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Cruise for Free Stuff Anonymously with a Free Privacy Service The World Wide Web is full of freebie offers, but many of these require you to give websites personal information and data. If you don't want your personal information floating around the World Wide Web (and who does want this?), there are some precautions you can take. Do you want to cruise for free stuff without having to worry about giving up your privacy? Here are a few privacy services that can help you cruise the web for freebies without having to worry about giving up any of your personal information. Why Should You Protect Your Privacy? Why should you even bother to use privacy services to cruise the web? There are many reasons why you would want to keep your personal data from being leaked into the World Wide Web. Every time that you are asked to provide personal information, you are at risk for infecting your computer with some kind of virus or spyware. In fact, it is estimated that the majority of all computer systems are infected by spyware. There are many programs that can actually track your keystrokes. This allows hackers and other cyber criminals to gain access to your passwords, bank account numbers and other private information. This puts you at high risk of computer identity theft. You can avoid having to enter personal information by using privacy programs to surf the web. Surf Easy with Anonymizer.com This is a program that allows you to surf the web anonymously. What does this program do? This program protects you by keeping your IP address secure. This means that online tracking software will be unable to track the sites you visit and keep a profile on your online activities. This program allows your connection to be redirected through their own secure servers, thus keeping your online identity hidden and protected. This program uses 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer technology. The program also provides protections against pharming, phishing and spyware websites that seek to invade your computer. Keep Your Privacy with Enonymous What is Enonymous.com, and what can it do to protect your privacy? Enonymous.com offers web surfers the ability to cruise confidently with its own host of free privacy software. This privacy software was created as a way to protect web surfers and consumers right to privacy. The program offers users with privacy policy statements and ratings. The software also helps users choose what kind of personal information they want to divulge before making web purchases. If you are concerned about giving away your name, phone number, email and other personal data, not to mention credit card and bank account numbers, then you will appreciate this software program. For Fast, Free and Totally Private Email, Turn to Hushmail Are you looking for fast, free and private email? If so, Hushmail.com is what you are looking for. This email uses industry standard algorithms that are optimized for the highest level of privacy, authenticity and security. This is one of the best of the free email services if you are concerned about protecting your privacy. All you need to do is to create your own passphrase. The program creates a transparent decryption and encryption system. It is also very user-friendly that allows for easy encryption and decryption of data, and for fast retrieval of a public/private key. ZoneAlarm for the Best in Firewall Protection If you are looking for the best in firewall protection, consider using ZoneAlarm for protecting your PC from invading viruses and spyware. This award-winning program helps shield your computer from incoming attackers, and helps banish already-present invaders. Surf the World Wide Web with confidence with the help of ZoneAlarm.

Web Hosting - Managing Disk Space Few things are less exciting than managing the disk space that always seems to be in too short a supply. But few things are more important to the health and well being of your site. The most obvious aspect of managing disk space is the need to have enough. If you have only a few dozen web pages, that's not an issue. But as the amount of information (web pages, database content and more) grows, the quantity of free space goes down. That's important for two reasons. All permanent information on a computer is stored on hard drives. Temporary information is often stored in memory only. The two components are completely separate, though they are sometimes confused with one another. As the amount of free space on the hard drive decreases several effects occur. Here's one way to picture them... Imagine you had a table with a certain area and you lay out playing cards on the table. At first, you lay them out in order, the 2 at the side of the 3, then 4, and so on. But then you pick up one or two cards from the middle and discard them. Then you add some more cards. Pretty soon things look pretty random. Now cover the cards with a big opaque sheet of paper. You want the cards to appear in order when displayed to someone. A special robot could be designed to always pick up the cards from underneath the sheet in order. Or, it could slide a hole in the sheet over the cards to display them in the correct order (2, 3, 4, ...), no matter what order they are really in. That's similar to how the operating system always shows you information in a sensible way, even though it's actually stored randomly. Why should you care? Real files are stored in pieces scattered around the drive wherever there is space for them. The more free space there is, the quicker the operating system can find a place to store a new piece. That means, if you delete the junk you no longer need (and free up more space) the system actually runs quicker. It helps create space you might need, and allows the operating system to store files for you faster. But there's a second effect. As you delete old files or change them, the pieces get more and more scattered. It takes the 'robot' longer and longer to fetch or display the 'cards' in order. Existing files are fetched and put together 'on the fly' (say, when you request a graphical page or a list of names). But, it takes longer to put together the web page when there are more scattered pieces. So, the other aspect of managing disk space is to keep the pieces of the files more or less in order. A utility that does that is called a 'de-fragger' or de-fragmentation program. You can request that a system administrator run it, or if you have the authority, you can run it yourself. That keeps the 'cards' in order and allows for quicker access to them. So, managing disk space involves chiefly three things: (1) keeping enough space to store what you need to store, and also (2) keeping enough free space to make new file storage quick and (3) making old file retrieval fast by keeping things orderly. When only a few files are involved the benefit isn't worth the effort. But as the number and size of the files grow, to thousands of files or several gigabytes of data, the effect becomes more noticeable. Keeping things organized then makes a significant difference in performance. Much of this can be automated using utilities. Some will delete files in a certain folder older than a certain date. A de-fragger can be set to run automatically during times of light usage, or quietly in the background at all times. Discuss the options with your system administrator and help him or her do the job better by keeping your house in order. You'll benefit by having a better performing web site.

Web Hosting - When Changing Web Hosts Nearly everyone will want to change to a new web host at some point. It may involve just changing out old hardware for new. It usually means finding an entirely new web hosting company. When faced with that decision there are a number of issues to be considered. Swapping hardware and/or software is a fairly straightforward decision. There are two possible scenarios. Either you maintain your own hardware and software at a facility managed by others, or you are considering upgrading to newer (usually more expensive) systems maintained by others. In either case, it's simply a matter of estimating the cost and the short-term impact versus the long-term benefits. If the system(s) you currently use are short on capacity, sooner or later you'll be sufficiently motivated to make the change. Either the hardware will become unreliable or loaded to the point you'll be forced to migrate, or your needs will expand enough to justify the effort and expense of moving. Similar considerations apply to the scenario in which you rely on the web hosting company for everything, and want to find someone else to rely on. Regrettably, that's a very common situation. Many web hosting companies provide systems and staff that sooner or later fall below an acceptable level. Most people make the decision to change based on emotion. That's not entirely bad. Emotions incent you to take action. But you need to keep a cool head, too, in order to calculate your long-range self-interest. Bearing some minor inconveniences from time to time is usually worth the trade off. When it begins to affect your site to the point you're losing visitors, it's time to make a change. To get a more objective handle on when that point is reached, reach for some numbers. Maintain, or get from the hosting company, a factual report about availability and current usage. If the server is down so much, or so heavily loaded, that it drives your visitors away, it's time to take action. There are other less easily quantifiable but equally important factors, as well. You will at some point need to communicate with one or more persons who help maintain your site. Even if you do all your own server, database and web site maintenance, someone behind the scenes is helping to keep things running smoothly. That's called 'infrastructure'. If the road you drive on has potholes, it's not enough that you can fix your own car. In terms of network bandwidth and availability, server capacity, disk space, security and a whole array of other aspects, the web hosting company has to have competent people who care (and are allowed) to do the job well. When the company's people fall down - because of incompetence, lack of resources or absence of a culture of excellence - or for any other reason - your web site suffers. This issue more than any other is what drives people to seek another web hosting company. Even if you choose well at the outset, things can change. Management changes, staff changes and companies are taken over by other companies. Sometimes, it isn't simply a matter of swapping out an unreliable piece of hardware or software. When it's time to swap out people, you look for the same aspect: doing the job required.