Steps to follow if you are about to lose your job in your company

Company out of business

If you come to know some day that your company is closing due to change of business vision, heavy losses due to recession or some very bad business decisions and you may be out of a job in a couple of months or maybe even days then you should review the points below:

1. Firstly don’t lose hope and say thanks to Allah that you have come to know about this before the actual event happened. Just think what could you have done if you came to your office one day and you were just given your check and told that the company you worked for the past 2, 3, 5 or 10 years is no more or worse you may not even have gotten your check. Companies have closed overnight with people coming the next day and scratching their heads as to what in the world has happened so be thankful. Emotions such as anger, disappointment and sorrow are normal but you need to say it in your heart that you will get through it and get a job as soon as possible.

2. Start updating your resume as soon as possible. Put in all the projects you have worked on during this time and mention your professional qualities as well. Think very carefully regarding which companies you want to apply and the positions you want to apply in those companies.

3. If you didn’t read a paper newspaper before on Sundays then you should revisit that thought and ask the newspaper delivery boy to drop a copy of the most circulated newspapers at your home. Start making notes of the job postings in the paper and start applying. Remember that there may be others like you who are applying for the same job so its best to apply as quickly as possible. Even though some companies make an effort to go as many resumes as possible but you should make a mental note that they may not go through each resume and may randomly call candidates for interview.

4. If you don’t have an account on any job portal website then now is the chance to register and upload your resume to these websites. Most companies nowadays post job ads on these websites rather than posting it in the paper. You can also setup job alerts on these websites which will inform you whether a job related to your industry and skill set has been posted on the website.

Linked In

5. If you have an account on Linked In then you can set your status to inform others in your circle that you are looking for another job opportunity. Please beware of your boss being present in your contact list if you go down this route. The best option would be to send private message to the contacts in your list as well as others in your professional group and send them your resume so if they have any upcoming opportunity they can pass it onto you.

Finally pray as much as you can to Allah to give you a better job option as soon as possible.

Hope the above helped someone.

How to remove malware code from your website in easy steps

From my experience, malware is the most dangerous thing to happen on your website as it does not take down your website like hackers do when they deface your website to prove their point. Malware is code placed on your website which may do any of the following:

1. Send out massive amount of spam emails from your website.
2. Send out phishing emails to unsuspecting customers and plant their code on your website to get any important financial details.
3. Download scripts/files to unsuspecting customers via their browsers.

As you can see from above malware code is used to get access to a large number of visitors so they can then propagate their infestation to other computers.

This can also affect your website rankings on search engines as they block such websites and warn visitors on their search listing results page as well. See example below of one such website which got infected with malware and how Google alerts visitors about this.

Malware Alert on Google Search Results
Malware Alert on Google Search Results

If you try to click on the link of the website and try to browse to it you may get this message on your browser if you are using Firefox/Chrome.

Reported Attack Page as shown on Firefox
Reported Attack Page as shown on Firefox

Now how do you clean your website from malware code?

Please follow the steps below to remove malware from your website. I followed these steps while cleaning malware on some websites and 80%-90% of infected websites can be cleaned by using them. However, there could be some difference on some websites and if there is please do let me know so I can update them here.

1. First thing you should do is to contact your hosting provider and check for the last backup of your website. There may be a chance that the backup copy is clean and not affected by the malware. If the backup copy is clean then you can restore the backup and get the website up and running in the shortest time possible. If not then you will need to go through the following steps and gear yourself to put in the next couple of hours on cleaning your website.

2. Next step is to download the website to your local development server. This is a necessary but time consuming step as you don’t know the extent of the malware on your website. Some times it could only be in one file and some times the whole website may have been infected.

3. After downloading the files try and open them. If you are unable to open them or you get a “Access Denied” popup then change the extension of your script to (.txt).

4. Open the file and search for anything that is out of the ordinary in the file. If you see some type of jibberish code in the file then you can be assured that the file has been infected with malware. If your website has been developed in PHP then you should start by checking for “base64_decode”, “eval” and “iframe”.

5. After removing the malware from the file continue this process in other files as well. Be sure to remove it from all files as the malware replicates itself very quickly. You can write a simple script which can scan all files and then remove the code from all files in all directories.

6. When you have finally completed removing the malware from all the files you now need to look for the actual script which may have caused the injection in the first place. Start looking for it in your images, css, javascript folders. You will be sure to find very oddly named scripts in those folders and you need to delete them. You should remember to restrict execution of server side scripts in these folders. If you are on a Linux based hosting then you can just copy an .htaccess file to that folder with the necessary restrictions.

7. After doing all the above you can request Google to do a review of your website in your Google Webmaster panel. You should also submit your website for review at Stop Badware.

Check this link out on Google to see how you can prevent malware in the first place

Hope the above helped!

Questions to ask yourself when developing a new product online

If you are an internet entrepreneur or businessman and thinking of launching a product or service to the public then you may need to ask yourself the following questions which will help streamline your thought process and maybe even help you decide whether it’s even worth it in the first place:

  1. Does the market really need this?
    No one can give an accurate answer to this question unless the people first see it in action and then decide whether they need it or not. Before Google, Yahoo and MSN were the only talked about search engines. After Google was launched and people came to know of the power and speed of Google once they started using it. They abandoned all other search engines for Google and now it has become the top search engine commanding over 80% of all search queries on the web. There have been other search engines as well which have been launched over time however they failed to make an impact which Google has on the minds of the people. Necessity is the mother of all inventions.
    The product needs to have the ability to make itself so important that people can’t even think of being without it. Ask any one whether they would be able to live without Google and you will know the answer.
  2. Will it be any different?
    If Google were to display the same set of results like Yahoo and MSN would it have been so successful like it is now? The answer would most definitely be “No”. People try new products to see whether using them makes life easier for them or not. If people don’t see any difference then why would they even bother to go for a new product?
    Google provided a new look from traditional search engines. The home page does not show anything besides the logo, a search box and some links at the bottom. The relevancy of the search results to the search term entered by the user is so high that people find what they are looking for in a couple of minutes and sometimes even in seconds.
    Your product needs to provide something different and useful compared to other products in your industry which will really make it a hit among its users.
  3. Will the customers accept it?
    Product developers invest a lot of time and money on their projects only to see them fail because the end users found it too difficult to understand or the product was not able to provide the results in a timely manner. The general idea should be to keep it simple.
    The team at Google purposely kept the interface very simple so that every person in the world would be able to use it with ease. The simpler the interface and the easier to understand the more chances of customers accepting it.
  4. Will it be cost effective?
    Some people may term this question as the basic question as most people will not be able to afford a very expensive product no matter how good and how powerful it is. SAP may be the world’s best ERP yet a major store retailer in your city may not choose it for its day to day operations as it may not be able to afford it. Frankly it may not even have the need for such an expensive solution in the first place. Remember if you are building a one of a kind product which will revolutionize everything like Google then that is a different story however if that is not the case the no one would be willing to pay extra for something which is already offered by another product.

    Hope the above points helped. I would love to see your comments 🙂

How to add reminder to Outlook from a web page

Have you ever felt the need of buying an item or service while surfing the internet? The answer to that would obviously be YES but maybe you felt that you would like to buy it at some other time due to some constraint like out of money, broke, waiting for special occasion etc. This happens to nearly everyone of us but the other thing that happens as well is that we tend to forget about the item and the event for which we had chosen not to buy in the first place and finally end up with nothing. Ahh! the human mind.

The above scenario happens to most customers while shopping online and this ends up as lost sales for the business owner which is a loss loss situation for all parties. So, how to get out of this situation? The best option for the business owner (in this case a website owner) is to setup a reminder link on his website which will allow the customer to create a reminder on Google, Yahoo, Bing or Outlook (the visitor may use anyone which he/she uses on a regular basis). We will be discussing Outlook here. For the others there is a lot of information on the web. I will discuss them too in due time.

Setting up a reminder on Outlook from a web page may sound complex but it’s really very simple. Just follow the steps below

1. Go to the ICalendar page and copy the code from there.

2. We will make some changes to the code that has been copied to tailor it according to our requirements. Following is the code

BEGIN:VCALENDAR
VERSION:2.0
METHOD:PUBLISH
PRODID:-//hacksw/handcal//NONSGML v1.0//EN
BEGIN:VEVENT
UID:Enter a unique id to represent this reminder
DTSTAMP;VALUE=DATE:20100826
DTSTART;VALUE=DATE:20100831  (the start date of the event)
DTEND;VALUE=DATE:20100831     (the end date of the event)
SUMMARY:Give the name of the reminder here
DESCRIPTION:Describe the reminder here. Mention the URL of the page as well
END:VEVENT
END:VCALENDAR

3. Copy the code into notepad and save it with .ics extension

If you double click the file it will open up Outlook and let you review the reminder text and make any sort of changes by which you would like to remember it by. Once saved, Outlook will remind you of the event.

You can also use a script to make the reminder text dynamic and therefore allow you to generate reminders for each product and service on your website.

Hope the above helps. If you need my help then do let me know and I will be more than happy to help you.

Change your payment URLs from Protx to SagePay

After Protx was taken over by SagePay there have been many changes taking place in the overall look and working of the company. Once of these changes has been a change in the URLs of SagePay Form payment method.

SagePay had informed all merchants and affiliates of this change 6 months back on their website as well as by email. They had requested to change the URLs to the new SagePay ones as the older ones would be taken down in the near future. However, to support a smooth change over they have provided backward support of old Protx URLs.

They have now informed all merchants to make the change by September 30 2010 or the old Protx URLs will not work any more and their website would not be able to charge customers.

They have also made available a page on their website detailing the old URLs as well as the new URLs to replace the old ones.

You can find the new SagePay URls on the SagePay website and follow them to make the changes to your website.

Hope the above helped but if you need my help in this regard then do let me know.

Classic example of hijab vs. no hijab

Hijab as defined on Wikipedia is

A hijab is the head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women and modest Muslim styles of dress in general.

This word has been very much in the news in Europe especially France where the government has taken special interest in placing restrictions on women using hijab. They have already placed restrictions on using hijab in government schools and offices and now the French President wants to place the restriction in public places and parks. Well, France is a sovereign country and is free to making it’s own laws but if the law makers just consider that hijab is just another cloth available in the market which a woman can choose of her own free will to wear or not then it should not be a problem at all.

My personal take is that France is a democratic country and people should have the right to choose what they should wear in a democratic country. When the French government does not have a problem with French women wearing skimpy clothes in public then it should not object to women who choose of their free will to cover up.

A friend of mine sent me an email giving a nice example of hijab vs no hijab and I have added it here for your viewing.

Can it really be explained better than this classic example of hijab vs. no hijab?

Help.co.uk needs your help

Well it has finally happened. www.Help.co.uk has been taken offline and with that another website has gone down due to the ongoing recession which has shown no sign of abating. The poor and helpless people will be eying gloom and despair as the operations of hundreds of charities and fundraisers who were collecting and raising money on their behalf have been curtailed with this rather sad event.

Help.co.uk had already limited its operations since September 2009 when it had announced that it would not be allowing further fundraisers to register on their website. They had also stopped accepting online donations via their payment system.

The website is now being directed to the owner’s website who has now taken upon himself to guide flailing businesses and resolve their bankruptcy and insolvency cases in the UK.

How to motivate yourself

I use the following points to motivate myself whenever I feel down. Hope it helps others.

1. Follow a path to achieve your goal and stick to it.

2. Never quit what you have started.

3. Find friends or partners of similar interest.

4. Learn how to teach yourself.

5. Do something which is more in line with your talent and interest.

6. Dig deep in the subject which you find interesting.

7. No risk no game.

If you follow the above points to the core then you will never feel down and out. Remember you can be your biggest enemy so stay focused on the work and you will never be lost