Online Social Circles are becoming riskier

 by Jacqueline Beauchere, Microsoft Chief Online Safety Officer

Bullying, unwanted contact and receiving unwelcome sexual images and messages were the most prominent risks in our latest digital civility research and, while strangers still pose the majority of online threats, data show a distinct rise in risk-exposure from people’s own social circles.

According to preliminary results from our latest study, 63 percent of online risks were sourced from strangers and people whom respondents knew only online – largely unchanged from the previous year. Meanwhile, 28 percent of online risks came from family and friends, up 11 points. In addition, findings revealed a relationship between risk-exposure and familiarity with the perpetrator: respondents who had met their abuser in real life were almost twice as likely to experience an online risk. More disheartening were indications that people were targeted because of their personal characteristics, namely gender, age and physical appearance.

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Deep Web & Dark Web basics

Occassionally we get asked about the deep web and dark web. They are two very different places. Norton by Symantec has done a good job of explaining the differences as well as talk about the basics.

Believe it or not, accessing the deep web is easier than you think. In fact, you probably already have. The media hasn’t done a great job of differentiating what’s considered the deep web and what is the dark web — two similar names for two very different things.

What is the deep web? 

The deep web is just like it sounds — below the surface and not completely dark.

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo are able to search and index websites because of links. They use links to rank search results according to things like relevancy, inbound links, and keywords. Browsers search the so-called “surface web,” but that’s where the search stops.

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Keys to creating a successful website

We've been designing, programming and managing websites since the beginning of the world-wide-web. So have many others. Like a lot of things about the Internet, there are basics. Here are some of the ingredients contained in all successful websites.

A website is an essential element for running a successful business. A business without a website can potentially lose out on great opportunities since potential customers can’t reach you, find you and learn about you online.

Creating a small business website can lead to many different ways to market your business and help it grow much faster than relying on traditional marketing methods alone. If you’re looking for a way to reach more customers, or people to influence, the internet is where your business needs to be.

With over 78% of adult Americans using the Internet and a remarkable 2.2 billion people online worldwide, it’s no surprise that small businesses with websites experience an average of 39% greater revenue per year than those without websites, according to the Small Business Administration.

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Website Essentials

There are hundreds of millions websites and billions of web pages on the Internet. The formula for a successful website is fairly straight forward.  Here are some of the essentials.

There are certain pages every website can’t be without. A small business’s site needs to give visitors what they are most likely to be looking for.

If you’re getting a website together for your small business or reinventing an existing site, take a look at the five essential pages every small business website needs. We include three other recommended pages as well.

Homepage

Your homepage is the virtual lobby of your business, the first thing people notice when they visit the site. It’s therefore vital that your homepage presents your business in a professional and engaging light. Make a great first impression!

As research from the Neilsen Norman Group highlights, you have less than 10 seconds to convey your value proposition. Get to the point about what your business is about. Keep words concise, punchy and compelling to hook visitors and get them to explore deeper into your site.

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Selecting an Available Domain Name

Back in the dark ages (1990s) selecting a website domain name was kind of random. Some names were obvious. Others were simple contractions – like The Computing Center becoming www.compcenter.com. Today, it’s a lot more complicated and sometimes it appears that all the good domain names are already taken. Not so…read on.

 

I'd be a zillionaire if I earned a dollar each time someone complains that all the great domain names are already taken. It's just not true, however. Even in a highly competitive industry, you can think up original, appealing domain names for businesses by using naming tactics that few people use, such as these:

1. Focus on results. What is the outcome or end result that people want to have from buying a certain product or service? How do they feel when they have finished the transaction? My own company name, Named At Last, falls into this category.

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