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Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

Five Common Email Blunders - And What To Do About

Why Have a Website?

What You Must Know About Spam

Adding Profit to Your Home Internet Business

Tips on the Dangers of Spyware and Adware

Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

In today's modern society the typical teenager has all the modern gadgets and gizmos. From iPods to laptops, the high-tech market feeds the needs of the younger generation. It is all to east to think your kids are being nice and quiet in their bedrooms doing their homework on the computer but do you actually know that your kids are safe whilst they browse the internet?

Years ago kids use to hang out on corner streets kicking a ball about, today they sit at home listening to music on their MP3 player or talk to their friends on computer chat messenger systems. It is easy to forget that the same vulnerabilities apply to the teenagers of today then of years ago.

There have been cases of online bullying, and with mobile phones an every day item rather than a luxury, all kids are a potential target. So how exactly can you keep your kids safe when they are surfing the internet late at night?

Firstly it is very important to talk to your children about the dangers of using the internet, make them aware of what potential hazards there are without scare mongering, after all the internet is a fantastic learning resource. A few basis pointers should be sufficient, such as instructing your child never to give out any personal information on the internet. Online fraud is a booming crime so keeping personal information secret is a must such as address details and bank information.

Teenagers are most at risk when it comes to the internet. They take bigger risks and are more likely to chat to strangers. A good idea is to advise your children that the person behind the keyboard is often a completely different person they seem to be over a chat client. We all like to think our teenage kids are more responsible than what we were at their age but the reality is our kids are even more vulnerable than the older generation.

Installing software on your PC is a good idea if you feel your advice is falling on deaf ears. There are many trial and free versions of parenting control software readily available on the internet that you can try. These have advantages of controlling the website content your kids visit and you can actually manual set various permissions such as allowing your kids to visit educational websites but blocking the sites you feel inappropriate. Setting times of the day where your kids can access their computers for internet use is also a good feature to use.

There are also more practical measures that you can do such as moving the computer downstairs where you can a more careful watch on your kids activities online. By trying to show concern rather then be a tyrant than you should be able to strike a balance with your kids ensuring they have the freedom they want but at the same time knowing they are safe and secure

Martin writes exclusive articles for pc and gadget websites like Free Registry Cleaner and iPod Accessories

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Five Common Email Blunders - And What To Do About Them

A lot of people send email messages blissfully unaware of the problems that they are causing for other Internet users. Here are 5 of the main blunders - and some things you can do about them.

Blunder #1: Sending HUGE email attachments.
Those photos, documents, and movie clips that you attach to your email messages can be many megabytes in size. If the recipient is on dialup, their computer can be tied up for hours trying to download your monster messages.
Or if they are using a mobile phone to receive mail the costs can be considerable.

When they find out you've sent them 5 pictures of Fluffy the cat looking out the window, don't be surprised if they pay you a visit in the early hours of the morning. Making jabbing movements towards your soft bits with a sharp kitchen implement.

So - If you DO want to send large attachments to someone - ask first to make sure that it won't be a problem at the other end.

Hint: If you want to send pictures by email, get Picasa. This free program helps you manage thousands of images, and automatically formats them for email use.

Blunder #2 - Using the Wrong Email Address Fields.
Imagine a solicitor sending out a change of address notice to all his friends, family, clients, court contacts, etc. And imagine if everyone who received the letter could see the name and email address of everyone else who had received the message. Major embarrassment - and undoubted breach of privacy.

Email programs give you a choice of 3 fields where to put addresses. Here's how to use them:

TO: The main addressee - you can put multiple addresses here, and everyone who received the email will see them.
CC: The Carbon Copy field - everyone can see the addresses here too.
BCC: Blind Carbon Copy. The email will be sent to all the addresses in this field - and nobody will be able to see who else received a copy of the message.

Blunder #3 - Not Using a Protected Computer.
It has been shown that harmful programs will install themselves on your unprotected Internet computer in less than 30 minutes. Without an up to date, operational protection programs your computer could be:
- deleting or changing your files
- sending out squillions of email messages
- a "soldier" in a 50,000 strong botnet "army" that is bringing some poor website to its knees.

If you use email your computer MUST have operational, up to date programs that protect it. Otherwise, it's almost certain that you are causing grief for yourself and other Internet users. There are many free programs available that will give you excellent protection - just search Google to find them: AVG, Adaware, Spybot, ZoneAlarm, Avast. For a complete protection solution in one package, I use and recommend the Zonealarm Internet Security Suite.

Blunder #4. Wasting People's Time
If there's a meeting on the 3rd floor at 2pm, just send out a email text message - and not a 3-megabyte graphic creation that takes ages to load, and requires the user to open other programs to view it. Try to keep your email messages brief, simple and to the point. Your recipients will appreciate it.

Blunder #5 - No Subject Line
A blank email subject line increases the chance that your message won't be read by the recipient.
With the flood of messages that people receive, it's common that people ignore (or have their filters delete) everything without a subject line.

Just saying something like "Hi" is not much better.
It only takes a couple of seconds to put in something meaningful. This is basic good manners, and also makes it much easier to locate the message if you need it in the future.

Bonus: Blunder #6 - Thinking that Email is Confidential. Email messages (and their attachments) can easily be forwarded to ANYONE. If you write a controversial message to anyone, THINK before sending it.

Don't send an email that was written while you are angry. Wait till you have calmed down, and review it before you send it.

Eric Graudins is the founder of WebAngel.com.au, and has been providing reliable information and services to Small Business Internet users since last century.

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Why Have a Website?

Many companies throughout the world today are operating their business with no website. When the internet keeps moving forward and advancing, your business needs to advance as well. If companies do not own or operate an online business as well as a physical business, they will lose out on sales and additional profits.

There are so many valid reasons why owning and operating a website is important. Reaching your target market in your own area is one thing, but having a website allows you to reach your target market world wide. Many more individuals and companies are becoming computer and internet savvy, this means to stay atop of the competition, you need to have a website that is not only informative but functional and professional. If marketed properly you should have sales or contacts via your website that are valid and valuable.

Every business needs to have an advertising campaign, and including your current website in that is vital to success on the internet. It's not good enough to just have a website; you need to invest time and money into your online business. Between pay per click advertising and the search engine marketing, it is more important than ever to keep the online public aware of the services and goods you provide. Whether you decide to hire out these tasks to a web design or marketing company or do the job yourself, it is the most important factor to getting your website awareness out there to the public.

If you own a business and it is not online, this is really a huge factor that needs to be considered. Not only will owning a website help your current clients, with items such as your office hours, prices or services available, it will allow your online audience to see what great products and services you offer, and possibly inspire them into action!

By: Bonnie Beck

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What You Must Know About Spam

When referring to emails, according to the NCES (National Centre for Education Statistic), "Spam refers to electronic junk mail or junk newsgroup postings. Some people define Spam even more generally as any unsolicited e-mail. In addition to being a nuisance, Spam also eats up a lot of network bandwidth. Because the Internet is a public network, little can be done to prevent Spam, just as it is impossible to prevent junk mail. However, the use of software filters in e-mail programs can be used to remove most Spam sent through e-mail."

Some search engines use the term to describe websites that try to attain a high listing rank by submitting identical or mirror pages. In this article I am going to give you a few tips about email Spam.

If we give a too general definition to the word, we might end up taking for Spam perfectly legitimate emails. Not "any" unsolicited mail is Spam. Spam means unsolicited bulk email.

If a message is unsolicited that doesn't make it Spam. The same goes for bulk. A message is Spam only if it is both unsolicited and bulk. When you receive an unsolicited job enquiry, you do receive an uncalled-for email. But is that Spam? No. What about a newsletter? That is bulk, but no Spam if you are a subscriber.

Why Do You Get Spam?
Have you posted your email address online in forums, chat rooms, on your website? Than why do you marvel? Spammers gather the addresses from the Internet; so no wonder your own found its way onto a spammer's list. Besides, spammers use different other means to get what they want: viruses, Trojans, buying from other spammers.

Spam Scams
How many times have you received an "update your account" email from paypal, a bank or ebay? How many times have you received a "warning message"? Maybe it didn't look suspicious to you as it came from an institution you work with, but was it really that way? This kind of emails is referred to as "phishing scam". There is not much you can do when this happens. Just don't click on any links in that email, don't give away any confidential information such as social security number, bank account or credit card number. There are some free tools that can protect you against known phishing websites. For example download the free EarthLink toolbar and report the scam to the Anti-Phishing Working Group.

What about the emails from different Nigerian (or other nationalities) citizens offering you a percentage of a vast sum of money? Yes, you've got that right: scam. You'll only loose your money on this one. Better don't be curious. They will ask you to pay a fee in advance - a so called transfer tax, and guess what: some complications will appear, you have to pay more and more and end up with nothing. And don't believe the "you won money" lottery sweepstakes either. You'll only spend. The same goes for the Nigerian purchase scam: they want to buy something from you, pay by check and they wish the goods to be sent in Lagos, Nigeria.

A Major Don't
Don't reply to spammers... ever! Don't send any "remove me" message. By doing so you confirm your address is active, you show you read bulk messages, you prove your ISP doesn't use Spam filters. You are the perfect candidate. You will never be removed. On the contrary...

Spam Fighters
If Spam really bothers you and you want to fight against it, than you have plenty of possibilities. If you are an American, join Cauce at: www.cauce.org. If not... check out Cauce's international partners (example: EuroCAUCE for Italy, Spain, Germany, Holland, France, Norway).

Associations such as to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, the American Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or other volunteers' organizations are there to help protecting you against scam or other illegal emails (children pornography for example). Detailed information about Spam, Spammers and ways to fight against them you can find here: www.spamhaus.org.

Author Bio
Mihaela Lica is a skilled journalist and PR consultant, founder of Pamil Visions - www.pamil-visions.com Previously she used to work as a military TV redactor for Pro Patria and the Military Media Trust within the Public Relations Directorate of the Romanian Ministry of Defence.

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Adding Profit to Your Home Internet Business

Many individuals, from all walks of life, are making the decision to work from home. There are an unlimited number of work at home business ideas; however, the internet has the most potential.

Internet websites are often developed for personal or business use. What once may have been considered a personal site may now even be used to make money. Affiliate programs, commonly referred to as associate programs, are a way for website owners to make money through internet marketing. Affiliate programs work by connecting people to another website. There are a wide number of well known national companies who use affiliate programs to increase the traffic to their website.

Individuals who have their own website will generally display a banner or link to a certain website. The linking website is often a business that sells something. Affiliate programs are profitable to website owners because whenever an internet user signs up for something or buys a products, they are paid commission. Affiliate programs are an effective marketing technique that offer benefits to everyone involved. Website owners are paid for their participation and the businesses on the other end are promoting and selling their products.

Deciding to participate in an affiliate program is a fairly easy process and can sometimes involve little work. If you are a website owner, the more work you do on your website, the more likely you are to receive affiliate clickers. This is due to search engine optimizations. Many articles or topics inside a website contain keywords that search engines may pick up. If an individual is searching for information on popular children's toys and your website has articles or information concerning them, they may be linked to your site. Internet users love to see new articles, information, or products. For this reason, constantly updating your website may bring in new visitors and also keep existing visitors coming back.

Developing a website can be for fun or a part of home employment. Home employment is on the rise and many individuals are making the decision to work from their home. Home employment allows parents, elderly, or disabled individuals to work from the comfort of their home. Although these individuals are common work from home people, just about everyone has the ability to work from inside their home.

A work from home internet business can including selling merchandise or offering a service. For instance, many individuals sell homemade or wholesale merchandise or some offer their web design or writing skills. Affiliate programs are an effective tool in obtaining additional profits for a work at home internet business. Although affiliate programs are used and are widely popular among internet businesses, they are also successful with personal websites. Blogging has greatly increased in popularity. In fact, a large number of internet users have a blog. It is possible to link up affiliate programs with a blog.

Affiliate programs are becoming extremely popular among website owners or bloggers. It is a fairly simple way to acquire additional profits through an existing work from home internet business. It is great programs, such as affiliate marketing programs, that allows many individuals to successfully work from home and make a profit.

Author Bio
Jeff Casmer is an award winning entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and internet marketing consultant. Visit the work at home directory.

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Tips on the Dangers of Spyware and Adware

Money is the very crux of adware and spyware. These pose several problems and are a security risk.

Adware is a program that displays advertisements on the computer whether you want them or not. They are not just connected to particular websites or free software but are programmed to start up whenever your computer is switched on.

Programs like Eudora mail client display advertisements in lieu of charging registration fees for use of software. It helps developers recover program development costs. Kazaa the file sharing application comes bundled with at least three ad-ware programs. Two of them serve ads to the desktop while another redirects the user's browser to a search engine with advertiser sponsored web results. Well known ones are: BroadcastPC; Comet Cursor; GeoWhere; Network Essentials, 123 Messenger, Direct Revenue, and so on.

Unfortunately, other guises of adware are spyware and malware.

Spyware is a program code that relays information about you and your work without your permission or knowledge. Some just "spy" on you conveying your Internet habits to marketing companies, while others are "thieves" they access credit card information as well as other sensitive files. In plain terms, it is malicious software that can intercept or take control of a computer's operation without user knowledge or consent. Termed as "malware" the redefinition of spyware, the programs can:

  • Steal personal information and the address book.
  • Flood the browser with pop-ups.
  • Spam the system.
  • Slow down programs and connection.
  • Hijack the browser and redirect the user to a "con" page.
  • Uses the computer as a server to broadcast porn.
  • Can cause a crash.

Spyware reaches a computer through innocent web pages, game demos, MP3 players, search tool bars, and other downloads like free software. It installs itself and leaves a mark on the windows registry. It can hog the computer resources such as memory and hard drive and cause a crash or lock up. Keystroke-logging spyware can steal passwords and credit card information for thieves.

To protect the files one has to:

  • Use anti adware and spyware programs. Examples: Spybot, Search & destroy, Pest Patrol, and Lavasoft's Adware.
  • Keep windows as well as Internet explorer up-to-date by applying the latest security patches.
  • Maintain the security level of the Internet Explorer at medium. Users must not lower the security level.
  • Use firewalls and web proxies to block access to web sites known to carry spyware.
  • Install layered protection.
  • Update the antivirus program. An up-to-date program will stop spyware as well as Trojans.
  • Install a startup monitor to protect your system.
  • Never accept "free" as being free---check out free software and downloads, there will be a hidden surprise or catch.
  • Never download software from warez sites. Pirated software is always distributed along with adware and spyware.
  • Use Spy checker to determine if the download has spyware. This can be accessed from the free computer securities pages.

An anti-spyware coalition has been instituted by Microsoft, Earthlink, McAfee, and Hewlett-Packard. They are working towards anti-spyware legislation and putting protection systems in place. A survey shows that 87 percent of users know what spyware is and of this 40 percent through firsthand experience. Protect yourself and your work; keep your system free of adware and spyware.

Author Bio
Paul Wilson is a freelance writer for www.1888SoftwareDownloads.com, the premier website to find Free Software Downloads including free anti-virus software, free spyware detection software, free toolbars, free chat software and more.

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