Your Facebook Status Can Come Back to Bite You.

Your Facebook Status Can Come Back to Bite You.

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, your blog… these and countless other websites and social networking hubs share one thing in common, and that is each one of them lets it’s users write and promote their current status. That status is usually something relatively innocuous: What a person is having for lunch, what they did the night before, or maybe even some LOLcat links.

These kind of status updates aren’t a problem, but as we become more used to posting the details of our daily lives there’s an inherent danger in over-exposing ourselves, our family, or our jobs to the public. From something as simple TMI to talkin’ trash, there are many degrees of “you shouldn’t post that online”. Here are a few standouts:

  • Zip your lip about work.

    Nothing online gets you fired faster or in hot water easier than leaking sensitive company information, trash talkin’ about your boss, or revealing co-worker secrets. Leave work stuff at work, and keep personal stuff personal.

  • Keep kids out of sight!

    Keep any info about your kids as much out of the public view as possible. Don’t use Foursquare from their school (do you really want the mayorship of a school, anyhow?!), don’t use their last names in blog posts, and make sure that pictures of them don’t have identifiable info in the background like street addresses and things of that nature.

  • Travel first, tweet later.

    Going on a vacation? Great! Just be sure to blog, tweet, or leave a comment online about it after the fact. Online criminals are looking for empty houses from the comfort of their homes instead of casing neighborhoods, so don’t blog yourself into an empty house. Do a post-trip post if you must, so that you’re not dangling fresh bait in front of the bad guys.

  • Who’s looking at your stuff?

    You constantly hear about how some online service is having troubles with their privacy settings, or is changing how things work. Make it a point to re-check your viewing permissions and be sure to set them so that only people who you want to see your profile can see you.

Bottom line? Be careful what you post. What your write as your Facebook (Twitter, blog, etc.) status can come back to bite you in a big way.

If you're looking for great anti-virus software that won't break the bank, try StopSign. You don't pay extra for tech support for difficult malware, and our web protection software just works. Download & install StopSign to find out why our members choose us over the other options.

There’s No Free Lunch Online.

There’s No Free Lunch Online.

I want to talk about “free“. I don’t know about you, but I love free things. Free samples at Costco, kids eat free specials at restaurants… free is great when you can get it. But it’s not really free, is it? I mean, they want you to buy… they wouldn’t be in business if you didn’t. The free is just to get you in the door; but before you leave they want that “free” to turn into “pay”.

A very famous (and very popular) pop artist has a song that goes:

“We are living in a material world, and I am a material girl.”
Madonna

She is not wrong about where we’re living.

Like it or not, companies exist to make money. That’s not a popular thing to say out loud, but the fact is we all need to make money to survive. Your company needs to make money just as much as mine does, and when they do make it, we get our checks, pay our bills, and send our kids to school.

We see “free” a lot with services and products in the online world, don’t we? Free software, free upgrades, free this or that. But if you look closely, many times you see a free version advertised, only to click on the link to find out (surprise, surprise) that they push the paid versions. StopSign doesn’t do that. We offer a paid service, and a darned good one at that.

In our industry, that of Internet security, we have a lot of competitors. So what sets a company like ours apart if there are plenty of other choices? Why should you choose StopSign over someone else? Because StopSign offers you three things:

  1. Commitment to quality: First and foremost, we have quality software. We stand behind every download and every account that our members have. We’re nothing without you and we know it, so we try harder. We’re a small business, and we don’t have a bajillion dollars behind us to flood the market with empty promises.
  2. Excellent customer service :We’ve got 100% US-based support. Not outsourcing our support means that as a StopSign member you’ll get helped by people who live right here in the United States. We’re committed to keeping as many jobs in the US as possible.
  3. Up front pricing: We don’t ply you with “free” and pretend you aren’t going to pay for our services. Sure, you could get a free 30-day trial of StopSign to test out the waters, but we’re not going to lie and say it’s 100% free. We want you to try StopSign out, see how great we are, and become a paid StopSign member. And because we’re not trying to fleece you with “free”, we don’t have to charge exorbitant support fees if you run into a major problem. Once you pay for your StopSign membership, that’s it until your next bill. You do not pay extra for support! Few antivirus software vendors can say the same thing.

Chances are your mom told you the same thing my mom did: “You get what you pay for.” If you paid nothing for software, what do you think you’ll get when you need help? At StopSign, our reasonably priced subscriptions ensure you get quality, US-based support that won’t quit on you or ask for more money to help you out when you need it. We hope that you’ll choose StopSign for your antivirus and Internet security needs.

If you're looking for great anti-virus software that won't break the bank, try StopSign. You don't pay extra for tech support for difficult malware, and our web protection software just works. Download & install StopSign to find out why our members choose us over the other options.

Internet Safety Tips from Someone Else.

Internet Safety Tips from Someone Else.

I was having a lovely morning on the StopSign Twitter account yesterday, checking out tweets, when I ran across the link to a great blog post over at MamaKatsLosinIt.com about Internet safety and how a simple email really shook up the site owner, Kathy, and made her reevaluate how much information she shares online.

I won’t ruin any surprises for you by giving you specifics (you really should read her blog post), but suffice to say that even the best of us slip up and let personally identifiable information slip out of our hands and onto the Web. They key, however, is not to live in a world of fear and never post again. In fact, in the post she says “I refuse to live in fear of what could happen.”, which is a great attitude to have. Instead, Kathy’s post reminds us to be ever-vigilant about keeping things like our full names, home addresses, and other places would-be bad guys may be interested in off the web. Make it hard for them to track you down.

At the end of the post, Kathy said she was going to use the weekend to look for anything with her last name, her address (even in pictures, as we’ve mentioned in our blog post “Staying Safe Online (and Offline)”), and anything else that might identify her or her family. I really loved this idea, and I went home and did the same thing myself that night. I suggest you take Kathy’s suggestion and do the same.

Image used with permission by mamakatslosinit.com

If you're looking for great anti-virus software that won't break the bank, try StopSign. You don't pay extra for tech support for difficult malware, and our web protection software just works. Download & install StopSign to find out why our members choose us over the other options.

3 Back to School Internet Safety Tips.

3 Back to School Internet Safety Tips.

With the new school year starting up it’s time for a refresher on keeping your kids safe online. Below you’ll find three simple Internet safety tips to make sure that little Johnny or little Janie can browse for school-related info without you worrying about inappropriate content, malicious software being installed accidentally, and cyber-pervs.

  1. Set Ground Rules:

    Sit down with your kids and make sure they know what’s appropriate to look at on the Internet and what isn’t. Also make sure they know to come directly to you if they see something they shouldn’t. Emphasize that they won’t get in trouble if they stumble upon something by accident and you’ll likely get a better response out of them if they do happen upon the more unsavory side of the web.

  2. Keep Limits:

    A set time to go online for school, or for fun, can make a world of difference. With time limits and expected consequences for too much overtime, you and your kids will all know exactly what to expect. And when. You’ll also have some ammunition against any complaining that they need 15 more minutes on Facebook when you remind them that you both agreed on time limits.

  3. Monitor Activity:

    Even the best, most responsible kids in the world forget to tell you things, or skip a rule every now and again. Make sure to check in on your kids and make sure the ground rules you set from above stay fresh in their minds. I like to check in on my kids when they’re actually surfing so we can talk about what they’re looking at when it’s fresh in their heads.

While not all-inclusive (can Internet safety ever be?), these 3 simple back to school Internet safety tips can go a long way to keeping your kids safe online.

If you're looking for great anti-virus software that won't break the bank, try StopSign. You don't pay extra for tech support for difficult malware, and our web protection software just works. Download & install StopSign to find out why our members choose us over the other options.

Do You Let Websites “Remember” You?

Do You Let Websites “Remember” You?

Allowing your computer or a website to remember you (or info about you, like your username) is a double-edged sword. On one hand there’s the convenience of not having to type things in over and over, and on the other there are security concerns that can leave your computer or your online accounts vulnerable. Knowing what you’re committing when you let something remember you is very important, and is something you should consider before checking the box to OK.

There are several common places where something will let you remember you or your information. Each one has its own set of ups and downs with regards to keeping your info in its memory:

  • Public Computers:

    If you’re using a public computer, at the library for example, you should never allow passwords to be stored. If you do, it’s kind of like inviting anyone to view your accounts. You wouldn’t give a stranger the key to your house; don’t give them a key to your online accounts.

  • Private Computers:

    To keep friends and family from accidentally mucking up your settings, consider using separate user profiles may help alleviate this problem. Then you’ll just have to remember to log out of your profile when you’re done.

  • Websites:

    Having a website remember you and/or your password should only be done on private computers, and even then you might consider only doing it if you have a separate profile as mentioned above. Sure, you’re not going to have strangers rummaging through your PC (and if you do, you’ve got bigger problems), but a friend or family member could accidentally erase an email, click on a buy button, or lose a setting. S

  • Gadgets:

    I’ve got a new iPhone (no iPhone hater commentary, please), and I used it without protecting it with a pass code for the first month. Then a friend asked to check it out and asked why I didn’t use a pass code. I was a bit taken aback because I hadn’t considered it. Then he pointed out that if I lose my iPhone, all of my emails, etc. are wide open for whomever finds it. Good point! Why it didn’t occur to me I don’t know, but I’m using a pass code now and you should do the same on any gadget or gizmo that lets you protect it that way.

If you have the ability to use a username and password (or pass code), do so. But think about having the PC, site, or gadget remember those settings before you press the OK button. Having your info stored is a balancing act between safety and convenience, and you’re going to have to make that call for yourself based on what it is and who has access to it.

If you're looking for great anti-virus software that won't break the bank, try StopSign. You don't pay extra for tech support for difficult malware, and our web protection software just works. Download & install StopSign to find out why our members choose us over the other options.