That Fake App Just Stole Your ID

fakeappRyan loved tweaking photos on his Android phone.

He’d heard rave reviews from his friends with iPhones about Prisma, a new iOS app for image editing. So when he heard Prisma would soon be released for Android, he logged in to the Google Play Store to see if it was there yet.

To his surprise, he found one that looked just like what his friends were describing. Delighted, he downloaded and started using it. Meanwhile, the app—a fake—was busy installing a Trojan horse on his phone.

When he got to work the next day, he logged his phone into the company network as usual. The malware jumped from his phone to the network. Yet no one knew. Not yet, but that was about to change…

Now, this isn’t necessarily a true story (at least, not one we’ve heard of—yet…), but it absolutely could have been. And similar situations are unfolding as you read this. Yes, possibly even at your company…

Fake apps exploded onto iTunes and Google Play last November, just in time for holiday shopping. Apple “cleaned up” iTunes in an effort to quell users’ concerns, but hackers still find workarounds. Unfortunately, these fake apps pose a real threat to the security of your network. Especially if your company has anything but the strictest BYOD (bring your own device) policies in place. And the more your network’s users socialize and shop on their smartphones, the greater the risk of a damaging breach on your network.

Fake apps look just like real apps. They masquerade as apps from legitimate merchants of all stripes, from retail chains like Dollar Tree and Footlocker, to luxury purveyors such as Jimmy Choo and Christian Dior. Some of the more malicious apps give criminals access to confidential information on the victim’s device. Worse yet, they may install a Trojan horse on that device that can infect your company’s network next time the user logs in.

So what can you do?

First, keep yourself from being fooled. Anyone can easily be tricked unless you know what to look for. Take the following advice to heart and share it with your team:

Beware of Fake Apps!

In case you weren’t aware, one of the latest and most dangerous Internet scams is fake apps. Scammers create apps that look and behave like a real app from a legitimate store. These fake apps can infect your phone or tablet and steal confidential information, including bank account and credit card details. They may also secretly install on your device malicious code that can spread, including to your company network.

Take a moment and reflect on these five tips before downloading any app:

  1. When in doubt, check it out. Ask other users before downloading it. Visit the store’s main website to see if it’s mentioned there. Find out from customer support if it’s the real McCoy.
  2. If you do decide to download an app, first check reviews. Apps with few reviews or bad reviews are throwing down a red flag.
  3. Never, EVER click a link in an e-mail to download an app. Get it from the retailer’s website, or from iTunes or Google Play.
  4. Offer as little of your information as possible if you decide to use an app.
  5. Think twice before linking your credit card to any app.

Most importantly, get professional help to keep your network safe. It really is a jungle out there. New cyberscams, malware and other types of network security threats are cropping up every day. You have more important things to do than to try and keep up with them all.

The Most “Bullet-Proof” Way To Keep Your Network Safe

Let’s not let your company become yet another statistic, hemorrhaging cash as a result of a destructive cyber-attack. Call me TODAY at 724.235.8750, or e-mail me at, and let’s make sure your systems are safe. I’ll provide you with a Cyber Security Risk Assessment to check for and safeguard against any points of entry for an attack. This service is FREE, but DO NOT RISK WAITING: contact me NOW before the next scam puts your network at risk.

Smart Closing Technique, Step 2

Let’s say you’re closing a deal and you’ve already taken the first step: you’ve summarized the client’s underlying need

Now you’re ready for Step 2: Say what you plan to do.

Describe exactly what you’ll do to help the client successfully satisfy their underlying need. Even smart people worry about putting themselves out there by offering a plan. They worry that someone may disagree with them. They worry about proposing a plan that doesn’t work. That’s why many advisors stay “safely vague” rather than offering a specific plan.

But being vague doesn’t help leaders solve some of their biggest problems. You have to have the courage to propose a plan. For example: “I have some ideas about how you can achieve your goals. Want to hear them?”

“Yes!” (the client says, while taking out a notebook and a pen).

“There are five parts to what I think you need to do, in this order. They are designed to increase your power score, starting with priorities, who is on your team and relationships. First, there is no way you are going to be able to take the company in a whole new strategic direction without the board’s support.”

“That’s true.”

“So first we have to articulate your vision and your priorities on paper, with goals and strategy and budget implications, and then get the board’s support.”

“Right, it’s going to change our budget, so rather than let the board nix it this fall, I should get out in front of this and get their support from the beginning.”

“Second, you seem to have questions about the capabilities of many of the key leaders in the US, Europe and in your Asia region. It would be helpful to assess your team, to have a clear view of who is going to fit in the new organization, and who is not a fit.”

“Yes, that would be helpful—to have an X-ray of the org chart and figure out who needs to go where to align with the new strategy.”

“Third, fourth and fifth will be all about culture change. Change the incentives. Change the meeting cadences of what metrics are tracked and discussed—who meets when to discuss what. And what some of our most successful clients have done in situations like this is design workshops—like a roadshow—for you and key leaders to educate and train the next two levels on what you expect from them, and why, in the new world order. This gets the troops aligned behind your new vision.”

“Wow! Yes, yes and yes.”

“And even if you do all of that, I only give it a 70% chance you will fully actualize your goal within three years—in the market and culturally. Still, that’s a lot better than the 5% chance you give yourself today.”

“I’d take 70% over 5%.”

Now that you’ve stated your plan, you are in a much better position to close the deal.


Shiny New Gadget Of The Month:
Mevo Puts You In The Director’s Chair


A single static video camera can make for some pretty boring storytelling…but who’s got multiple cameras, a crew to run them and a team of editors?

Well, now your videos can look like you have an entire crew behind the scenes, with Mevo. Mevo is a new type of video camera and app that lets you shoot and edit multiple video shots on the fly, all while recording and/or livestreaming.

Let’s say you’re shooting a band concert. You get to mix in shots of the guitarist, the drummer and bass player together, and a wide-angle view of the whole band. Plus Mevo follows their faces as they move around so you don’t have to. You just sit back, and cut and zoom on the fly.

On the downside, Mevo’s battery lasts only an hour, and image quality is limited to mobile viewing. Still, with all the cool possibilities you get with Mevo, you may start getting ideas about becoming the next Spielberg.

Build It!

Just before attending my quarterly meeting with IT business owners and security specialists in Orlando, FL last month, I had the opportunity to participate in a FUN day. I acted in a promotional video for a big conference being held in May that will be presented to over 900 businesses. It was based on Michael Jackson’s music video “Beat It,” with the words and message changed to “Build It” (referring to your business).

And of course, because I had to listen to the song over and over again while shooting, it’s been running through my head.

If you listen to the lyrics of “Beat It” or the alternative lyrics “Build It” the theme is really persistence. You have a vision, a dream for your business. You want to be successful. You look at the Sir Richard Branson’s and the Mark Zuckerberg’s of the world and you wanna be like them. Part of their crowd. But you’re not. (I don’t know about you, but I’m not flying on private jets and living on a private island)

So the question you have to ask is “Do I want to?” If that answer is “YES” then we have to do things differently than what we are doing right now.

Without consistent execution, learning from your mistakes, being told NO a lot, and discipline, you don’t grow as a business or a leader. You get knocked down, you get back up again. Seek the mentors you need to grow your business. Hang out with the people you want to be like. And never, ever give up.

leiaSo, show how funky and strong is your fight, but don’t beat it, LEARN, GROW, and PERSERVE!

To your continued success,

Who Else Wants To Win A $25 Gift Card?

Here’s this month’s trivia question. The winner will receive a $25 VISA Gift Card.

Who was the classic Hollywood film star and avant-garde composer who helped invent WiFi?

a)  Hedy Lamarr
b) Arnold Schwarzenegger
c) Clint Eastwood
d) Judy Garland

Email us right now with your answer!