Is the Web such a wonderful thing? Tracking, cookies and internet security. Your email address. Downloading music, MP3s, etc

The Internet

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Introduction to the Web - web facts
Is the Web such a wonderful thing? Microsoft Tech Support
It is very good for many things, like finding information, work, buying things, etc., but, nowadays, one should be aware of the downside.
After starting well, it has attracted the unwelcome attentions of the Scum of the Universe, and is now generously giving us spam, hackers, viruses, etc.

The Web is very popular because it gives a very large number of people more ways of acquiring money.
Usually your money
And, unfortunately, there appears to be no limit to the ways and means the less scrupulous will use to that end.
There are, however, plenty of relatively honest and genuine traders on the Internet.

Internet Marketing describes the techniques used for selling on the web.

Genuine and honest High St. retailers are not scared of showing prices up front.
We all know that, where the prices are not clearly shown, the item is probably overpriced or crap.
Internet Marketers however, will definitely not show the price up front.
They will ask for your email address before giving full and accurate details, (if any), of the product.
This is the first indication of Internet Marketing dishonesty. - Whether you buy or not, they have got your email address for their spam database.

If you used Internet Marketing techniques on the High Street, you would probably end up in prison.

Microsoft Tech Support
Your most valuable asset is your email address
Guard it well or suffocate under a deluge of spam. Once on a spam database, your email address is traded and/or sold on, and you receive ever increasing amounts of spam.
Executable files

Some spam does contain links that will execute programs, on your computer, if you click on that link.
These programs, or viruses, will do nasty things to your computer.

Watch out for URLs or links with a .exe in or at the end.
(.exe signifies that it is an executable program)
Most modern email programs will recognise and block .exe's anyway.
And that is why these cretins send you an innocent looking web site URL, in an email.
There is no .exe in the URL, but when you click on it, you go to the web site, the .exe is triggered, and you have a virus problem!

One trick, used by many dubious web sites, is to write a small program, to your computer, when you are visiting that web site.
Later it will generate a popup saying that you have a virus; you click on the remove button, and are taken to a web site demanding money to remove the fake virus.
Always use well known and reputable anti-virus programs.

Be aware that you can set up and use secondary email addresses, where you give out these rather than your own email address.
Periodically, or when you start getting large volumes of spam, you can delete the secondary address and set up a new one.
Tracking and Cookies
Be aware that your travels on the web are usually tracked.
Generally this is non-offensive traffic analysis.
Cookies are tiny text files that a web site may write to your computer.
The idea is, or was, that the next time you visit that web site, the site can display things that it knows you are looking for. At least that was the original intention and is still the main use of Cookies today, that is, to make life easier for the Surfer.
Where Cookies do more that the above, however, and which you are not aware of, and may not want, then they become SpyWare.
PC protection when using the Web.
There are three main areas to cover:

1. Firewall: Blocks external access to your computer.
To stop hacking, or malicious writing, via the Internet, to one's computer.
Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) has a software firewall that's built in and turned on for you.
Norton, AVG, and others sell more comprehensive Firewall software.

2. Virus protection: And to remove these malicious little programs that may propagate into, and from, your computer.
AVG provide a good free virus protection.

3. Spy Ware Remover: To remove unwanted Cookies, Spy Ware, etc..
Generally very cheap.
Best to use two or three as one might miss what another might find, etc.
NB: This is very general. Some programs may cover more than one area. .
Downloading music, MP3s, etc.
Downloading itself, is not illegal.
What you may download, however, may be subject to copyright.
And a matter for your own conscience.
But please be aware of copyright laws.

Guidance on staying legal is available via the MP3 sites below.
The is plenty of copyright free material to download.
There are also options to purchase copyrighted material, (very cheap).

Copyright contention
There are a lot of poor people in our world.
Some poorer countries may simply not recognise copyright laws dictated to them by richer countries.
Some may disagree with the length of copyright, particularly where the artist has earned considerable amounts of money initially.

The normal method for getting into music downloading, is to join a download club.
Actually, what you are doing is buying an introduction to downloading MP3s, movies, etc.
The software supplied allows you to specify and search for what you want.
And there really is a lot of stuff out there.

Once you are started, it is easy.
After a while, you will wonder why you ever needed any help.
For the newcomer, however, the small fee may be well worth it.

Nero is probably one of the best programs for making up music CDs, etc.
It sometimes comes as a freebie with scanner purchases or similar.
It may appear a bit complicated at first, at least to the newcomer.

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