Featuring marketing tips, tech news, digital wonders, some personal things and everything in between . . .

Protect Yourself and Your Computer

Thursday August 30, 2007

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Conscientious web users need to protect themselves from spam scams that can waste their time, steal personal information, and turn their computers into “zombies” spewing more spam throughout the Internet.

Spam methods change quickly and what was popular last month may be outdated next month. A popular one today is “greeting card spam” when someone you do not know sends you an e-greeting card. To read it you have to download a special program which could contain code would compromise your system. An insidious version of this spam scam is to use information on the web, such as at MySpace.com, to find your friends and use their name to send the card. Be very careful before downloading any program.

Stock market “pump and dump” schemes are also popular today. A spammer will buy a penny stock and then send millions of emails “pumping” the stock. If only a few people buy the stock then it will go up and the spammer will “dump” and take a profit. If you get unsolicited information that seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

To protect yourself you use up up to date anti-virus software that has the latest virus information. You should avoid clicking on links in emails but rather type in the complete URL since what you see in the email may not be where you end up. Keep your financial and other confidential information on a flash drive and only connect it when you need to access the information. Do not fall for schemes. Use common sense.

Reading Time: 9 minutes

As this eventful year 2001 winds down, Webconsuls wishes to thank you for your continued confidence in us. We expect that you have already seen beneficial results and anticipate that in the months to come your emphasis upon improving your firm’s web presence will continue.

In this edition of our newsletter we are going to discuss Link Popularity, Pay for Position engines, Virus Protection, and maintaining your domain name.

Link Popularity

We have written in the past about Link Popularity. We think this subject is so important to Search Engine Positioning, and may be somewhat misunderstood, that it bears frequent review.

Search engines are trying to list what they consider to be “important” sites. A key measure of “importance” is the number of other sites, especially sites with a similar theme, that link to the site in question.

You can find out how many sites the search engines “think” link to your site by using a tool available at “marketleap.com.” Go to this web page, type in your domain name, type in competitive web sites, select a category (optional) and start checking.

Here are some things you might try to improve your link popularity:

  • Concentrate on finding sites that are of a similar nature to yours and approach them about linking to you. Links from sites of the same theme as yours help to reinforce your theme and further help in boosting your search engine rankings. 
  • Download the “Google Page Rank Tool Bar” to determine which sites have a higher “reputation.” 
  • Create a link page listing all of the sites that you wish to link to you. By linking to the sites you are going to be contacting first, they will be more likely to link back to you when you contact them. 
  • One often overlooked trick is to find similar sites that use guest books and forums. If you can find these you will often be able to post a message and include your URL. 
  • Testimonials of products can also be a good way to get your URL out. Consider writing a testimonial of a product you’ve used. Include your name and URL at the bottom. Email the testimonial to the site owner. Site owner’s are ALWAYS looking for testimonials as it increases buyer confidence and most likely they will be happy to post your testimonial. 
  • Writing articles on your topic can also be a great way to get your URL out. Write an article and include your URL in the bio at the end of the article. 

Pay for Position Engines

Our reading and experience indicates that these types of engines are becoming increasingly important in overall search engine positioning. If you are not already using at least one in your web marketing portfolio, you are probably behind your competition. The good news is that you can catch up in a few days simply by getting registered.

Our preferences: Overture (formerly GoTo.com) followed by Findlink.com and then Sprinks.com. Each of these has partner agreements with major engines like AOL.com, Excite.com, About.com, Lycos.com and many more. You may have read that Yahoo is making changes, and one of them is to partner with Overture.

Contact Webconsuls to learn how easy these programs are to add to your Internet arsenal.

Virus Protection

Unfortunately several of our clients have been victimized by computer viruses. If your computer gets hit with a virus, you may face hours or days of work to get rid of the virus and restore your computer.

We recommend that your purchase, install and keep up to date one of the commercial virus protection programs. We do not recommend a particular program but suggest you check those sold by Norton http://www.norton.com, McAfee http://www.mcafee.com and Trend Micro Systems http://www.antivirus.com.

It is most important that you keep your virus protection program current as new viruses are detected frequently.

Your Domain Name

When your domain name was established someone, perhaps you, paid a fee to register that name for a period of time. They also registered a billing contact. When your domain name is about to expire, the billing contact is notified.

Perhaps the billing contact is an employee who has left your business or even yourself with a new address and E-Mail address. Then you might never get notified and your valuable domain name could expire.

You can check the information about your domain name by going to the Network Solutions web site http://www.netsol.com and clicking on the link to Who Is in the top black bar. At the Who Is page type in your domain name in the search box (our domain name is webconsuls.com). You should then see the information about domain name, including the contact information and when the record expires.

If you have any questions about the information, or how to change it, then please contact Network Solutions directly or search their web site for help. Changing this information can be time consuming and Webconsuls must charge its standard consulting fees if asked to help.

Hospitality Property Sales

Looking to sell or buy a country inn, a hotel, a B&B, a motel, cottages or a guesthouse? Know anyone in the market for these types of properties? Then by all means, check out our web site at http://www.helfand-enterprises.com.

Dick Fay Dennis Helfand Managing Partners, Webconsuls LLC