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How to Decrease Web Page Loading Time…

 

How to Decrease Web Page Loading Time….

 

By now everyone in SEO industry is aware that web page loading is a part of seo/organic search and if you do not work on your page loading time all your effort on SEO may just go down the barrel. From the OfficialGoogle Blog

Speeding up websites is important – not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. But faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed – that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings. We use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites.

You should not worry too much because site speed is just small weightage when it comes to page ranking. Still the important factors are like backlinks, relevancy and 200 others. But does it mean that if you are not affected by site speed does it mean you should now work on your page’s speed. I don’t think so. You should work on web page speed to the extent you can so that you not only make better user experience but in the long run, may not be penalized for slow page loading by Big G when site speed factor becomes a bit more major factor for search engine results.

1. Better Web Host

One of the best place to start with better site experiences is your host. If you do not have good and reliable host the other point may actually be of no use.

2. Compress output

Images take the large chunk of the total time to view any page yet HTML is considerable part of the content delivered by any server. HTML is static text content that can be reduced considerably if you compress the output. Modern day Web servers do support compressed output and all modern browsers are not far behind when rendering the compressed output as well. If any browser that does not support compressed output web servers render normal output to them and so it is wise option to enable compressed output for your server as well.

For PHP and Apache just adding couple of lines in your apache configuration file can actually do this for you.

Code:
<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
	SetOutputFilter DEFLATE
	# file-types indicated will not be compressed
	SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:gif|jpe?g|png|rar|zip|pdf)$ no-gzip dont-vary
	<IfModule mod_headers.c>
		Header append Vary User-Agent
	</IfModule>
</IfModule>

If your website is not very image heavy it can speed up to 60% of bandwidth usage.

3. Optimize HTML

Use Google Webmaster to see which page takes more time and to load and see if you can reduce the size of your HTML code on those pages. Excessive use of tables or even unwanted nested tables just adds to the size of the page.

4. Cache Static Content

If you are into web development you would know the issues with caching but it is not all the sad things that caching can do. If your website images are cached on user’s browser he may not need to download them again and again saving you not only lot of bandwidth but this also mean that his each subsequent page visits are faster and quicker for the user.

In Apache, you can just add the following lines and this would mean your images, style sheets and JavaScript code are stored on user PC for 30 days before downloading again.

Code:
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
	ExpiresActive On
	ExpiresByType image/gif A2592000
	ExpiresByType image/png A2592000
	ExpiresByType image/jpg A2592000
	ExpiresByType image/jpeg A2592000
	ExpiresByType text/css A2592000 
	ExpiresByType text/js A2592000 
</IfModule>

5. Optimizing Images

Images are one of the main reasons why your pages takes more time to load and so there are more than one way to optimize your images. You can have the same image in 2 different sizes. Try to convert your images to the lowest possible size. This would mean that with the same user experience you actually speed up your pages.

6. Use Image Sprites

Combining lot of small images into a single large image and then placing the same image with the CSS background-position property can save lot of web server requests, file IO and even rendering of lot of small files. Many large websites does this like
Google

Or even Addthis
http://s7.addthis.com/static/r07/widget21.png

7. Cookieless domain

Any query to just download a static content is appended with many header data. Large websites uses different domain (i.gstatic.com by Google) for serving static content and the only reason I can think off is they serve static content from an external domain which does not send header and especially cookies for the content, saving lot of unwanted header data transfer.

8. Avoid Flash

When you use too many flash widgets on your web page it slows down the page considerably. So keep away from flash to the extent possible.

9. Remove un-wanted Gadgets

I see many sites and specially blogs have too many gadgets like temperature, date, map and other such frills and if you think they are not used by your users to the extent you want them to be using it, it’s better to remove them from your page.

10. Control Ads

Last but not the least is your ads. Apply the 80/20 rule. 80% of ads generate 20% of revenue and 20% of ads generate 80% of the revenue. Find the right balance between lesser ads with maximum possible revenue. See each ad unit on your page and see how they have performed for last 3 months and see if some ads just generated $0.05 for last 3 months and flush them out. Apart from that you can also see how a rich media ad works and if they are not very different from text ads, opt for text ads.

Reference

http://code.google.com/speed/page-sp…rendering.html

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How Anti-Viruses Works???

Anti-Virus is a software or a program that can scan your files and data in your computer prevent you from firmwares and viruses…

How Does it works

Anti-Virus uses 2 different techniques to accomplish its tasks :-

  1. Examining Files and comparing its signature/structure to that of viruses present in a database or a text file…This is called a virus-dictionary..
  2. Identifying some suspicious behavior from any Program or Software sitting on the system

Virus-dictionary Method

In a Virus-dictionary Method a Anti-Virus starts by examining a file and checking up the dictionary of known viruses…

Every Binary/ELF/.exe has its own signature if they have different functionality…
Actually by signature we means some data in the bin file..This is a set of opcodes which the computer understands..These are different in every unique program..

When the Anti-Virus gets the signature of the file it then checks for the same signature in the dictionary of known-viruses(reported signatures) if it matches any signature in the dictionary then it is reported as a virus and the required task is performed(Dis-infection , removal ,etc etc..)

For this method to be successful , The virus-dictionary needs to be updated as a new virus-signature is reported.

This Method is quite common in most of the anti-viruses out there but it is not so successful now as its really easy to bypass this protection by using binders (These are the program that binds one program to another) , packers (Packs the signature , simply compresses the opcodes and make it difficult to detect) , encoders (These are the main cause of concern for the Anti-Virus developers out there as its quite a powerful approach , the encoders change the opcodes to something similar which provides the same functionality…It drastically changes the bin signatures and makes it almost undetectable..)

Another con of this Method is that it takes a lot of time and system resources to scan and compare all the files sitting on our system..

The Suspicious – Behaviors Method

In this method the anti-virus simply check for some suspicious – behavior happening on the system.. For checking this the anti-virus today has many modules like :-

  1. Network Traffic Monitors
  2. System Files Monitors
  3. Process Monitors etc etc..

Network Traffic Monitors

Network Traffic Monitors simply monitors the incoming and ongoing network traffic from the system to other systems or the internet…

For eg :-

If there is a trojan sitting on the system..It will certainly listen for the attackers call ..As it receives the attackers call (in the form of a TCP , UDP etc packets) It simply send down the data to the attacker system (most of the trojans) This fluctuates the network traffic and Anti-Virus catches the trojan and performs the required task..

System Files Monitors

The System files Monitors simply checks for the files sitting on the system ..

Eg :-

If there is a virus sitting on a system and it checks for some system files and tries to dlete them then this will Report as a suspicious behaviour to the anti-virus..Then the anti-virus performs the required task..

Process Monitors

The Process Monitors check the process tree of the system and checks if there are some hidden programs running..If it finds something suspicious it reports the anti-virus core and then the required task is performed..

Eg :-

There is a key-logger sitting on the system. Most of the key-loggers have hidden processes and simply reads the key-strokes a user makes..This would be undetectable without the use of Process Monitors..

Actually these were only the features on a basic anti-virus Most of the anti-virus today have Millions of protection systems and features and its not in the scope of this article..

BitTorrent – Tips & Tricks

BitTorrent – Tips & Tricks

BitTorrent - Tips & Tricks

 

uTorrent is currently the smallest, lightest and most feature packed BitTorrent client available. With a file size of barely a megabyte, it’s perfect for even low powered computers like netbooks and there are some versions available for mobile devices as well that allow you to connect to your home PC and check the status of your downloads. It’s even surpassed the popularity of some previous famous torrent clients like Azureus (now called Vuze). Many first time users of uTorrent may immediately hate it because of the slow speeds or the torrents simply refuse to connect to any seeders or peers. There’s a simple reason behind that; unlike a P2P client like say LimeWire where everything is pre-configured, you need to do a little tweaking to get the best out of uTorrent and that’s exactly what we’ll be discussing today. Other than that, we’ll also share some very interesting features uTorrent has to offer which may go unnoticed for many simply because not everyone is an inquisitive geek.

 

Solving the NAT Problem

 

You should have a little green circle here for best results

When you install uTorrent, the application automatically adds an exception to Windows Firewall so the incoming traffic is not blocked. Despite this, you may still get a little exclamation or a red circle in the bottom right corner of uTorrent and if it continues to remain then you may have a NAT (Network Address Translation) problem. Most ISPs (except a few) tend to block P2P traffic which means most of the ports other than the ones used for the HTTP protocol are blocked. What you’re looking for is a green circle with a little tick mark which means your PC is able to receive incoming connections.

There are two ways around this. The first is the simplest way, by default; UPnP is enabled in uTorrent which automatically maps the port you’ve currently assigned with the router. If the router has UPnP support then make sure it’s enabled. For this, you’ll have to enter the router settings and navigate to that section. Since each router has different features and organizational structure, it’s best if you check the manual that came with it or the site. If you’re trying this at work then you’ll have to check with your network administrator for this although I doubt he’ll be of much help unless he’s already busy downloading quietly.

Simply enter the IP of your PC and the port number in both start and end fields and your set

In case you don’t have a router at home or the UPnP trick is still not working, the second one is a sure fix. The first thing you need to do is pick a port number, any random number generated by uTorrent is fine. Next, check if the port is open by going to Options>Setup Guide. Here uncheck the first box ‘Bandwidth’ and only keep the second one (Network) checked. The default port number will already be in there. Click the button ‘Run Tests’ and it will check if the port is open. If it still reports that the port is blocked then you’ll need to open the port in either you modem or router. Most modems supplied by your ISP will have a feature called ‘Virtual Server’. If you aren’t using a modem and just a router then you should find that option over there as well. To know how to access this ‘Virtual Server’ section, I strongly recommend PortForward.com as it has detailed instructions on how to setup port forwarding on virtually every modem/router in the market. Once this is set, just restart uTorrent and you should immediately see a green circle telling you everything’s ok.

 

 

Getting the maximum speed from your Internet connection

Even though your NAT problem is fixed, you may find the speeds aren’t really up to the mark. Let’s say you have a 1Mbps line at home, the download speed that you can actually get is 120kBps but somehow you never get beyond 20kBps. This is because your download and upload limit in uTorrent is set to unlimited by default. In India, most Internet plans are capped at a low upload rate despite of having a high download rate. Think of the upload and download rate as lanes, if both are set to unlimited, uTorrent will automatically divide the bandwidth and give each lane equal preference so automatically your download speeds are halved.

The trick to getting the most out of your internet connection is to cap the upload speed in uTorrent. You can do this by going into Options>Preferences> Bandwidth or you can simply right click the status at the bottom and select the upload speed. After a lot of trial and error, I’ve found 9-10kBps to be the sweet spot at my home but it’s not a hard and fast rule. You can experiment a bit and try different combinations to see which works best for your connection. Even after setting that if you’re still getting slow speeds then make sure that torrent has enough seeders or try a different one. There are time when a torrent may show you there are thousands of seeders but you still get shitty speeds which could mean that the people you are connected to are uploading at a slow rate in which case there’s nothing you can do about it.

 

 

Schedule Downloads

Not everyone has an unlimited data plan, so for those who rely on the night unlimited plan, uTorrent’s scheduling function comes in really handy. Head over to Options>Preferences>Scheduler and check Enable Scheduler. Now let’s take a simple scenario, I’m on a night unlimited plan which means from 12AM to 8AM, I’m not charged for using the Internet. Each square represents an hour during the day, so from Monday to Saturday, I have marked all the squares white from 8AM to 12AM which means uTorrent will automatically stop any uploads or downloads during this time. Assuming Sundays, you get the entire day to download for free, you can mark everything green. This way, uTorrent will automatically start and stop downloading without the need for your intervention. If you find the browsing speeds drop then you can mark some hours of the day as light green so the bandwidth is limited and you can surf the net properly.

 

 

Use Auto-Shutdown to Save Power

A simple but very handy feature which should be used by everyone. You can choose to place the PC on Standby, Hibernate, shutdown when the downloads complete or simply quit the application so that the bandwidth is freed up. This would save you some power as well instead of the PC just remaining on doing nothing.

 

 

Maintain a good share ratio

When it comes to torrents, sharing is caring. It’s a good practice to seed the file you’ve already downloaded for sometime at least so that the others have a fair chance of downloading the file. It’s also a good habit since some private torrent sites like Demonoid.com keep a track of your download and upload ratio. Here’s the thing though, once a file is downloaded, uTorrent automatically starts seeding. At some point, you would like to stop seeding the file simply because it’s old or it may be hogging all the upload slots as compared to a newer file that’s being seeded. In this case go the Queuing section in Preferences and instruct uTorrent to stop seeding a file once it has achieved a ratio of 1.0. By default, uTorrent will stop sharing that file once the share ratio reaches 150 percent.

 

Take advantage of the new Apps feature

The new version of uTorrent includes a new App section which gives you access to more content right in uTorrent. For instance the TED app lets you download all Ted talks or VLC which lets you playback any music or video file you’ve downloaded.

Operating System, Kernel and Types of kernels

What is Operating System, Kernel and Types of kernels?

 

1. What Is Kernel?

A kernel is a central component of an operating system. It acts as an interface between the user applications and the hardware. The sole aim of the kernel is to manage the communication between the software (user level applications) and the hardware (CPU, disk memory etc). The main tasks of the kernel are :

  • Process management
  • Device management
  • Memory management
  • Interrupt handling
  • I/O communication
  • File system…etc..

2. Is LINUX A Kernel Or An Operating System?

Well, there is a difference between kernel and OS. Kernel as described above is the heart of OS which manages the core features of an OS while if some useful applications and utilities are added over the kernel, then the complete package becomes an OS. So, it can easily be said that an operating system consists of a kernel space and a user space.

So, we can say that Linux is a kernel as it does not include applications like file-system utilities, windowing systems and graphical desktops, system administrator commands, text editors, compilers etc. So, various companies add these kind of applications over linux kernel and provide their operating system like ubuntu, suse, centOS, redHat etc.

3. Types Of Kernels

Kernels may be classified mainly in two categories

  1. Monolithic
  2. Micro Kernel

1 Monolithic Kernels

Earlier in this type of kernel architecture, all the basic system services like process and memory management, interrupt handling etc were packaged into a single module in kernel space. This type of architecture led to some serious drawbacks like 1) Size of kernel, which was huge. 2)Poor maintainability, which means bug fixing or addition of new features resulted in recompilation of the whole kernel which could consume hours

In a modern day approach to monolithic architecture, the kernel consists of different modules which can be dynamically loaded and un-loaded. This modular approach allows easy extension of OS’s capabilities. With this approach, maintainability of kernel became very easy as only the concerned module needs to be loaded and unloaded every time there is a change or bug fix in a particular module. So, there is no need to bring down and recompile the whole kernel for a smallest bit of change. Also, stripping of kernel for various platforms (say for embedded devices etc) became very easy as we can easily unload the module that we do not want.

Linux follows the monolithic modular approach

2 Microkernels

This architecture majorly caters to the problem of ever growing size of kernel code which we could not control in the monolithic approach. This architecture allows some basic services like device driver management, protocol stack, file system etc to run in user space. This reduces the kernel code size and also increases the security and stability of OS as we have the bare minimum code running in kernel. So, if suppose a basic service like network service crashes due to buffer overflow, then only the networking service’s memory would be corrupted, leaving the rest of the system still functional.

In this architecture, all the basic OS services which are made part of user space are made to run as servers which are used by other programs in the system through inter process communication (IPC). eg: we have servers for device drivers, network protocol stacks, file systems, graphics, etc. Microkernel servers are essentially daemon programs like any others, except that the kernel grants some of them privileges to interact with parts of physical memory that are otherwise off limits to most programs. This allows some servers, particularly device drivers, to interact directly with hardware. These servers are started at the system start-up.

So, what the bare minimum that microKernel architecture recommends in kernel space?

  • Managing memory protection
  • Process scheduling
  • Inter Process communication (IPC)

Apart from the above, all other basic services can be made part of user space and can be run in the form of servers.

QNX follows the Microkernel approach

Buying a Digital camera …. Have some tips…

Brands available: Canon, Casio, Fuji Film, Kodak, Nikon, Olympus,  Panasonic, Pentax, Sanyo, Sony

There are several factors that have to be considered before buying a digital camera. From the purpose to brand and budget, we guide you on how to buy the right camera to capture your memories.

First Things First

Keep in mind the type of camera you want as well as the features that can ease the burden of buying a digital camera. Point and shoot cameras offer minimal features and are quite simple to use. These are meant for beginners and those who want a hassle-free camera. Mainstream cameras are ideal for beginners and amateur photographers since they are more feature rich and have manual exposure controls. Mega-zoom cameras on the other hand have high-zoom lenses that can zoom into distant objects and capture great detail. Ultra compact cameras pack in most of the features that mainstream cameras have, while remaining lighter and more compact. These cameras come in handy especially when you’re on the move.

Features

Common features such as image stabilization, anti-blur, red eye reduction, face and smile detection contribute towards getting good image quality. By counteracting camera shake, the image stabilization feature helps click sharper images by stabilizing it before it can be shot. Captured images could be blurred if the camera or subject moves while the shutter is open. Thus, the anti-blur feature eliminates this problem by giving you perfect and blur-free images by adjusting the shutter speed automatically. Scene modes are predefined controls that automatically deliver the best exposure depending on the lighting conditions.

How to choose

There are several types of digital cameras available in the market, but the one you opt for depends on your photography needs.

Entry-level cameras:

Being the most basic cameras, look out for a camera that is loaded with as many features. Some of these include 3x or 4x optical zoom, many scene presets and white balance settings.

Mainstream cameras:

These cameras offer the best bang for the buck. If you’re planning to buy one of these don’t miss out on features such as manual exposure controls, shutter/aperture priority mode.

Mega-zoom cameras:

These cameras are ideal for outdoor photography where you need to capture images of distant objects. Image stabilization is a regular feature in such cameras.

Ultra-compact cameras:

These cameras don’t have many features as they are very compact, and those that do are expensive. The feature set of ultra compact cameras resemble that of entry-level cameras.

Jargon Buster:

Digital/Optical Zoom: The digital zoom in a camera simply zooms in an image without giving you more detail thus making it pixilated whereas the Optical Zoom actually uses the lens of the camera to magnify and get a better shot of the image.

Mega pixels:

The tiny dots that form an image are known as pixels. A camera with 10 mega pixels will capture a total of 10 million pixels of that particular image thus giving out more detail.

Aperture:

The aperture is the opening in the lens through which light passes through the sensor. The amount of light passing through the lens is controlled by adjusting the diameter of the aperture. Thus, larger the aperture, the more the light that is allowed to pass through the lens and vice versa.

ISO speed:

The International Organization for Standardization defines a scale for determining the sensitivity of the film to light. The higher the ISO rating, the more sensitive is the film to light. In a digital camera, the ISO rating indicates the sensitivity of the sensor to light. Most digital cameras have ISO settings ranging from 80 to 1600.

White balance:

The camera automatically adjusts the colors of an image so that the white objects appear white under the current lighting condition. This is called white balance and it maintains the trueness of colors in the images captured.

10 steps to speed up a slow Windows PC

I have a slow-running PC that’s about five years old. It has been protected by AVG internet Security throughout its life and, after a recent full system scan, AVG declares it to be in good health with all threats under control. On the other hand, I am told that slow running is what happens when a PC is full of viruses, and I should consider reinstalling Windows. Which of these is right? And if my PC is clogged up, what is the point of AVG’s Security? It would be nice to be able to make an accurate diagnosis.

A PC running Microsoft Windows XP should continue to run at the speed it did when you bought it. They never (or very rarely) do in real life, for a number of reasons. The most obvious is that both the operating system and the applications change as security holes are patched and new features are added. Today’s updated XP SP3 needs more resources than the original version, launched in 2001. To run Windows XP SP3, a browser and one main program nowadays you should have at least 1GB of memory and at least 1GB of free hard drive space.

Also, new PCs “feel” fast because they usually are much faster than whatever you had before. As the months go by, the new speed feels normal and you start to notice delays when things are not as fast as you’d like. Unless you are the sort of person who actually benchmarks new PCs, then you won’t really know how much it has slowed down, if at all. (Windows 7 and Vista have reliability and performance monitors that help.)

It is certainly true that malware can make a PC run slowly, and you should double-check Norton’s opinion by running an alternative as a one-off test. I’d suggest Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware: see my recent post on Removing spyware from Windows for further help. But your PC may also have slowed down because it’s running lots of background programs installed by apparently reputable companies such as Adobe, Apple, Google and many others, including Microsoft. Anti-virus software generally cannot protect you from software that you install deliberately.

At this point, you can try to solve the problem either by debugging your current Windows PC or by reinstalling the Windows XP operating system. (You can also not solve the problem by taking a different route, such as buying a new PC or installing Linux. These will replace your current problems with a different set of problems. However, I’m a stickler for answering the question you actually asked.)

Both debugging your current PC and reinstalling Windows XP will take time and effort. Usually, debugging is quicker, while reinstallation produces better results. (The reinstallation is quick: downloading Windows updates, reinstalling all your applications and restoring your data can take a long time.) I’d suggest you follow this clean-up routine and see if it speeds up your PC, because at least you will have some tools to help you monitor and control your PC.

1. Check that you have all the latest Windows updates then back up your whole PC, or at least any data that you have not already backed up. Create a Restore Point so you can go back to it.

2. Go to Add/Remove programs and uninstall any software you no longer use. Ideally, uninstall all copies of Java and then install the latest version.

3. Download and run CCleaner (free) to delete temporary files and clean up your PC, including the Windows Registry.

4. Run Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, as mentioned above. (You can also run it in Safe Mode.)

5. Restart your PC and check your hard drive for errors. The quickest way is to click Start and type chkdsk /r in the Run box.

6. Download and install AnVir Task Manager Free. This will enable you to go through your PC’s startup programs and services and block any that you no longer want to load. It will also stop programs from inserting things into your startup routine without your permission. You may need to identify some startup programs using Pacs-Portal or Bleeping Computer. See the Services Guide for Windows XP at The Elder Geek for other information. Hover your mouse over Task Manager Free’s SysTray icons to see if you are short of memory or if something is using a lot of resources.

7. Download and run Sysinternals’ Process Explorer 12.04. This is like Windows Task Manager but much more powerful. Look through all the applications and processes that are running on your PC and see if any are consuming unusual amounts of the CPU and other resources. If one application is stealing 90-100% of the processor, everything else will run very slowly. Note that svchost is not in itself a problem: it simply hosts other services that are run from dll files (dynamic-link libraries).

8. Based on your findings from 6 and 7, you may want to turn off some Windows services (set them to run on demand), and update or change some applications. Historically, Norton has been seen as a bit of a resource hog, but I’m told that Norton Internet Security 2010 has been much improved. You could consider replacing Norton with the free Microsoft Security Essentials to see if it makes a difference. Google’s Chrome is a more lightweight and more secure browser than Firefox or IE. Apple’s iTunes for Windows is bloated and slow, and lumbers you with QuickTime, Bonjour, and attempts to install the Safari browser. Check the website AlternativeTo for ideas and comments on various options. (It also covers Linux, Mac, iOS, Android and other operating systems.) If you can’t find a better alternative, uninstall then reinstall the program that’s creating a problem.

9. Defragment your hard drive. Windows has a built-in defragger, but Auslogics Disk Defrag 3.1.8 is an excellent alternative.

10. (Optional) Old PCs can accumulate vast amounts of dust, carpet fibres and other detritus that can clog fans and so on. Turn off your PC and unplug it from the mains, take the lid off, then gently blow the dust out. Make sure that the fans spin freely, and that all the cables are pushed firmly home. Static electricity kills chips, so you should wear an ESD (electrostatic discharge) strap. If not, make sure you ground yourself to make sure you are not carrying a static charge. Either way, keep your fingers well away from the motherboard.

How to be Safe Online?

A few simple measures go a long way in bolstering your online security

While the world wide web has opened a lot of opportunities and possibilities for everyone, but it is also a Pandora’s box with a lot of evil things such as viruses, pedophiles, hackers, cyberbullies and criminals. Kids and teenagers are especially attracted to social networking websites and may fall prey to such rogue and harmful elements.  It therefore becomes essential to secure yourself and your family from such online dangers. Securing yourselves is not as difficult as it may seem. Here are a few tips.

What parents need to tell their kids

  • Parents need to keep tabs on their kids’ online behavior, by that we do not mean you need to snoop around all the time. Here are some things that parents need to talk to their kids about.
  • Never accept friend invitations from unknown people on social networks, instant messengers, forums, virtual worlds, etc.
  • Never visit random chat websites/rooms just out of curiosity. Remember the saying, ‘Curiosity killed the cat’.
  • You should never post your real home address, phone number, etc. and avoid posting your pictures or personal details such as date of birth on a public profile or you may become easy target for spammers.
  • Allow only trusted people such as your friends and family members to have access to your profile, photos, videos, etc on social networking websites by making appropriate privacy settings.
  • When you set your password for e-mail, social networking or gaming accounts, make sure you use a combination of alphabets (with both cases), numbers and other characters. Most have a tendency to set passwords based on their own names, their pets, birthday, etc. Make sure that you do not share your password with anyone.
  • Quite often you may receive emails with subjects like “funniest video ever”, but this is often spam. In case you get such an email, confirm that it is from a trusted source before opening it.
  • Remember how you sometimes clicked on something only to be startled by an unexpected graphic picture the next moment? Such an incident may also happen to your kids. Encourage your kids to talk to you in case they click such a link by mistake and to take precautions the next time.

What kids need to keep in mind while online

  • Do not download and install programs on the computer without your parents’ permission. Such programs may contain spyware and malware.
  • Do not to download, install and use file-sharing programs, as such programs are potentially capable of downloading virus-infected files and malware. Also, such programs can download illegal content, so it is better to stay away from them.
  • Notify your parents if and when you suspect that you may have inadvertently downloaded a computer virus or when the computer behaves strangely (such as due to virus infection). Early warning can minimize damage that the virus may cause.
  • It is always a good idea to talk to your parents in case you are being harassed or bullied by someone online.

General safety tips for everyone to follow

  • Being cautious can usually help, at least in case of emails. When you find an email in your inbox from someone you are unfamiliar with, or with some fishy subject matter, it is better to delete it before opening it.
  • It has been proven that most spams and scam-emails are usually sent from countries where English is the second or third language. So, whenever you get an email with really bad grammar and spelling mistakes even in the title, it is best that you delete it right away.
  • One of the most common email scam is in the form of an email informing you that you have inherited a large amount of money, thanks to some good Samaritan who died in a plane crash, but had made you the beneficiary before dying. Another email may inform that you have just got lucky as your email was selected as the winner of a million dollars in some lottery. Yet another email may be from someone who informs you that the sender is a relative of some deceased political leader in an African country, who had amassed a fortune before being overthrown by a coup. Therefore you can benefit by helping that person receive his inheritance by claiming the inheritance yourself and then transferring the cash to his account.

    In all of the above cases, you are asked to transfer a “small amount” (when compared to the benefits) to the sender of the email in order to claim your reward. There is only one thing that you need to understand – there is no such thing as free lunch.

  • Sometimes you may receive an email allegedly from your bank, asking you to resubmit your account information including your online banking password, for “maintenance purpose”. No bank asks for your password, so this is someone trying to gain access to your bank account. Even if the link appears like it is from your bank, you must make sure that it is indeed your bank’s online banking website by carefully inspecting the URL as well as the log-on page itself (some scammers use shortened URLs to disguise the URL).
  • Never access your online banking website from anywhere except from your home PC, because what you type may be monitored, including your password and that compromises your security. Also, accessing such a secure website from a public place may not be safe since eavesdroppers may be able to simply observe you typing your password.
  • Avoid buying from any website you are not absolutely sure of being genuine, with your credit card. It may put your credit card details in wrong hands. This is especially true of counterfeit websites selling cheap stuff such as imitation watches for an astoundingly low price.

Remember, it is always useful if parents and kids communicate with each other regarding online security. There is a lot of information that parents and kids can exchange and each can learn from the other. Confidence building measures between parents and kids help ease the approachability of parents from the kids’ point of view and this goes a long way into ensuring that both the parents and kids enjoy a worry-free time on the internet.

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