Twitter Hacks

There has been a recent rash of hacked twitter accounts. You usually find out about it when your followers tell you that “you” have sent them a DM (Direct Message) like the ones below (real examples) The good news is it’s quite easy to fix and fairly easy to prevent in the first place:

• New Miracle Diet is Finally Expsed (dodgy link) it really works
• I lost a bunch of weight, this stuff works! look at news article (dodgy link)
• Get the beach body you’ve always wanted, now you can with this weight loss supplement (dodgy link)
• Have you heard millions of people are making $5k+/Mo from home? heres how.. (dodgy link)
• Someone said this real bad thing about you in a blog…. (dodgy link)
• Lose weight guaranteed with Ultra HCG (dodgy link) i lost 26 lbs!

What has happened?

Your account has been compromised. Someone dodgy has access to your twitter account and is sending DMs to your followers using your account.

What to do?

If you have fallen victim to a hacker, go straight to the twitter help centre (http://support.twitter.com/), click on the “Report a Violation” section and follow their instructions. You will soon be free of the pest.

How to stop it happening in the first place.

1. Whatever you do, don’t click a (dodgy link). It takes a little experience to know what a dodgy link looks like: they look spammy and impersonal. Twitter is about connecting with people you are interested in and on the whole they don’t send spammy links.

The examples above give you a good idea of what they look like. I would not expect any of my followers to send me that kind of message with a link. If you get a DM that looks spammy, don’t click the link.

2. Don’t follow back spammy followers. If you do follow back spammy followers, they can send you a spammy DM which gets the whole thing started. Here’s a picture of some spammy followers. They don’t look like real accounts:

If you get spammy followers, do the world a favour and report them for spam:

Happy tweeting. It’s a sad reality that these spammers exist. I’m guessing they put a lot of people off, especially new starters who might not be aware of what they look like.

Calendars now with one added colour (blue)!

We have had great feedback from users who have trialled our new three colour calendar, so we have activated it for everyone. The new blue colour shows where you have sold rooms; green is for available rooms and red indicates where you have closed out.

Just like this:

Blue Calendar colour for sold out rooms
Blue Calendar colour for sold out rooms

Up to now your bookings have only shown in the Diary, which is the natural place for them. Now with the extra colour they are also reflected in your calendars. The new “blue” will make it even easier to manage your calendar rates, close outs, units available, and minimum stays.

The blue colour shows you have sold out on a room type, saving time by reducing the need to switch between your Diary view and your calendars. This makes it easier to maximise your occupancy. For example, if you’ve set a 3-night minimum stay on a room for a particular date but the next night sold out (making it impossible for anyone to stay in it for 3 nights), you can change the minimum stay to 1 night and hence sell the room.

Thanks to this update, you now see all availability information on all the calendars, making control over your rates and minimum stays easier than ever before. As always, we welcome feedback on this update. Please let us know how it works for you.

PS: If you have a setup with more than one of any room type, it will only show blue when all the rooms of this type have sold out.

Sign up to freetobook

As freetobook continues to evolve, a growing network of properties are discovering the benefits of being able to display live rates and availability on their websites and thus get increased bookings. Their satisfaction with freetobook is reflected in the feedback we receive from them. Only last week, Natasha Riley from the Springfield Hotel in Blackpool wrote:

“What a great piece of Software! I am not very technically minded when it comes to new software, but freetobook is so user friendly that you cannot go wrong. The video tutorials are informative and the technical support is by far the best I have ever experienced. Our guests have also commented how easy, fast and efficient the system is to book rooms.”

We are constantly adding new functionality to make the system even better (e.g. the new three colour calendar), so now is the ideal time to sign up and gain new business. Remember, bookings made on your website with freetobook software are absolutely commission-free.

Eastbourne Hospitality Association

This month, freetobook was proud to become part of the Eastbourne Hospitality Association. Eastbourne is a lovely seaside resort with some beautifully preserved Victorian architecture along its promenade. It’s also where our Caroline went to Uni! Freetobook’s details will now appear on the Association’s website. Indeed Andy Johnson – who runs the Southcroft Hotel (a freetobook member) with his wife Linda – is on the executive committee of the association. Eastbourne Hospitality Association does great work to support the town’s residents, visitors and students as a community to pursue the growth of Eastbourne as a flourishing town and resort.