Saturday, June 16, 2007

Want To Find Out How Much Your Efforts Are Worth?

Hey - are you blogging away with no idea about how much your blog could be worth?

Here's a link so you can check - tentatively - on what your blog might be worth if someone were to want to put an advertisement on your blog.

How Much Is Your Blog Worth?

This is just a little tool from Dan Carlson's "Business Opportunities Weblog" page.

Now, remember - this little tool doesn't promise that you SHOULD BE or that you WILL make that much money from your blog right away....only YOU can do that, according to whatever types of marketing you're doing from your blog, your different types of content and topic matter. But this is a cool little tool to show you what kind of potential your blog really has!

How Much Is Your Blog Worth?

Friday, June 1, 2007

Rules For The Internet Highway

Over 65 BILLION dollars was recorded as spent by online consumers in 2004.

It just gets easier and easier to shop, bank, invest, and otherwise feed money through internet resources.

The chances of coming into contact with Internet Fraud are extremely high and these odds raise significantly every day.

Around $2579 was recorded as 'average loss' to fraud from online activities, according to The Internet Fraud Center Watch - just for the first half of 2005! That's HALF A YEAR - 6 months only! The total average loss for 2004 (the entire YEAR) was only $895.

General merchandise purchases complaints accounted for around 30% of Internet Fraud complaints. These would have been goods never received or misrepresented products or goods. The percentage of fraud through misrepresented or never-received goods via AUCTIONS, however, was much higher, at 44%!

Though a great number of e-commerce websites are, indeed, reputable and legitimate, and have taken great and necessary safety precautions in order to protect consumers, it surely never hurts to always proceed cautiously when dealing with ANY websites.

If you must conduct online business and make purchases through or over the internet, here are some tips:

* Avoid using an ATM or debit card.
* Use only one credit card, preferably with a low credit limit, when making online purchases.
* Be wary of unsolicited offers by sellers.

Consider this: The Internet National Fraud Information Center Watch reported that email, as a method of contact by Internet scammers was up 22% in 2004. While offers by email may be perfectly legitimate, spammers like to use email tactics to side-step reputable sites that provide consumer protection for online purchases.

* Read the website’s privacy policy. Some websites may reserve the right to sell/give your information to a third party. You may inadvertently give permission to a website who will sell your information to a third party - you allow this by clicking the 'continue' or 'agree' or 'submit' button, quite often.
* Check the document you're involved with to see if the website allows an opportunity to "opt-out" of receiving special offers from third-party vendors or for permission to share your personal information.
* Check for a lock symbol in the status bar at the bottom of your Web browser window. Also - DO NOT provide your personal information if the website address doesn’t start with "https." The "https" is an indicator that lets you know that the site is using a secure server.
* Choose only verified sellers. DOUBLECHECK - to see if the vendor is a verified member of a reputable third party such as Better Business Bureau, VeriSign, or Guardian eCommerce. Third-party sites help to ensure online consumers will be protected when shopping or conducting e-commerce transactions.
* Check for a reasonable delivery date posted prior to completing your purchase. If you have never dealt with a certain vendor before on a regular basis, be wary of any Website that states the shipment will be delayed 20 or more days.
* TWENTY DAYS IS A VERY LONG TIME in the scope of internet business shipping. Delivery dates of 7-10 days are more REASONABLE and way more common.
* Keep a paper trail of all online transactions. This means BE DILIGENT. Print out a hard copy of the transaction and keep it in a file for future reference.
* Be wary of website offers that just sound too good to be true. Get Rich Quick Schemes abound with The Internet as a perfect vehicle for fraudulent activity. False advertising is commonplace online. Investigate all claims thoroughly before proceeding.
* Use only reputable e-commerce websites that list a street address and telephone number in case you need to contact them directly.
* If you do not receive what you paid for, and the vendor will not return your emails or calls, contact your state’s Department of Consumer Affairs for further assistance.

And Finally...

* DO NOT BE EMBARRASSED if you think YOU DID fall for a scheme, fraudulent claim or a 'too good to be true story' - REPORT IT REPORT IT REPORT IT!

Many scammers GET AWAY WITH what they do because people are too embarrassed to admit that they were trying to get a good deal, that they might not have double-checked every detail of a transaction - that they were simply outwitted by an internet scammer. People don't want to have to say 'It Happened To Me,' but

IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU - Internet scams can affect nearly anyone.


You may help the next person from getting scammed, too!