Jun 21

In this time, when rumors about government spying seem to be everywhere, people are now looking for the best protection solutions, and more than ever before. While some may be choosing to forsake the internet completely, others are looking into things like email encryption and the assignment of virtual private networks to secure their text and voice communications from prying eyes. But another solution can be in the programs users choose to protect their systems from the Trojans, worms, malware and spyware that seem to lurk around every virtual corner.

Choosing a program that will work the best for your computer may not be easy if you’re not sure what to look for. But there are resources online which can help you to compare anti virus software by revealing the differences between each. Users can also get a good idea of how each program works if the site being visited provides screen shots taken from within the program. But it’s good to keep in mind that antivirus programs won’t protect from everything. There are some computer security issues that can only be overcome by knowing what to look for and staying vigilant. But once this becomes a habit, better computer security will be the result.

Jun 8

Let’s face it: there are certain ISPs that just make some internet users cringe. And the proof is in a recent report published by the American Customer Satisfaction Index where for the first time ever, ISPs were included along with phone and wireless providers. And the results certainly don’t look good for internet providers, who received the lowest satisfaction rankings of any industry in the country. When you consider that the Index reviews almost fifty industries for customer satisfaction yearly, the results are even worse for ISPs.

As a whole, the internet provider industry itself only earned a 65% customer satisfaction rating, joining just three other industries with an equally low rating: subscription television, airlines and social media companies. It’s no wonder that satisfaction is low with internet providers in my area; North America is often lamented as being the continent where internet users pay up to 300% more for their service than users on other continents. There are also monopolies at play in North America, where larger companies can keep the price for broadband at all-time highs as they provide less-than-optimal service, according to some subscribers. If anything, there are hopes that the poor showing in the annual report will cause ISPs to rethink their pricing and service.

Jun 3

We all have a history. But these days, a lot of that history can be online. And even if it may have long-since been forgotten by your community, it can come back to haunt you should the time come for you to find another job or change your career.

As most people know, it’s become the standard for potential employers to screen their applicants using both online and offline sources. This could mean that information is found that may no longer be relevant, such as an arrest that was made but then thrown out by a judge. There have been several instances where an individual had sued the media for defamation of character, trying to clear their name because they were rendered unemployable due to archived information online.

The ‘erasure law’ is something that may very well come into play should these types of things happen in the future. Many media outlets, including newspapers get regular calls from subscribers who want some type of information which mention them by name erased from the archives. And it’s no wonder; there are many resources now online which hold this type of information hostage until a fee is submitted which redacts it all.

Some media has been able to help with the issue of archived information being accessible online: instead of erasing a story, for example, a company may insert code into the article which disallows the major search engines from accessing it. This has proven to be so effective that this type of program is currently being experimented with.

But some outlets have deemed the insertion of code that bans the search engines to be more of a slippery slope than anything else. But this is isn’t the only method being considered. Another potential solution to the problem could lie in accentuating the positive about an individual. One from is doing just that, gathering good news about clients’ lives, and then optimizing them so that they will come up before any negative news when a name is searched.

All of this has led many to wonder whether or not this issue goes beyond privacy. Without the internet, there is no continual reminder of our past mistakes, which would normally allow people to be judged by their current deeds. Experts say there is too much of a focus on the past, that it has far too much importance.

But how to stop the past from becoming an influence is something that has yet to be discovered. Legislation might be a solution, although this may also present a slippery slope. Perhaps another more feasible solution could lie in the provision of tools to protect reputation by the search engines. Individuals worried about the status of their reputation would have an arsenal at their disposal which, for a small fee could help them have negative stories either erased or placed lower down in the search results revealed via internet service providers.

While the prospect is quite interesting, how effective it will be remains to be seen. Until then, perhaps the best way to protect a reputation is not to create a negative one if at all possible.