Thursday, April 06, 2006

Downloading Free Programs Is Dangerous!

Recently, I downloaded a screensaver from www.appleblossomart.com because she had a great looking screensaver which showed horses running in the snow. I am such a sucker for a horse! Anyway, it had all kinds of problems. First, I could not use it. So I ended up paying $10. for it and it still would not work. So I left it alone. I made my own screensaver with my Windows program using the pictures from a favorite movie, Ride With The Devil.

A couple of weeks ago, I find out that I had a Trojan horse that came in on that screensaver download. I contacted the woman who has Apple Blossom Art, thinking she might want to know that she was spreading this around the internet. No, she didn't care about anything except that she did not want to take responsibility for it. Well, she is responsible for it. I am sorry that she is handicapped, which is all she cares about telling you. And I was more than happy to pay for the screensaver, but could never use it. But that is no excuse for what she is spreading around the internet on her free screensavers!

Recently, I have been trying to add a credit card processing program to my website www.larrylupole.com/catalog. I have to go through all kinds of paperwork and security safe guards to accompolish this. To make sure that everything is perfectly safe and that no one could get into my buyers' credit card information. But these spyware and adware programs are allowed to exist and we have to learn how to protect ourselves and our computers from them. I am hoping that my state of New York will start something to stop them. They were the first to introduce the famous, "Do Not Call" Registry for telemarketers. And I was one of the first people to sign up for that great service!

Now, my husband is having trouble trying to get rid of a spyware program called Mediaflex that he believes came in on his FTP download. We are not new to the computer world and work on them all the time. But if they can attach themselves on our computers, they can do it to most anybody's. These programs keep track of what you are doing, what you are buying, which sites you visit, even your passwords, sign-ins and maybe even your credit information. I think it's time for everyone to stand up for our freedom from this type of abuse on our computers!

I used to be involved in Affliate Marketing. For people not familar with it, you put a company's banner or link on your web pages and everytime someone clicks it and buys something, you get a percentage of that sale and any future sales that person makes. There were some guys who went into the affiliates' html and put a redirect on those links and banners so instead of having your id number on the link, it would have their's. So they would get credit for a sale from your site and you would never know! On the Affiliate Marketing Forums, these guys were known as Parasites.

Yes, doing business on the internet is almost as bad as dealing with the shoplifters and street thugs!
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