All posts by socialspark

Small Business Computers Need Protections In Place


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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Norton Small Business by Symantec for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you’ve been reading IdentityTheftSecrets.com for any length of time, you know that we are hugely in support of the American small business.

While large businesses have an ability to absorb and manage the complexity of doing business today, small businesses have to be much more creative and flexible in carrying the brunt of the regulations which are passed by all kinds of governing bodies at the city, state, and national levels.

Small businesses also end up assuming many of the difficulties which are caused by employees or customers.  That is simply the role of the small business in America today, and a responsibility the small business owner takes on when they decide to open the doors of their businesses.

Cheers to the small business owner, the risks they take, and the things they do to build the American economy.  They do this primarily by offering a service to clients, and doing it so well that their business grows, requiring them to hire staff and expand.

Because providing service to clients is at the core of every small business, one of the scariest things that can happen to a small business is to have the confidential information of their client database taken from them.  In a day and age of electronic communication, this is most often caused by hacking, malware, negligent employees, or competitors causing willful destruction.

Not only are business computers the place where customer and supplier data is stored, they are also the primary productivity tools in most businesses, managing everything from cashflow to mailing to pretty much every aspect of the business cycle.

As a result, most small business owners know just how important it is to keep their computers protected and running smoothly.  But with all that it takes to run a small business, becoming a computer expert is not high on the priority (or desires) list.

This is one of the reasons why we talk a lot about products and services on this site which help small business owners with their technology needs.  This is also the reason for this article today.  You can have options to protect your Small Business from the latest online threats

Right now, Norton has a 30% discount for small business owners.

New Message-494Whether it’s a negligent employee who is surfing suspect sites on work time, or an actual malicious attack, it’s more important than ever to have software in place that provides layered protection for the computers that small businesses use.

Norton offers multiple products which accomplish these tasks for personal/home use and business use.  Norton has recently updated their products as well (Norton 360 and Internet Security 2012) so that you can be aware of all the latest threats and possible compromises to your computers.

Having software in place is a good idea.

Protect your computers before

  • an attack,
  • a negligent act,
  • a simple lack of understanding,

and do it before one of the above leaves your computer unusable or your data compromised. 

Spending a little bit in advance to have some protections in place can save you both time and money, the two things small business owners have the least of.

Take a look at Norton’s discounts on their products, and let us know in the comments below:

Are you currently using Norton Small Business by Symantec (or any of their home products) for your computers, or will you in the future? 

Which one of Symantec’s products is most beneficial for you and why?

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No Contracts And Unlimited Use – Finally Available at a Reasonable Price


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pThis is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of a href=”http://app.socialspark.com/disclosure_clicks?oid=6537801″ rel=”nofollow”Net10/a for a href=”http://izea.in/rcMu” rel=”nofollow”SocialSpark/a. All opinions are 100% mine./p
p
I’m finally out of my contract cell phone agreement.nbsp; As I’m looking for a new company, there are a few things that I must have:/p
ul
li
No contract/li
li
Great coverage/li
li
Unlimited minutes and texts/li
li
Internet capability/li
/ul
p
For me to even consider the next cell phone company I’ll use, they must have all of the above features at a reasonable price./p
p
I was paying $180 per month for unlimited calls, but was charged for every text sent AND received.nbsp; This really annoyed some of the members of my family, as well as myself./p
p
I ran across Net10 recently, and I have to say, I love their options.nbsp; Check out a href=”http://app.socialspark.com/clicks?lid=19379amp;oid=6537801″ rel=”nofollow”What Rob has to say/a to learn more./p
p
Net10 doesn’t have contracts, so you are free to change your plan month-to-month for no additional charge or contract lengthening.nbsp; And, you can even change in the middle of a month if you think you’ll need more (or less) talk time./p
p
With the Net10 Unlimited plan, you can get unlimited calls, text, and internet for $50 a month!nbsp; This isnbsp;available nationwide.nbsp; And, you even get free and unlimited 411 usage included./p
p
Their coverage is great.nbsp; They even have nationwide coverage, including rural areas. nbsp;Not many carriers can claim that (though they try to)./p
p
Check out a video about Net10 object height=”360″ width=”480″param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/LS9-anhngoY?version=3amp;hl=en_USamp;rel=0″ /param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true” /param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always” /embed allowfullscreen=”true” allowscriptaccess=”always” height=”360″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/LS9-anhngoY?version=3amp;hl=en_USamp;rel=0″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”480″/embed/object/p
p
For me, I want an unlimited plan, but they also have great plans for those who don’t talk as much as I do.nbsp; And if you don’t use all your minutes one month, they carry over to the next month.nbsp; So, if you have a plan with 750 minutes of usage for $25 per month, but you only talk for 500 minutes that month.nbsp; Those 250 minutes that you didn’t use will be yours to use the next month./p
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For me, it’s a simple choice.nbsp; I’m going with Net10.nbsp; Their unlimited plan and great phone choices won me over./p
p
But if you want more convincing, check out what a a href=”http://app.socialspark.com/clicks?lid=19381amp;oid=6537801″ rel=”nofollow”Real NET10 customer/a has to say./p

pa href=”http://app.socialspark.com/disclosure_clicks?oid=6537801″ rel=”nofollow”img alt=”Visit Sponsor’s Site” border=”0″ src=”http://app.socialspark.com/views?oid=6537801″ style=”border:none;” //a/p

Switching Cell Phone Carriers Again – Net10


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I seem to switch cell phone companies every few years.

Just when I get to where I’m feeling good about the service provided by one company, they either raise their already ridiculously high monthly fee, or bill me for some super high amount for some reason that is unknown to me in advance.  It feels as much like fraud as any identity theft or fraud scam we’ve ever profiled on our site.

You would think that long-term customers would be wanted.

You would think that companies like T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, AT&T would care about having long-term customers who had positive things to say about them.

Instead, I’ve come to believe that most of the cell phone companies have policies that are inherently designed to push customers from one company to another, because they make more (short-term) money from selling new phones and stealing customers away from each other.

Yes, I’m frustrated with my latest cell phone story, and I am looking for a new company.

I will spare you the details, but the short story is that I returned to America after 2 years of being abroad to discover that I had a $550 cell phone bill (already reported to the credit reporting agencies – before any effort had been made to reach me).  This was a bill I had never heard a thing about, despite the fact that I found out about it with a simple phone call made to me from a collection company.  My current provider couldn’t call me or send me a letter before turning over my account to collections?

With all of the options for cell phones today, it becomes difficult to decide which company is best.  I used to use Sprint.  Then I used T-Mobile.  However, I’m quite frustrated with their customer service (which can’t even send me a bill for the supposed charges on calls I never made), and so I’ve been looking around for someone else to get cell phone coverage through.

One of the companies I’ve come across is NET10.  With Net10, you pay one flat rate, and then everything is included.

Here’s a Cute NET10 commercial

I like this unlimited feature because one of my big frustrations with my other cell phone plans has been that they eventually end up billing me for some unknown charges.  In the latest issue, I ended up with a $550 bill for a 6 month period when I was traveling out of the country.  During this time, my phone was supposed to be unusable, and I was only supposed to pay $10/month to hold the phone number.  I didn’t the cell phone number in 6 months, and I suspect someone sold my phone number from within the company.  So for me, unlimited is a great deal.

Net10’s unlimited plan also includes all the texting and data you can use in a month’s time.  Unlimited means unlimited.

Here’s something from a Real NET10 customer

You also won’t have to deal with extra contracts, or credit checks because they don’t have anything like that.  They don’t do credit checks since you’re paying just once a month, and they don’t spring surprise bills on you because there are not additional fees.

I haven’t personally tested it yet, but from what I understand, the coverage with Net10 is great and works nationwide.

One thing I’ve noticed with some of the other less expensive companies I’ve been looking at (which shall remain nameless) is that they often use old or off-brand phones.  But with NET10, you can get phones from most of the major brands including LG, Motorola, Samsung, and Kyocera.  You can get phones that have cameras, full QWERTY keyboards, and Bluetooth capability.

Net10 also has other plans.  Personally I am thinking I would go with the unlimited plan for all the reasons I’ve mentioned, but they also have pay-as-you-go plans, including one that they call the “Easy Minutes Plus Plan” which gives you a way to pay just for the minutes you are using.  The most basic Easy Minutes Plan is $15 for 200 minutes.  But because there are no contracts or extra fees, if you sign up for one plan and then decide you want another, you can simply switch plans online, where you can also purchase more airtime.

You can also purchase more minutes (if you’re on one of their pay-as-you-go plans) from your phone.

What Rob has to say about Net10

I used to love each of the companies that I had service with.  Then at some point, they seem to “turn to the dark side” and add in fees, extra bills, and random charges.  I don’t mind paying the charges if I’m responsible, but when a company won’t even send me a bill.

For now, NET10 is the new player on the scene, and appears to be offering really great services and phones at highly competitive prices.  Maybe it’s just natural that I will have to switch cell phone providers every few years, but if NET10 will continue to be the good company they appear to be today with low fees and predictable bills, I will be happy to remain their customer long-term.

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A Better Phone Carrier That Won’t Charge Me For Charges That Are Not Mine


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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Net10 for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T.

The Internet abounds with stories of the cell phone carriers.

Some reviews are positive.  Most are not.

Most people end up feeling that the company they have chosen for their cell phone or their cell phone plan is careless, rude, or just downright evil.

I have an issue with my old cell phone provider right now.

Last October, I was leaving the country for 18 months, I was not under any kind of contract.  So I switched my plan to a low-use mode, and switched to e-statements. It was supposed to cost me just $10/month.  I did not take my phone with me when I left the country, and had NO way of making phone calls other than Skype or calling cards.

Just last month, I received a phone call from a collection agency (which I picked up via Skype).  They say I hey say I owe the cell phone company $450.  However, they have never sent me a bill for it via email or regular mail.   If they did, I never received the bill.  But now, since they have turned it over to collections, they can’t send me the bill.  And because they turned it over to a collection agency (which is how I found out about it), they tell me that they no longer have access to the billing.  Neither does the collection agency.

My guess is that someone, somehow, got a hold of my account or my cell phone, and has fraudulent run up these charges on it.  But since I never received a billing, and because my account was immediately turned over to collections, I have no way to even know that.

I’d be happy to pay my bill, if they would tell me what I’m being billed for.

This is one of the reasons why I’m considering switching to a company whose motto is “No bills. No contracts.  No evil.”

The name of the better, “No evil” company is Net10.  And they have an unlimited cell phone plan, which is actually unlimited.

It’s not just an advertising ploy, the plan is actually without limits.  (But they also have some clever marketing.  Check out this Cute NET10 commercial.

It costs $50/month to get nationwide coverage, and you can talk, text, and use as much data as you want. 

It’s $50/month.

And since the issue with the old cell phone company has gone on my credit report, I might not qualify for a cell phone now with other companies.

So I’m seriously looking at signing up with Net10 when I get back to the states, because Net10 doesn’t do credit checks.

Check out more from this Real NET10 customer.

You can get great phones from Net10, including phones with full QWERT keyboards and cameras. They have name brand phones from companies like LG, Motorola, Kyocera, Samsung, and Nokia, and even though we haven’t tested it out for ourselves, reviews online say that Net10 has as good of coverage in most areas as any of the big carriers.

Here’s another comparison to the big carriers. Which I’m thinking at the moment are relatively evil.

Net10 also offer great rates on International long distance as well as offer plans specific to Mexico and Canada so that when you’re traveling outside of, but close to the US, you can still be reached by friends and family at a local number.

Anything sounds better than a company that won’t even send me a bill, call me, or try to reach me, before it turns me over to collections.  However, Net10 sounds like an option I will actually enjoy using, knowing that no matter what I do, my plan costs just $50/month.

What Rob has to say

See the Light

10 Good Reasons

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MyTies For iPhone: Social Apps Sometimes Cause Concerns


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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of MyTies. All opinions are 100% mine.

——————
This article is about MyTies.com
If you want to skip the MyTies reivew
and just want the MyTies Promotion Code
for 20 free invites, use “MyPrivacy”
(This will give you 20 more invites.)
——————-

There have been many concerns lately around social networking apps being a place where personal information can be used, stolen, abused, and grabbed out of the air.

We will have an article here on IdentityTheftSecrets about an application for Firefox that is causing great concern for people using open wifi networks.

However, we’ve come across a social networking application for the iPhone which (based on what we’ve seen so far), we feel pretty comfortable recommending you should take a look at.

MyTies describes themselves as a private social networking application for the iPhone.

Here’s how MyTies works:

As a user, you let MyTies access your personal address book.

That can be a cause for a security concern sometimes, and rightfully so.

However, MyTies has gotten the security issue figured out.

And, unlike some apps which let anyone see where you are at any time, MyTies lets you set up groups of people from among your contacts.

This means that you can create multiple groups and set each group to be its own private network.

You can allow users to invite their contacts, and ultimately, using the system, you can decide who you want to share information with, and what information you want to share.

(This might include text messages, photos, videos and location information.)

As an example, you could set up groups for “family”, “work”, and “friends”.

Your friends and family groups might get the latest pictures of your dog’s antics in the latest snowstorm, while your work colleagues would not.

Myties will let you control who’s in the group, what content they see, and when they see it.

What gives us mild concern for MyTies:
Like any application that has access to your personal data, there is the possibility for loss of information.
But the security and permission level measures taken by MyTies are infinitely better than many similar apps.

What we like about MyTies:
You’re in control of the groups you’re part of
You’re in control of what information goes out to the users of your groups
You are the only person why has permission to invite people to see your posts

If you want to try out MyTies for your iPhone, make sure you use the MyTies Promotion Code “MyPrivacy”.
This will give you 20 more invites so you can connect with people more easily.

If you’re in the market for a better way to do social networking on your iPhone, we recommend to give the free MyTies.com application a try.

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