Youíve heard how some people make money on the Internet so you have bought yourself a computer got an Internet connection and are raring to join in and make your fortune. Unless you are an out and out gambler with loads of cash, forget it. You can make some money but in spite of what some sites declare and some punters claim you will not get rich. Well not overnight anyway unless you are extremely lucky and most of us are not.
My apologies if the reader already knows some or all of what follows. I do not know what you know. Iím just trying to make sure that the out and out newcomer does.
You have taken the first step by joining this forum so read, read and read. OK! So itís going to get boring doing a lot of reading and you end up with information overload and forgetting where you read it, so try this lot instead.
Before you even dip a toe in the shark infested Internet waters you MUST
make your computer secure and be security conscious. There is little point earning money on the Internet and then having it stolen from your E-Gold account because your computer is infected with something that reads your logging in details.
It all starts with your email address. Try to avoid using webmail like Hotmail. They are not as secure as people think. Your ISP email facility is more secure.
Most if not all ISPís will give you an email address when you register with them and most will allow you to have up to five different addresses. The chances are that when you signed up to an ISP and opted for a user name you will have used your real name and your ISP email address will be something like firstname.lastname@example.org
This leaves you wide open to SPAM. All someone has to do is send a series of SPAM emails to a email@example.com
and sooner or later your name will be included. When you consider that up to 95% of all email traffic is SPAM you will start to get SPAM and lots of it. It will be too late to do anything about that now but you have four more email addresses that you can use. So for your user name use a selection of lower case random characters and chuck in the odd number like - fn7slwp
Use one email address for on-line payment processors, your bank etc and a different one to register with various programmes and a different one again for general use of friends etc. You can set up your email client (Outlook Express) to filter the various emails into their own folders as they arrive.
A very useful tool is Mailwasher free from http://www.mailwasher.net/
although there is a Pro version for $37. Updates are free and for life. Mailwasher will allow you to view your emails without actually downloading them to your computer. You can teach it to reject SPAM and undesirable emails and delete them leaving only what you want to receive to download to your computer. Rumours still persist that an email can infect your computer simply by being downloaded to it. I have never met one but I would rather be safe than sorry so I use MailWasher.
Ė Most people, especially newcomers to the Internet will use a real word, often the name of a child, street, hobby or dog or thinking they are being clever, use a birth date backwards. Real words can be found fairly easily so DONíT USE THEM
. Instead use a series of random characters compromising of upper and lower case alphabet and numbers. Preferably no less than 12! Although some sites will only allow a password of 9 characters.
On some web sites you have to select a Ďsecurity questioní and an answer to it. The questions are usually Motherís maiden name, favourite colour/car/pet/house. Well you get the idea. Most people will answer truthfully but you do not need to. Use random characters instead. Real words can be found. It takes forever and a day to find a series of random characters.
But how can I remember loads of passwords made up of random characters I hear you ask? You canít but you can make yourself a document listing all your passwords and who they are for and copy and paste from it when logging in anywhere. There is a tiny glitch in this strategy in that there are web sites and Trojans that can read your Windows clipboard and send the data to their head office. Have a look at http://www.sourcecodesworld.com/special/clipboard.asp
for proof. Copy something to your Windows clipboard first.
You need to do the following to prevent someone from reading your clipboard.
Open Internet Explorer
Go to Menu Tools>Internet Options>Security>Select a security zone (Internet)>Custom Level>Scripting>Allow paste operations via script Ė set this to prompt.
If something tries to read your clipboard it will be blocked and you will receive a prompt asking you whether to allow it or not.
As well as keeping a document with my passwords on I also use RoboForm Pro with a free version available from http://www.roboform.com/
The free version will only hold 10 passwords but 10 is better than none. The Pro version, with more features, costs about $40, has unlimited storage capacity and has free updates for life.
Now all that is pointless if your computer is not secure. You will need a firewall and I use ZoneAlarmPro although the free version is adequate and available from http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/home.jsp
The Pro version has many extra features like searching for and getting rid of various nasties and preventing you even accessing a site that is infected with something nasty. The Windows XP firewall is pretty basic so donít rely on that.
You need a selection of anti this that and the other software. Not every anti nasty finds all the nasties but between them these find everything that is known. Of course there is always the new one and there is no defence against that until an anti-nasty programme finds out about it, develops a defence and passes it on in the form of an update.
I use AVG Pro anti virus but there is a free version from http://www.grisoft.com/doc/1
and that does the job OK.
I use AdAware that is available free for personal use from http://www.lavasoftusa.com/
with free updates for life.
System Mechanic is not essential but it does keep your computer in tip top condition and also gets rid of some nasties that the others donít find. Available from http://www.iolo.com/
but it costs about $50. You can get a free system check-up that can take anything up to a couple of hours, depending on your Internet connection speed.
Those are the ones that I use but there are many other makes that are probably just as good, maybe better or maybe worse. It is all about personal choice.
Even with all those defences in place you still need to be vigilant because the crooks out there are forever coming up with new ways to steal your money. As Fox Mulder used to say in the X-Files, ďTrust no one.Ē
Once you have your computer as secure as can be you will need an E-Gold account free from https://www.e-gold.com
Be warned though that there is something going around that hijacks your bookmarked E-Gold URL and as far as I know no one has tracked it down yet. So if you log into E-Gold and you get taken straight to your Balance Page instead of the page that displays your Sentinel Settings you will find that your Sentinel Settings have been disabled. Re-set them to what they were and you will be OK. I donít bookmark E-Gold anymore, working on the principle if the URL is not bookmarked it cannot be hijacked. I just type in www.e-gold.com
and take it from there.
From time to time you will get emails that claim to come from E-Gold, PayPal, Ebay, various banks etc telling you that there is something wrong with your account and you must click the link in the email to make the correction. If you donít your account will be suspended or closed or something.
The email is NOT
from where it claims to come from so DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK
. I donít care if it looks like the real thing Ė it isnít. Some forgeries are good, very, very good. Just delete the email and forget it. These are known as phishing emails and all that happens is that you give away your logging in details for E-Gold etc. Your first clue to a phishing email is that it is sent to your general purpose email address that is not registered with E-Gold. Even if it is sent to your email address that is registered with E-Gold it doesnít make it Kosher.
E-Gold, PayPal, banks etc will NEVER
send you an email asking you to log in from the link in the email. They just donít do it. If there is ever a problem with your account somewhere you will find out when you log in. There will be some sort of message waiting for you.
ALWAYS LOG IN TO A SITE USING THE BOOKMARKED URL THAT YOU HAVE USED SUCCESSFULLY BEFORE
or type it in yourself.
You are now ready to start to try and earn some money. See Part 2. http://goldentalk.com/t20851.html