer games, but now, investors fear that since the games are over, the company is going to see a decline in their customer base.

CEO Dick Costolo says that while Twitter still lost money in the second quarter of the year - nearly $145 million, the company is still showing signs of continued momentum.

Read more by seeing the full article here: http://money.cnn.com/2014/07/29/technology/social/twitter-earnings/index.html

Amazon Launches Prime Streaming Music Service

On Thursday, June 12th, Amazon launded a streaming music service to all Prime members. This new feature has over one million songs, and comes with unlimited, ad-free listening at no extra cost to individuals who are already members of the service.

Amazon enters the streaming music business with other competitors, such as: Pandora, Spotify, Apple iTunes Radio, SoundCloud, Google Play Music All Access, and many others. Spotfiy has the largest number of paid subscribers at 10 million, and Pandora has 76 million listeners with its free service.

With Prime Music, listeners have the ability to add in songs that are already on their computers, make playlists, listen to other users' lists, and so on. At this time, there is no feature which works as a social component to link Prime with Facebook, Twitter, and so on as is the case with Spotify.

Amazon Prime members pay $99/year for unlimited streaming services for movies and TV shows, and now add to it a streaming music service. A Spotify subscription costs around $9.99/month and doesn't offer streaming movies or shows, only music.

Read the full story here: http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/12/technology/enterprise/amazon-prime-music/index.html

Simple Tips to Avoid Getting Hacked

In the past several weeks and months, there have been numerous stories being published about security threats online, hackers, government surveillance, corporate cybersecurity failures, and so on. So, what can you do to keep yourself safe online and with your smartphone?

There are several simple things you can do to stay safe.

1. Make sure you see "HTTPS" in the URL of any site where you are giving out personal information, such as on sites where you are making purchases. The "S" stands for "secure." There is also an add-on for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera called "HTTPS Everywhere" which ensures that whenever you visit a site that has data encrpytion, you are making use of it.

2. Always update your software when prompted to do so. Whenever a company finds vulnerabilities in their software, they release patches to fix the problem. This could appear on your computer as a pop-up or as a download prompt. Make sure that you are always keeping up with these updates to keep your computer safe and protected.

3. Two-Factor Authentication. Many sites, such as Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter now offer a feature that works with your smartphone to provide you with an extra layer of protection while online. You log in with your credentials, and the site will send a numeric code to your phone that you enter before finally being signed in.

4. Put tape over your camera on your laptop, desktop PC, smartphone, etc. Even when you aren't actively using your camera, there are some hackers who are able to activate it from a remote location, letting them see whatever you may be doing. An easy solution to this problem is to put tape or a post-it note over the camera when you aren't using it.

5. Put your phone away. There are some hackers who are also able to activate the microphone in your smartphone when you aren't using it. If you are worried about people listening in on your private conversations, be sure that you stow the phone away in another room or area when you aren't using it.

6. Protect your e-mail. If you see junk or spammy e-mail, always make sure you mark it as such. Don't ever download files or attachments from a name you don't recognize, or from any e-mail message that seems strange to you.

With all these tips in mind, you will surely be much safer when browsing online or using your smartphone.

Read the entire articles here: http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/13/technology/security/dont-get-hacked/index.html

Facebook's Anonymous Login

Everyone knows how universal Facebook has become with their site, games, and mobile apps that let users check what there friends are up to from their own phone. However, how much information does this social media giant share every time you login? It leaves some users wary of using certain apps or signing in on public computers.

In the next coming months, Facebook plans to make it possible for users to use an anonymous login. This means that when they login and want to use certain apps or games, they will not have to share their information with the developers of the particular program. There are some apps on Facebook that are notorious for sharing users' information with other companies, and of course, a lot of people would like to avoid this.

Users will have the ability to choose which programs are able to see their information through the settings connected to the particular app.

Mark Zuckerburg says that this change comes from wanting to make sure "we put people first."

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