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Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Amazon littered with thousands of ‘fake’ five-star reviews, Which? report finds.

According to an investigation by consumer group Which?, Amazon’s customer review section is being overtaken by ‘fake’ five-star reviews from ‘unknown’ brands. After analyzing the listings of hundreds of popular tech products in 14 different categories, the group found that many of the highest-rated items in each category were from little-known brands, while thousands of positive reviews were written by unverified purchasers. In addition, Which? found evidence of duplicated reviews, as well as positive reviews for unrelated products, which suggests that the reviews might be automated. (Source: Independent)

Why this is important for your business: 

If you’re an Amazon merchant there’s a lot of temptation to hire one of those firms that do fake reviews for your products. Obviously, that’s been done by a lot of businesses already.  But this is a practice that will absolutely come back to bite you in the future.  Amazon is cracking down on these companies and if your customers get wind that you’re being dishonest they will no longer be customers.  Don’t give in to the temptation. It’s not worth it.

2 — Google Pay adds Gmail importing for automatically adding tickets and loyalty cards from your inbox.

Google has introduced a new setting for its Google Pay users with Android devices. It lets them have relevant data from Gmail automatically appear in the Google Pay app, including loyalty cards, movie tickets, airline boarding passes, etc. Users need Google Pay v2.86 or higher to see the toggle that enables the app. The setting is disabled by default, but opening Google Pay and clicking on Settings > General > Gmail Imports allows it to be toggled on. (Source: 9 to 5 Google)

Why this is important for your business:

Google is fully invested in expanding the use of its mobile payment service over the long term, and this week’s added features reinforces that commitment.  Regardless of your business, you should be evaluating whether to accept Google Pay from your customers as another convenient way for them to do business with you.

3 — Dropbox challenger pCloud just became profitable.

A 32-person company named pCloud, which has attracted more than 9 million users over the past five years, announced that it recently reached profitability. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Given some of its advantages over Dropbox, particularly for small businesses, I can understand why the company is now in the black. The pCloud service lets users back up and sync files across devices. It gives them 10GB for free and then charges for more storage and features. Unlike Dropbox or Microsoft’s OneDrive, pCloud functions more like an external hard drive. Once installed on a computer, the app enables files to stay in the cloud by default.

4— Report: as e-commerce keeps growing, 75,000 stores could close.

With American retailers announcing this year that 5,994 stores will close—a number that already exceeds last year’s total of 5,864—a recent report from Coresight Research now predicts that thousands more stores could close in the coming years. The reason is the growth of online shopping on sites such as Amazon. In fact, online sales currently account for approximately 16% of retail sales. And UBS analysts said in a research report last week that percentage will rise to 25% by 2026. (Source: WRAL Tech Wire)

Why this is important for your business:

Will this be the end of brick and mortar? I think not. But I do believe that today’s merchants will be best positioned to succeed if they sell products through different channels.  That means not only serving customers in your store, but having a strong online presence as well.

5— Adblock Plus filters can be abused to execute malicious code in browsing sessions.

A security researcher has uncovered an exploit in the filter systems of Adblock, Adblock Plus, and uBlock which may permit attackers to remotely inject arbitrary code into web pages. According to the researcher, the issue lies within version 3.2 of the Adblock Plus software, which introduced a new filter option for rewriting requests in 2018. This feature is vulnerable to a security flaw that was thought to be ‘trivial’, and the issue could potentially be leveraged in attacks to steal online credentials, tamper with sessions, or redirect pages. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

The company, in a blog post, says that it is “taking this very seriously and is currently investigating the actual risk for our users to determine the best countermeasure.”  In the meantime, you should check to see if any of your employees are using this tool which could make your network vulnerable.

[“source=forbes”]