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Staying Computer Safe while Searching for Freebies on the Net Who doesn?t love the idea of getting something for nothing? Free stuff can bring a smile to anyone?s face, and the Internet is destination number one when you are looking for cash in on a few freebies. The downside of free stuff online is that if you aren?t careful, the free item could end up causing plenty of headaches and heartaches, not to mention a lot of cold, hard cash. If you want to score with free stuff online, make safety your number one priority by following these tips. First and foremost, treat your personal information like its cash. That might sound a little dramatic, but anyone who manages to steal your identity online is after one thing, and one thing only, your money and any addition money they can grab by cashing in on your credit. Protecting your name, address, credit card number, bank account number, phone number, social security number, and so on and so forth when you are registering for free offers is the first step to making sure you don?t get hustled when you?re just trying to enjoy a good freebie. That means that if you are asked for some personal information that you don?t feel comfortable handing out, let the freebie go. Likewise, make sure the site from which you are getting your free stuff has a privacy policy and that you know it, understand it, and can live with it. Speaking of that site that is handing out the free goods: just who are these people? If you were walking down the street and a shady looking person said they would give you a free DVD player if you followed them, chances are you would run the other way. Online, it is hard to tell the legitimate people from the people looking at you like a free lunch, but there are a few red flags you can look out for. Does the website look like it was thrown up in about 5 minutes, full of clip art and bad spelling? Is it hard to find information about where the website is registered, or where the business the website is supposedly promoting is registered? If the website purports to be affiliated with a certain brand you know, does it really look like it is, or does the logo look different/colors look off? If you can?t get a reasonable feel for who are dealing with online, don?t deal with them. Red flag number one? Asking for too much personal info should send you running. Another way to protect yourself is to build a virtual fortress around your computer. The net is filled with people who know how to walk right into your virtual home ? your computer ? and flip through everything you have on there, taking whatever they want. Many of these kinds of hackers draw you in by creating phony freebie websites. The way to keep them out is to keep your computer on lockdown. Make sure your firewall is stronger than you think it needs to be, and make sure it is always updated. Also, make sure you have antivirus software on the patrol for you and that you keep this software updated as well. Last but not least, keep those passwords in the vault, and make sure they are extra strong. No freebie website has any reason to ask you about the passwords for your accounts so don?t give them away ? and don?t give them to anyone else online for that matter. Also, if you?re using your birthday or child?s name as password, don?t. Sure, it isn?t as easy to remember, but your password should be a random word and contain a collection of numbers and symbols as well. This will give you the extra layer of protection to make sure your online house is in order when you cash in on the freebies.

Learning How to Become a Writer in Three Steps (how to become a writer) Becoming a writer is hardly a simple feat. To become a writer a person must practice and work hard to become a writer. It can be said that many writers are writers, but few of them know how to become a writer. The label ?writer? is just simply a label, it is all the hard work and determination of reaching that status that truly gives the writer that name, and makes them worthy of the title. There are three simple steps that any writing can take that will give the title of ?writer,? while making them worthy of it. The first step to becoming a writer is to claim yourself as a writer. Many writers believe that they cannot be known as writers until they are published, but this is not true. Anyone who thinks of themselves as a writer, and writes on regular basis should title themselves as a writer. Many unpublished writers have the habit of saying they want to write, or saying that they write, instead of saying ?I?m a writer. When learning how to become a writer, it is necessary for writers to realize that you don?t have to be published to be known as a writer. Although, it may seem ideal for introductions and make it easier for other to see you as a writer, being published does not make one a writer. Writers should see themselves as people who write, and not as people who write for a living. For most writers, being published is validation of their status as a writer and even a path to success, but there are many published writers who are not very successful, famous, or rich. However, being published is a great way to show your work to an audience, and gain recognition, no matter how big or small. On the path to becoming writing there are many who lose sight of the fact that they don?t stop writing once they are published, so it is not wise to only write to be published. There are many ways to claim yourself as a writer, and in this step to learning how to become a writer there are smaller steps that help you proclaim yourself as a writer. First, say the words aloud to yourself, and repeat them as many times as possible until they are believable to you and others around you. Next, find a specific place for your writing, which can be a room, section of a room, or a studio. It is also important to make the ?writing space? as comfortable as possible, and to make it viable to your writing needs. Then, it is important to get the proper writing tools, such as pens, pencils, notebooks, and a computer that is used specifically for your writing. Aspiring writers can also find lessons on how to become a writer in style books, which should be kept as a writing tool also. It is also helpful to befriend other writers, and read their work and others as a writer and discuss passages of books or chapters with other writers. The second step to becoming a writer is to make time to write. When learning how to become a writer, novices will always be advised to make time for their writing. Many aspiring writers usually mess up on this step, and although they want to be writers they slack on how much they write, so many writers are left with unfinished works. It is important to set aside a particular time or day for writing and to stick to that schedule, because deviance from a writing schedule usually means unfinished work. The final step to becoming a writer is by far the simplest. To become a writer it is imperative that you write. Writing is the simplest step to becoming a writer and the most important step. When learning how to become a writer, you must take some time out and write.

A Brief Guide to Writing Short Stories Effectively (writing short stories) A short story is basically a condensed version of a book or a rapidly progressing story. It has fewer characters than a novel and covers less amount of time. A short story generally is around 6,000 words or 6 pages. Do your research and organization before you begin to write. Outline your plot and the background. Make sure they make sense and flow together. Individually list the events of the story in the order in which they occur. Create your characters. Not just their name and role in the story, but as if they were real people with real lives. By creating more information for your characters you will get a sense of what they would do or how they would be and convey that to your writing. By creating an outline you will have a point of reference to look back upon and make sure you have included all vital points of the story. When writing a short story, you will need a captivating first paragraph. You have roughly 5 to 7 lines to appeal to your reads unlike novels that have the whole first chapter. This can actually make or break your story. You will need to grab their attention and keep it to make them want to read more. By starting the plot in the first few sentences it will make people want to know more. They will keep reading to find out who is involved and why. Keep the timeline of events brief. You are writing a short story and the timeline should match that. A timeline of a day, a week, or maybe even a month is generally the span a story should cover. Use character dialogue as a way to move the plot ahead. In a short story there is no time for general chitchat. By using the character dialogue you are deepening the plot as well as moving it along. Do not add unnecessary characters. By adding them you are wasting time one someone that is not linked to your story or its plot. Provide swift and precise details to keep the story moving. Elaborate descriptions of characters, plot, or surroundings will only waste your words and are not essential to making a good story. Use short words instead of phrases that mean the same thing. Building to the climax should be most of the story. Keep the conflicts building to the climax simple and easy to understand. You writing should be able to evoke the following emotions empathy, pain, hurt, despair, surprise, and desire just to name a few. Since the story is only a few pages long in its entirety it is necessary to maintain consistency through out the beginning, middle, and end. Make sure the dialog and plot complement each other. Keep the same point of view through out the story. You are almost ready to be published. After completing your own proofreading and editing, let someone else read it, a neighbor, your spouse, colleague, or a close friend. Even if they are not writers themselves they will be able to help point out any grammar errors. They will be able to tell you if something just doesn?t make sense. You are trying to fit a lot of captivating information in a small space; it is easy to leave something out. Something you may not catch because you know what is supposed to happen, while your will not. By following these simple rules, you will be able to write a short story that is captivating and effective. Writing short stories isn?t for everyone. Many writers like more detail and for short stories the space is just not available.

Check Download.com for the Best Free Security Software Around With viruses, spyware, adware and hackers threatening on every corner of the internet, it is essential that especially internet users protect their PCs as best as they can to not loose their files or even their whole PC. Buying security software at a local computer store can be very expensive, but protecting the PC does not necessarily have to cost private persons anything at all. Just by checking what for example download.com has available, computer users might be able to save as much as 50-100 Dollars and still be able to protect their PCs adequately. One part of the web page called antivirus, firewall and spyware offers different links to downloads from companies that help protect PCs from any harm. Most of the programs offered on the web page are free for download. Some of the programs are antivirus software, which generally will scan the PC according to your settings for example once a day. When the software finds a virus in any of the files on the PC it will put out a virus alarm in form of a message box. The PC users then have to decide in which way the PC should be cleaned. Some antivirus software will offer to delete the file, others save it in what is called a virus vault, where the virus cannot attack other files on the PC, while others clean the file if it is cleanable. Other programs offered on the page are firewalls. Firewalls protect the Pc from any attacks form the internet, such as hackers hacking into your PC, Trojan horses, viruses and more entering the PC is not possible, when a firewall is used and set to the proper security setting. Using a firewall is a good idea for any PC, but it is important to know that the way the firewall works it might also cause a few problems with software on the Pc that enters the Internet. Therefore firewalls need to be configured right to have a smooth running and protected PC. Many of the firewalls offered on this page are free for download, but generally most PCs have a built in firewall in their operating system that just needs to be activated or configured. The third major kind of protection software one can download form this website is spy or ad-aware detection. Spy and ad-aware are programs that are malicious for the PC user. These kind of malicious little programs are installed without the users proper knowledge and intercept or partially take control of the interactions of the PC with the internet without the users consent. Spywares do not just monitor the internet interactions, as the name suggests, it also collects personal information, can install additional software that will take over the control of the browser activity, accessing websites that will allow for example viruses to enter the PC. Spyware is also often called privacy-invasive software and something a PC as well as a user needs to be protected from. The download page does not only offer many of these programs for free, it will also offer patches and update files for these programs. Even though many of the companies offer the continuous automatic update to protect a PC from new viruses and other malware, some PC users prefer not to have an automatic update and download their own updates whenever they deem necessary. Whichever way one likes to update the PC, it is most important of all to know that PCs need to be protected and users do not need to spend tons of money in order to do so. Free programs available for download on download.com will give a PC similar protection and keep files and identity safe.