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Staying Computer Safe while Searching for Freebies on the Net
Who doesn?t love the idea of getting something for nothing? Free stuff can bring a smile to anyone?s face, and the Internet is destination number one when you are looking for cash in on a few freebies. The downside of free stuff online is that if you aren?t careful, the free item could end up causing plenty of headaches and heartaches, not to mention a lot of cold, hard cash. If you want to score with free stuff online, make safety your number one priority by following these tips.
Speaking of that site that is handing out the free goods: just who are these people? If you were walking down the street and a shady looking person said they would give you a free DVD player if you followed them, chances are you would run the other way. Online, it is hard to tell the legitimate people from the people looking at you like a free lunch, but there are a few red flags you can look out for. Does the website look like it was thrown up in about 5 minutes, full of clip art and bad spelling? Is it hard to find information about where the website is registered, or where the business the website is supposedly promoting is registered? If the website purports to be affiliated with a certain brand you know, does it really look like it is, or does the logo look different/colors look off? If you can?t get a reasonable feel for who are dealing with online, don?t deal with them. Red flag number one? Asking for too much personal info should send you running.
Another way to protect yourself is to build a virtual fortress around your computer. The net is filled with people who know how to walk right into your virtual home ? your computer ? and flip through everything you have on there, taking whatever they want. Many of these kinds of hackers draw you in by creating phony freebie websites. The way to keep them out is to keep your computer on lockdown. Make sure your firewall is stronger than you think it needs to be, and make sure it is always updated. Also, make sure you have antivirus software on the patrol for you and that you keep this software updated as well.
Last but not least, keep those passwords in the vault, and make sure they are extra strong. No freebie website has any reason to ask you about the passwords for your accounts so don?t give them away ? and don?t give them to anyone else online for that matter. Also, if you?re using your birthday or child?s name as password, don?t. Sure, it isn?t as easy to remember, but your password should be a random word and contain a collection of numbers and symbols as well. This will give you the extra layer of protection to make sure your online house is in order when you cash in on the freebies.
Can Facebook or MySpace Help You Land a Job? The Internet is quickly becoming the vehicle of choice for people looking for a job and for employers looking for people to hire. There are many job sites on the Internet dedicated to matching up employees and employers, and most people turn to the Internet today when they are hunting for a job instead of turning to the classified ads in the local paper. Job hunting websites may all be well and good when you are looking for a job, but what about social networking sites. Everyone knows how popular sites like Facebook and MySpace are online, but can they help you get a job? If you are in the job market, can these sites be your foot in the door, or a one way ticket to the unemployment line? The answer is that there is no easy answer. To know if you can find a job using Facebook or MySpace, you have to know how employers feel about these sites, and employers have mixed feeling about them. Some companies are actively using social networking sites to track down employees that meet their company?s employee profile and have had great success finding workers via social networking sites. Other companies wouldn?t touch these sites as a hiring tool with a ten-foot poll ? in fact, many companies don?t even want you to access these websites from their company computers. The real answer to this question has more to do with exactly what kind of job you are looking for. Are you looking for an executive position at a company? Then stay off of the social networking sites, at least for job hunting (and maybe all together). No company is going to look for its top brass on a social networking site, and you will be wasting your time. However, if you are looking for entry level or hourly wage work, the social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook may be the answer for you. Many hourly wage employers in particular, like fast food restaurant chains and mall stores, use MySpace and Facebook to look for potential employees in their area. If a potential employer sees your profile and thinks you may be a good fit for their company, they will send you an email or an instant message and get the ball rolling. You should also, however, carefully consider the downsides of using social networking sites as a job tool ? and you should carefully consider how and if you use these sites at all if you are in the market for a new job. Most people wouldn?t want their parents to see their social networking site profile, let alone potential employers. If you have rude and off color material, political or religious material, and inappropriate photos of yourself on your profile, a potential employer will be turned off, and you might lose your chance at that job. Most people give up way too much of their privacy when they use these kinds of sites, and your social networking site profile may offer a window into a side of you an employer might not be overly impressed with. Further, you can open yourself up to danger by using these sites to job hunt. If someone approached you in the street and offered you a job, would you accept? Then why would you accept a face value an approach by someone on social networking site? If you do get approached for an interview, never meet anyone in a private place, and do your homework to make sure the facts check out before you go for the interview. One last reality check ? there are over 60 million users on MySpace alone. How will an employer find you in the crowd? MySpace and Facebook may help you in your job hunt, but don?t count on them as your sole avenue into the job market.
News is News All Over the World (writing newspaper articles) Writing newspaper articles is a fun and interesting line of work. Newspapers exist in big cities, small towns, within corporations and on college campuses. Newspapers are printed for special interest groups as well as for world and national news. There are free newspapers and papers that appear for sale on newsstands every day. With such a large variety of newspaper types printed, there are myriads of possible opportunities for writing newspaper articles. There are some basic rules to writing articles for any newspaper and there are also some specific aspects to know about each type. Writing Newspaper Articles In general, to write a newspaper article there are a few rules that apply across the board. First, the news has to be relevant. Because newspapers make up a genre of writing that is constantly refreshing itself, there is no room for common knowledge or historical pieces. The exception is if those kinds of writing serve to connect to a current issue or event. People who read newspapers want to know what?s happening now. For that reason, writing newspaper articles often involves relatively high pressure to get the latest news written each and every day. There are some low-pressure possibilities in writing newspaper articles though. The Infrequent Print Several newspapers are only printed weekly or even monthly. In small towns that must get their papers printed off-site, it is not feasible to create a paper each and every day. That means that there?s a week, every week, to get the news in and written. Another example of low pressure writing for newspapers is working for a free publication. Free newspapers are often geared to a special interest group. Since that group is not paying for its paper, they may only receive the interesting tidbits once a month. Writing for these kinds of newspapers becomes focused on creativity and niche writing because the current events will have already reached the audience through more frequent publications. The Daily News from Top to Bottom The most reliable and frequent publications are those of big, national newspapers. The staffs are very large and are able to print very clean copies of very full newspapers. By clean, that means without errors. Smaller papers are also printed daily, but they seem almost insignificant except to the people of the local community. They receive national news second hand and run very small staffs. Interestingly enough, none of these daily papers are really about the news. Of course that is where most of the effort lies and that is the reason that people buy the papers, but it is not the root of a newspaper. Writing newspaper articles is a job heavily dependent on the advertising industry. A newspaper will only be as large as there are ads to pay for it. Newspapers do not make their money at the newsstand. They pay the bills and the employees with money from advertisers. On Campus News Working for a university paper will not be representative in the area of newspaper advertising. While some businesses do pay for ads in university papers, the funding comes from the school. If for some reason there were no advertisers one day, the paper would still go out. University publications are much more focused on the development of the students than making a successful business. Most campus papers are free and are created by students. School is a great place to get started in writing newspaper articles. The environment is challenging, but nurturing at the same time. The deadlines and standards still exist, but the writer gets great encouragement and training through the work. After working for a college paper, it will be much easier to get a job with newspapers of the cities and towns. Writing newspaper articles can be a great job. There are so many opportunities to get into writing that it is hard to pass them up. Some jobs may be very difficult to get, but others will be steps towards increasing writing success.