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Identification Theft | Computoredge | Wally Wang | Apple

I found this article in Computoredge magazine about how to protect yourself against Internet fraud. It also has interesting information and misconceptions about apple computers. Here is a brief summary to help you decide if it may be of help:

“Simple precautions help you safely navigate the Internet without losing money to criminals. Also, people criticize Apple without first investigating the facts; InDesign now offers collaborative features; Bento is a deceptively simple yet flexible database program; and a tip on double-clicking on the title bar of a window you want to temporarily hide.”

This is the link to follow: Identification Theft

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The Dark Side of Social Media | Computoredge | Michael Dillon

Beware of Social Media

I found an informative article by Michael Dillon, on computoredge magazine, about how to protect yourself in social networks like Facebook and Tweeter. Here is an excerpt and a link:

“Israel Hyman was very excited about his upcoming vacation from his home in Arizona to Kansas City. So excited, in fact, that he broadcast details of his trip to his 2,000 Twitter followers, including when he and his wife were leaving their house, where they were on the road, and when they arrived in K.C.

Someone, one of Mr. Hyman’s followers on Twitter, took a great interest in Mr. Hyman’s trip; when he returned home he found someone had broken into his house and stolen thousands of dollars in video equipment used for his business. Hyman is convinced the thieves monitored his feed to see when he would be gone, and then robbed his house. Similar incidents of thieves using Twitter to plan and execute robberies have also been reported in Florida and California.”

To know more: online.mvc

About RSS Feeds | Michael J Ross | Computoredge

I am still learning about RSS Feeds. Below is an excerpt from an article by Mr. Michael J Ross about “Real Simple Syndication”. I found it very useful.

RSS on Your Web Site

“Share your site’s updates quickly and painlessly.”

by Michael J. Ross

Some people use the Internet simply for checking their e-mail messages or visiting one or two favorite Web sites. But for the majority of “Netizens” out there, visiting dozens of sites every day is the norm. Admittedly, some of these sites are visited not because they offer fresh content updated daily, but rather because they offer a frequently used service, such as online banking. But these utility sites are certainly outnumbered by “discretionary” sites that serve up the latest news from the worlds of finance, politics, sports and more.

For all of us who hop from one well-worn site to another, it can easily become tedious and time-consuming to have to visit each one of these sites, determine what content we have not seen before, and filter out content on topics that are of no interest to us. Most if not all of these news junkies must sometimes wonder, “If only my computer could do this for me.” Well, it can, if those favorite sites of yours are packaging up their content in RSS format and not just as Web pages. More of them are doing so all the time, and in this article we will discuss some ways that you can do the same for your own site.

But first, for the benefit of those readers who may be unfamiliar with RSS, let’s consider what it is and how it can be spotted in the wild. When it first emerged on the scene in 1999, and during the following few years, RSS was an acronym for a couple of different names. But nowadays, just about everyone has agreed that it stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” In basic terms, it is a standard and highly structured format for publishing online content, designed to be read by computer programs.

Just as a newswire service will distribute its journalists’ contributions as “syndication,” any Web site can syndicate its own news. This stream of content is known as an RSS feed. As a result of using a standardized form of organizing the content, each RSS feed is thereby made easily readable by Web-based and desktop applications, known as RSS readers or aggregators. Google Reader and BlogBridge are examples of each category, respectively. All newsreaders, including these two, allow you to specify all the sites whose RSS feeds you would like to subscribe to, and how you can filter and combine the content to suit your needs.

To determine if any one of your favorite sites is offered in RSS format, go to the site’s home page and look for the standard RSS feed icon. It usually is located at the bottom of the home page or up in the right-hand corner, oftentimes close to the entry fields for searching the site or logging in.

All of the major Web browsers—including Firefox, Opera, and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7—will display the RSS icon in or near their address bars.

Major news sites, probably without exception, make their content available globally to all RSS users. You may be wondering if you could do the same, and what methods would be available for doing so. It depends upon the source of the content that you want to share with the world.

Original J. Whiting cartoon

For the complete original article visit:

03/06/09 RSS on Your Web Site: Share your site’s updates quickly and painlessly.

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Michael J. Ross is a Web developer, writer, and freelance editor. He creates Web sites that help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into profitable online businesses.

Internet Scams | Fraud | Wally Wang

A few days ago I received an email, which supposedly came from Google, asking me for my account information and password in order to do some sort of upgrade so that I could continue my service. I smelled phishing and proceeded to delete. Here is an article from computoredge about a variety of Internet scams.

“Con artists have expanded their reach.”
by Wally Wang from
www.computoredge.com

“If you’re an experienced Internet user, you’ve probably heard of the Nigerian 419 scam. This is where you get an unsolicited e-mail from a stranger overseas, claiming that they need your help in releasing millions of dollars. In exchange for your help, this benevolent stranger is willing to pay you part of the money, which you can claim by paying an initial fee, ostensibly to bribe an official or pay bank fees.

If you send this unknown person money, they’ll keep dangling the promise of millions of dollars awaiting you, but only if you continue sending additional cash to overcome an inevitable barrage of problems. Each time you send money, you’ll be more inclined to send more to avoid losing the “investment” you’ve already made in this incredible offer. The con artists will happily keep up this pretense as long as you keep sending money.

Fool Me Twice

If victims ever wake up to the fact that they’ve been conned, they’ll have to face the shame of being duped for several months along with whatever amount of money they sent out while getting nothing in return. And now the con artists often circle back a second time around.

Suddenly, you may find another unsolicited e-mail, stating that a special antifraud division has tracked down the con artists who have scammed you. If you want this government agency to recover your lost money, you’ll need to fill out some official-looking documents along with paying a processing fee.

Needless to say, many victims are so angry at the con artists and lusting for revenge that they’ll eagerly fill out this bogus document and send in the processing fee—only to have the vicious cycle repeat all over again.

Supposedly, this antifraud government agency needs to bribe more officials or pay additional fees to keep the con artists in jail so they can be brought to court. Once again, you’ll need to keep sending money to these con artists, who are very likely the same con artists who bilked you initially. (After all, how else would they know that you were conned in the first place?)

The original Nigerian 419 scam has ripped off people for thousands of dollars and continues duping people to this day. This added twist of ripping off the same people a second time, by masquerading as a government antifraud agency, is another development designed to catch victims off guard and steal their money before they realize what’s happening.

Spear Phishing on Facebook

As more people wise up to unsolicited e-mail scams, con artists are resorting to something called spear phishing. Where phishing involves sending out mass e-mails with the same scam letter, knowing that a small percentage of people will always take the bait, spear phishing involves targeting specific people. One of the most popular ways to spear phish is through social networking sites such as Facebook.

Like other social-networking sites, Facebook lets you reveal details about yourself, which any stranger can read. Plus, you can link to your friends and read personal details about these people, which a stranger can also read.

Now con artists will target a specific individual, using personal information found on that person’s Facebook page and any of their friends’ Facebook pages. If you suddenly receive an e-mail containing information that only you and your friends know about, suddenly that unsolicited e-mail sounds far more credible. Of course, the con artist is simply using your own information against you.

Even more insidious is that con artists will often contact you through Facebook and provide a link, which leads to an error message and an official-looking Facebook login page. When you retype your password and account into this bogus page, the con artist now has the information needed to hijack your Facebook account and masquerade as you.

Using your Facebook account, the con artist can now contact all of your friends with a frightening story of how you traveled overseas and lost your wallet and passport or some other sob story. Since your friends are receiving these messages directly from your Facebook account, they have no reason not to believe it isn’t you. More than likely, they’ll wire the necessary money to the overseas account that the con artist provides, and never see their money again.

Trust No One

The simplest way to protect yourself from online scams is to trust no one online, not even your own friends and relatives. If a con artist hijacks an e-mail or Facebook account, receiving a message from a trusted source is still no guarantee that you aren’t being scammed.

If you do receive a message from a friend, asking for money, contact that person through another method, such as by phone. Try asking your “friend” a question that only your real friend could possibly know.

Besides not trusting anyone on the Internet, a second golden rule is to never send money to an unfamiliar recipient. Even if you recognize the bank’s name, don’t follow the instructions given to you in an e-mail message, but contact the bank by phone or in person. Circumventing the con artist’s communication channel can identify a scam by asking a bank official to verify the information you received.

Con artists are never going to go away. With the Internet, con artists have just expanded their reach.

For further protection, keep yourself educated about the variety of online scams out there by visiting OnGuard Online.

To really protect yourself, never give money to anyone. That will protect you from con artists along with isolating you from most of your relatives, who can often be the biggest scam artists of them all.

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In the early days, before Wally became an Internationally renowned comedian, computer book writer, and generally cool guy, Wally Wang used to hang around The Byte Buyer dangling participles with Jack Dunning (
http://www.computoredge.com/) and go to the gym to pump iron with Dan Gookin.

Wally is responsible for Microsoft Office 2007 for Dummies, Breaking Into Acting for Dummies, Beginning Programming All-in-One Reference for Dummies, and Mac All-in-One Reference for Dummies from http://www.dummies.com, as well as, Steal This Computer Book 4.0, Visual Basic Express 2005: Now Playing, and My New Mac from http://www.nostarch.com. He is also the co-author of Strategic Entrepreneurism from http://www.selectbooks.com.


Bloggers Beware | Spam of the Week, by ComputorEdge Staff

The latest in annoying and dangerous e-mail currently making the rounds. This week has seen an attack on bloggers, with hackers looking for new victims. Bloggers beware; they are phishing for your account information.

Check the Spam of the Week: Bloggers Beware! by ComputorEdge Staff

Doing Your Taxes for Free | Tax Exemptions

Is that time of the year again. And remember, if you have a home based business Uncle Sam wants to help you, your tax exemptions can make for a hefty return, which can greatly help your business. This site will help.   www.HomeBusinessTaxSavings.com The tax tips newsletter is free.

And I found this article by Jack Dunning on computoredge, which helps you find free ways to do your taxes.

Excerpt :

“If your taxes are relatively simple, there is no reason why you should pay to calculate your federal taxes. The tax-preparation software companies understand this. The money is not in the federal returns. There is too much competition offering free tax preparation to make much money off the easiest of federal returns. It’s the complicated federal returns, plus state return preparation and state tax eFilings that are the target for increased company earnings.”

Read More: Doing Your Taxes for Free

Buying Computers | What We Should Know

I am in the market for a new computer (Notebook or Netbook) and the last issue of computoredge is hot. I will give you the link here for a few specific educational articles; there are more.

Picking Computer Hardware by Pete Choppin
How much computing power do you need?
Whatever your specific task, the computer you buy should be suited for that task, requiring an understanding of the basic hardware components and what functions they perform.

Picking Operating Systems by Pete Choppin
Making a decision on your computer’s basic configuration.
Your choice of operating system determines to a great extent the applications you can run. What are the pros and cons of today’s common operating systems?

Marketing Mythologies about Macs and PCs by Barry Fass-Holmes
Cupertino and Redmond have it all wrong.
Cupertino’s and Redmond’s competing advertisements are simply wrong because the dualistic view of computers (and their users) is wrong. Rather, Macs are PCs.

EdgeWord: How Much Computer Memory? by Jack Dunning
A Minimum-Memory Recommendation
You don’t know what you will be doing with your computer in the future, so you should always get the optimal amount of memory for almost any possible use.
Plus, an original Jim Whiting Cartoon

And a dangerous email spam to be aware of:

Spam of the Week: Your Photo Is on the Web by ComputorEdge Staff
The latest in annoying and dangerous e-mail currently making the rounds.
When someone tells you there is a picture of you posted on the Web, who doesn’t want to look? Of course, when it comes from a stranger, we should be suspicious.

For all these and more follow the link below:

http://webserver.computoredge.com/online.mvc?article=toc&issue=2748&zone=SD&src=1

Or do a search at www.computoredge.com

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