Wednesday, June 20, 2012
The overall purpose of social media is to share information openly with people within the online community. Unfortunately, being too open can leave you vulnerable to phishing scams and ruthless hackers. It is imperative that users are aware of the threats and how to prevent them. The following are a couple of tips for Twitter users.
Keep Your Info Private With Do Not Track (DNT)
For the past few months, Twitter users have been requesting not to have their tweets tracked. They have finally received their request. Recently, Twitter announced that users can now sign up for a Do Not Track option. This gives users the option to have their data hidden from the mainstream. This means their private information will not be recorded and shared with third parties.
When a user signs up for Do Not Track it sends a message out to web services that the recipient does not want certain details about their webpage visits collected. Twitter users will be able to keep tabs on their Do Not Track settings in recent versions of Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox.
You can help prevent getting your Twitter account hacked by selecting a strong password. Make sure you choose at least eight characters that include symbols and numbers. It may also help to update your password regularly (ex. every two - three months).
Reject Suspicious Third-Party Twitter Apps
All you have to do is log into your account and go to Connections and select Account Settings and choose Revoke Access. This will block suspicious applications.
Be Careful - People Are Watching
Do you remember the old adage "think before you speak"? In the social media world, you must think before you post an update. Posting private information that you don't want the whole world to know about should be avoided. Just because you know each one of your followers personally doesn't guarantee your private details about your next meeting will be secure. Confidentiality goes out the window in the social media arena. Maker sure you think before you tweet personal information about yourself.
Lastly, always make sure that www.twitter.com is in the address bar when you log into your account. Sometimes viruses and malware will be disguised as a regular link. You should hover over a link before clicking on it to make sure that the link is actually what it says it is. Avoid clicking onto links that appear suspicious.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
iPhone news is constantly evolving; it can be hard to keep up with these days. The following includes the latest news about the iPhone.
iPhone Users Get New Browser Experience Thanks To Yahoo
Yahoo recently launched Axis in Apple's app store. Axis is a new web tool that changes a browser so that search results are displayed in a clear and concise format. Axis will work on iPhone as well as other wireless devices. The search results will be displayed in thumbnails that can be easily scrolled on top of a web page. The new browser is an effort to streamline a user's browser experience and make it easier for them to find information without clicking from page to page.
Will The New iPhone Have A 3.95 Inch Screen?
It has been predicted that Apple is evaluating a variety of screen sizes for the next iPhone. The iPhone might have a 3.95 inch wide screen with a 640 x 1136 pixel resolution, according to reliable sources. It will more than likely have the same screen width as the iPhone 4/4S (1.94 inches) and 3.95 inches tall. Apple is currently working on an iOS 6 build that will add a fifth row of icons located on the home screen. Some people feel that the taller iPhone will not have much of an impact on the iPhone community.
Should Business Owners Buy The iPhone 4S?
There are so many phones out there that it can be confusing to know which is best. The iPhone 4S has a few good features you may want to consider. For example, it has a lot of memory (up to 64 GB). It has a more powerful and faster camera and it also has voice commands. Plus it has synchronization between Apple devices with iCloud and wireless backup. It may be worth it to give the iPhone 4S a try.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Have you ever Googled yourself?
I believe the majority of readers will nod knowingly, but if you haven’t done it before, you should try it. You will probably find a few unrelated search results and then depending on how common your name is you should start finding results related to you. For instance when I Google “Anna Bryson” the first few results are for a politician that I happen to share a name with, but as I scroll down I find my out-of-date blog from college and a post from a Google social network about building snowmen. That is just from the first page. I click on to the Images and I immediately spot my photo from my LinkedIn profile.Don’t see yourself yet?
Get more specific. Try adding your middle initial or your hometown. The hometown does the trick for me and the entire first page is covered with my personal social media profiles, news articles that I have been quoted in, and even several articles from music competitions dating all the way back to high school. I am relieved to find that from this basic search other than a very badly formatted blog, nothing too embarrassing shows up. That said my online presence should be better and more up to date. – More on that later.Why does a search like this matter?
I spend nearly half of my time at work optimizing clients for the web. Now this usually entails an entire company rather than an individual, but I feel compelled to emphasize how important it is not to neglect your own personal name. You are your own brand.
(Shout out to my Public Relations background
) No matter what your profession is it is essential to protect your own personal brand. Who is Googling you?
Anyone, everyone, and you mother. You had better believe that someone has searched for you online. Your boss is searching, your colleagues, your potential clients, and the random person you meet at the coffee shop. People are curious and it is easier than ever to get answers. It is your
responsibility to make sure that the answers people get reflect you in a positive light.
Steps to take to build a positive personal brand online
- Take control! Building a positive brand online is much easier than cleaning up a negative one.
- Build your online brand by defining yourself! Ask yourself some basic questions.
When creating your social profiles put your name in your URL and handleKeep your existing profiles up to date and remove profiles that you no longer use.Become the authority on you and your brand. Imagine what you want people to find online when they search for you and then put it online. Create a blog and write about your field of expertise. Check privacy settings on all of your social networking profiles. Be sure to read the fine print and hide, or better yet, don’t post things you don’t want to be publicly seen. REMEMBER: The things you share online are like a tattoo, they are permanent and painfully difficult to remove.Be mindful of what you post on other peoples profiles and websites. Do you have a major problem with your cable company? Think twice before blasting them online because once you post it those words will forever be associated with you. Most importantly, nurture your online presence! Feed it with healthy information, keep the junk out and be sure to have fun!
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- How do you want others to see you?
There is a lot to cover on this subject, so if your question wasn’t answered PLEASE
post it in our comments section and we will be sure to address it.
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Facebook's IPO news has many people wondering what the $100 billion company has in store for users in the near future. Facebook has been very hush-hush about their future plans. Will the company unveil a new Smartphone or launch an entirely different product? It remains to be seen.
According to FoxNews.com, Facebook is not in business to sell products or services. Facebook basically wants to own the entire network. They want to be the one who “validates a user's true identity”. They want everything a person does online to be done through Facebook Connect. Launching the next innovative digital product is highly unlikely.
Some experts are speculating whether Facebook will invent new ways of marketing content and promoting advertisements. There has been a growing trend of companies paying a substantial amount of money to advertise at major events like the Golden Globe Awards and even Football games. At these major events, some companies will advertise their Facebook page rather than send people to an actual website. Many small businesses are starting to advertise their Facebook page instead of their website.
It has been predicted that Facebook may become a 'back-end business' that doesn't have any other products. Whether you log into Facebook or you log in somewhere else, you'll still be signed in Facebook. You won't have to visit Facebook because you'll already be logged in whenever you visit a website that's connected to the company's OpenGraph system. Their OpenGraph system is basically a strategy that goes along with your Timeline. The idea is to send everything you do online to Facebook.
Whether Facebook decides to launch a new product or not, their ultimate goal is to become the be-all and end-all of the web.
There’s no point in lugging along a laptop on your vacation just so you can archive or organize your digital pictures. A laptop not only adds weight and heft, but is also vulnerable to theft and damage. Luckily, you have other options. Our recommendations will help ensure that all your photos come home safely with you.
Prices of memory cards have dropped so much recently that it’s feasible to buy as many cards as you need. Since last year, for instance, the price of a 8GB SD Flash Memory card has fallen from well over $15 to $5.
So how many cards do you need? If you anticipate shooting 700 photographs with a 10-megapixel camera, you’ll need more than 2GB of storage. For flexibility, that would mean bringing at least two 2GB cards. For reference, I have a 14.1 MP camera and I always take a 16GB card with me, and a 4GB card in my camera bag for back up.
You’ll want even more storage space if you plan to shoot video with your digital camera too. Every minute of footage can fill 100MB or more of storage. To save space, you may want to edit video on the camera to remove the less interesting parts. This kind of feature is available on newer Canon, Olympus, and other cameras.
There’s a downside to relying solely on media cards for storage: if a problem develops with your card, you could lose all your photos. Flash-memory cards are susceptible to accidental erasure and even corruption. They’re also small, and therefore easy to misplace. That’s why it’s a good idea to back up images.
One option is a dedicated photo storage device. These devices include memory-card slots for transferring and storing photos.
Between the large number of Internet cafés and the increasing number of hotels that offer free wi-fi, transferring pictures to a photo- and video-hosting service has become a realistic option. These services offer several advantages. First, because you’re storing photos on a server in another location, you can’t lose them. Also, friends and family can view your pictures while you’re still enjoying your adventure.
Choosing a service comes down to whether you want to store and share images at their highest quality. Most services impose data-transfer or -storage limits; some even downsample images after you upload them. We like Yahoo’s Flickr best. They have a free version, but for $25 a year, you get unlimited uploads and storage, and Flickr won’t downsample them. You can even upload your HD videos!
If you’re looking for straight-up file storage and you don’t care whether others can see your photos, try a network storage service such as Dropbox.com. With dropbox, the first 2 GB are free, and you can get 500MB free per referral up to 18GB. For excessive photographers/hoarders, they offer packages starting at $9.99/month for 50GB. If you plan on using an online service, we recommend packing a USB 2.0 memory-card reader if your computer doesn't have one built-in.
When using public computers, take precautions against possible keystroke-logging software or other spyware. Before you leave for your trip, change the passwords for those accounts to something you don’t use on any other accounts. Also, when logging out of an online photo service, empty the browser’s cache and then quit the browser program.
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
The sun is shining and the water is calling your name. It's time to put a dent in your vacation time, but you don't have to put a dent in your wallet! Check out these 7 great sites for Vacation deals.1. CheapCaribbean.com
is one of those websites where you ask yourself, "is this deal too good to be true?" I assure you, the answer is no. CheapCarribean.com offers package deals to anywhere in, you guessed it, the Caribbean! Many of them are All-Inclusive, and It doesn't matter if you're planning a trip for 6 months out, or 3 days out! In fact, some of the best deals are saved for the procrastinators. 2. Kayak.com
scours hundreds of online sources for the cheapest fares available. The more flexible you are on time and destination, the better your chances of finding a great deal. Search for dates up to three days before and after your ideal travel dates, or use the Buzz tool to search for flights that leave within a calendar month, in the six upcoming weekends or just anytime. If you’re flexible on destination, Buzz lets you search a region, such as the Caribbean, Europe or Asia. And with the site’s Explore tool, you can scan a world map for all the destinations you can reach within a specified price range. 3. Hotels.com
lets you search just one site for accommodations at more than 130,000 properties. You can find particularly good last-minute deals, which are updated every Thursday. But even advance-travel planners can score big bargains with the site’s seasonal sales, destination-specific deals and "Smart Picks of the Month." Frequent travelers will appreciate the simplicity of the site's "welcome rewards" program -- for every ten nights you spend at any combination of the program's 53,000 member properties, you’ll earn a free night's stay worth up to the average daily rate of your ten nights.4. Priceline.com
offers you its Shatner-faced Negotiator to help you haggle for the best bargains on hotels. Select a minimum star class, your dates of stay and preferred neighborhood, and then name your price. You can save up to 60% off published rates, and bids of less than $100 a night on luxury lodgings often win -- particularly for last-minute bookings. But here's the catch: Priceline doesn't tell you the exact hotel you're booking until after you pay, so you won't be sure exactly where you'll end up. Blind booking like this can be particularly risky when you’re visiting an unfamiliar area, especially overseas. Note: The site also offers its Name Your Own Price feature for flights and car rentals.5. TripAdvisor.com
is the most popular hotel-review site, offering more than 45 million professional and amateur reviews of hotels in the U.S. and overseas. But watch out for possibly fake reviews from cronies trying to push up their own hotel’s ratings or flame their competitors (the site flags some such postings as suspicious). Ignore reviews on either extreme and focus on those with midrange ratings -- they're more likely to be the most helpful. TripAdvisor doesn’t sell rooms or offer any actual deals, but it links you to partner sites, such as Expedia, Travelocity and Hotels.com. Click on the "check rates" button and select the site or sites you'd like to try -- a new window with results will open for each partner. I've found this site is also very useful when looking for places to eat or for entertainment when in an unfamiliar city. 6. BedandBreakfast.com
To find a smaller inn or B&B, try searching BedandBreakfast.com. It gives details on even the tiniest inns and points to “hot deals” in your desired location. You can also search for specific amenities, such as a hot tub, a fireplace or whether a place is pet-friendly.7. HomeExchange.com
For a FREE
place to stay, trade places with other travelers using a house-swapping program. HomeExchange.com provides the largest network of home swappers, with more than 39,000 listings -- 30% in the U.S. and most of the rest spread throughout the major tourist areas of Australia, Britain, Canada, France and Italy. An annual membership costs $119 and gets you as many swaps as you can manage in a year.