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Phishing, Spoofing, Spyware... help!

intro

It is late July and "wow" how quickly the month has passed! In this month's "good to know" we look at how to protect your identity online, something everyone should be concerned about.

Let us know what you are interested in learning about. Send us your thoughts and requests. We are always interested in what you have to say!

A personal note to those of you who know Steve Sayre... he married Tammy in late June (on their 10 year anniversary)! Steve is back after a fantastic honeymoon and everyone here is well. We hope the same for you too.

Enjoy!

what's new

Spirit

Spirit 3.4

More good stuff for Spirit 3.4...

Spirit 3.4 now has a shiny new Reports tab! Under this new tab you will find links to generate reports of 'sales by product' and 'sales by customer'. Each report is date driven (leave blank to get all data) and allows you to search by product or customer. Each report provides summary sales information and expandable details with links into customer, product, and sales information. Give it a spin and let us know what you think!

We have added the handiest of buttons to the bottom of the Customer tab in Spirit, labeled 'export'. This little button is so useful, it's hard to believe it wasn't their earlier. It is now a snap to export some or all of your customer data to an excel sheet. Simply perform a typical query (or leave search form blank to get everything) and choose the columns you would like... and presto, your customer data is at your finger tips. Need to update your mailing program, just choose first name, last name and email address and click "export". No fuss, simple to use and quick. Happy exporting!

We have added a display option to the last screen of the checkout process. Previously, the screen would display, "Thank you for your order. Your order number is #1234." You can now opt to show the customer's complete order information on this final checkout screen, displayed after the customer hits "Place Order". Checking "enable detail display on order confirmation screen" in the "General" option of the Store tab, will match the information displayed to the customer to the confirmation email.

And last but not least, discount codes are more clearly displayed on the "Place Order" checkout screen.

Sneak peek

What's around the corner?

Several enhancements are underway for Recordit including more integration options, improved exports, and email features.

latest news

visit our blog to get the latest: blog.pepperstation.com.

Customer Spotlight
CleanPC Professional Keyboard Cleaner
CleanPC Professional Keyboard Cleaner

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Using personal computers exposes us to an alarming amount of germs. Inadvertently, infectious diseases can be passed from person to person.

CleanPC Inc., has created CleanPC Professional Keyboard Cleaner which is a unique, spray-on product that safely cleans the dirtiest keyboard in seconds, including laptops.

This easy to use foaming cleaner is great for cell phones, PDA's, iPods, remote controls, hand held video games and cash registers.

Start maintaining a cleaner, healthier computer environment. It's easy, quick and inexpensive.

Visit CleanPC.com today!

good to know

In every issue, we provide you proven ways to make your website, email marketing and promotion activities more effective. Today, we look at why protecting your identity online is so important.

Phishing, Spoofing, Spyware... how do I protect myself?

By Morella

Internet criminals thrive on the fact that many people do not understand the ways in which their security can be compromised when they are online.

By taking some simple precautions and using common sense, you can easily protect yourself and your family.

Here are several ways you can be taken advantage of:

phishing

Phishing (pronounced "fishing") is the act of tricking people into giving out confidential information which can then be used to defraud the victim. It often involves the setting up of a fake Internet site pretending to be a legitimate company such as a bank or a shop. Phishers then send out spam mails that direct users to the fake site, where the victims are then asked to update their username, password or enter financial information.

spoofing

Spoofing most commonly describes the act of impersonating or masquerading as a person or organization. Typically the term will be used to describe the use of an official email address in a Phishing email or the content of a fake website.

spyware

Spyware is software that is downloaded onto your computer often without your knowledge. Spyware can be downloaded via hidden software within particular websites or pop-up advertisements while you surf the Internet. It can be included in virus- infected email. Spyware can be used by third parties (including criminals) to monitor your Internet activities which could compromise the security of your personal information.

viruses

There are many ways your computer can obtain a virus. Take instant messaging for example. Unlike email, instant messaging software allows you to 'talk' to someone in real time by typing and receiving messages. Instant messaging, or IM, is increasingly popular for personal and business use; however, it is also used by criminals to spread viruses and Trojans. Be wary of clicking on any hyperlink sent to you by someone in an IM session, especially from unknown contacts.

social networking sites

Sites like MySpace and Facebook are great for keeping in touch with friends and boosting search engine exposure but can also be a goldmine for identity thieves. Using information you provide about yourself, fraudsters can potentially take on your identity. Prevent online identity theft by restricting who can view your personal information online.

Here is a checklist of precautions you should consider:

1. Upgrade your computer system software

The newest version of any operating system is generally the safest. You may want to consider getting a Mac if viruses have you down.

2. Use Anti-Virus software

Anti-virus software continually scans your computer for viruses. It also checks incoming email and web sites for viruses. It is not included in your operating system so you will need to get and install a copy. Anti-virus companies include Symantec and McAfee or... get a Mac.

3. Prevent spyware

Be careful about which websites you visit and be cautious about programs you download and install. Don't install software from an unknown or untrustworthy source. In most cases anti-virus software and even a firewall will not prevent spyware. Get an anti-spyware program and keep it up to date. Products include: Microsoft Anti-spyware, Spybot Search and Destroy and AdAware. Then, there is always the option of not only buying the Mac but getting the iPod and iPhone too!

4. Be conscious of web security

Never submit a credit card number or other highly sensitive personal information without first ensuring your connection is secure (encrypted). Always type the web address of trusted websites into the browser instead of clicking on a link in an email. The web address will start with 'https://' and there will be a padlock icon in your browser window.

It's still possible that it may not be secure. Some Phishers make spoofed websites which appear to have padlocks. To double-check, click on the padlock icon on the status bar to view the site's security certificate.

Security screen shot

In the pop-up window you should see the name matching the site you're on. If the name differs, you are probably on a spoofed site.

5. Be careful about the personal information you disclose.

Sites like Facebook provide you with some level of control over your personal information. You can restrict who can see your full profile and photos, and who can find you in a search. You can also hide your list of friends from people who find you through a search. Don't accept friend requests from people you don't know in real life.

Be discreet about what you post online. Think about what information you're putting out there, and the implications. Some employers now include a social site search in the screening of potential employees.

TIP! Report phishing scams
Forward spam that is phishing for information to spam@uce.gov and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the phishing email. Most organizations have information on their websites about where to report problems.

TIP! Protect your children online
Help children and young people use the Internet safely. The following is a good resource for parents, teachers and kids and contains all around great information for protecting yourself and your family:

GetSafeOnline logo

See you in August! MO

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