Netiquette Notes

To make your Internet email experience more enjoyable, here are some tips and tricks, and some of the unwritten rules and guidelines often called “netiquette.”  People enjoy “forwarding” email they’ve received to others who may find it of interest.  This is a great way to share useful information.  However please take note of the comments below when doing this.  You’ll find here advice on:

how to determine a hoax, and not pass it on
unsolicited email netiquette: dealing with “spam”
respecting people’s privacy when emailing to several people at once
attachments, and why to delete most of them
making your messages more clear

The wonderful world of Internet legends and hoaxes

I estimate that 98-99% of the warnings and legends that I receive from well-meaning friends are hoaxes. Whether it be e-mail viruses that damage your monitor, needles in pay phones, pennies for a girl dying of cancer, or a 5 cent tax on e-mail messages, fantasy abounds in the Internet.  Spurious warnings about mythical threats are often passed on by well-meaning people.

I suggest a rule of thumb for Internet usage: do not pass on any warnings about anything until you have verified the source.  That doesn’t mean your friend Bill, it means validating virus threats with on-line lists, or warnings about other problems with someone who actually experienced it, not the friend of a friend.

Fortunately, there are resources available.  For the plethora of urban legends the web propagates, check out these sites to validate any threats:
There are many fun and fascinating, and false, stories to be read. 

For computer virus threats, to ensure you’re not passing along a hoax, please check the following resources:
If you’re unsure about a warning and don’t want to spend the time to research it, a simple guideline is:  don’t pass it on. 

Emailing to several people at once

One great capability of email is the ability to send the same message to several people at once: original thoughts, baby pictures or forwarded messages of interest.  However keep in mind that when you send a message to multiple people with their email addresses in the “To:” field of your message, everyone receiving the message will see all the email addresses.  They may forward your interesting message on to their friends, and very quickly your private email address has been received by thousands of people.  In time people who send spam pick up those addresses, add them to their list, and send many ads for sex services, loans, swarms of scams and legitimate advertisements to your email address. Further, certain viruses scan computers for any email addresses on the hard drive, the more people that have your address, the more likely such a virus can pick it up and attempt to infect your computer.

To avoid this, use a “blind copy” option or “suppressed recipient” list, unless the list of people you are sending to all know each other.  Your email “help” function can tell you how to do this for your particular email program.  To use a “blind copy” option simply put the list of email address into the “bc:” or “bcc:” field, and in the “To:” field put your own email address.  To anyone receiving the message it will look like you sent a message to yourself, and they will not see anyone else’s email address.

Attachments

Most email viruses are spread through attachments.  These are files that are sent along with an email message.  Often they contain an entertaining or apparently useful program.  An example is the “Happy99” virus of new year 1999, that featured a pretty fireworks display while it messed with the victim’s hard drive.

So the simple rule is: delete most attachments without opening them, unless you are 100% confident the sender created the file and you trust them, or you have good reason to believe the file is clean.  Inform the sender that you’d prefer not receive any suspect attachments.

There are exceptions, particularly image files, with file names that end on PC systems with .jpg, .jpeg, .tif, .bmp, .gif and other less common ones.  These can usually be downloaded and viewed without harm.  However beware of files that contain these letters, but don’t end in them, like “badfile.jpg.exe”.

Making your messages more clear

For every email message you can type the topic of your email into your subject field.  Putting something relevant and meaningful here can make it much easier to find emails later.  Some people choose not to read the subject field, and so many people also summarize the topic in an introductory sentence.

When replying to an email message, use your email program’s “reply” function.  With most email programs your reply will then include the sender’s original message.  It is considered polite to then delete much of the senders message, leaving enough of it to remind the sender of what they had written.  A “thread” or series of email message replies then does not get inordinately long.

You can also intersperse your answers to questions in your email reply, again deleting unnecessary original material.  An example:
 

Original messageYour reply 
(note parts of original message that are kept are preceded with “>”)
Hi Martha,Well, you know Maggie the cat has fleas now, but with the cold weather they’ll be gone soon.  How’s your cat? Meanwhile Fred’s got a new job selling used motor oil. blah, blah, blah etc.  I’ve decided to change my hair color too, a Christmas present to Fred.  Well, that’s all for now.  I hope you found your wallet.Love,HenriettaHi Henrietta,Nice to hear from you. >How’s your cat?Marty’s fine, no fleas, just attitude.>I hope you found your wallet.Yup, it was under the bed.  More later.Love,Martha

Helping your email contacts to help you

Many people are unaware of how using the simple advice here can greatly reduce spam and respect privacy.  Don’t hesitate to send the advice on this page on to someone you feel could benefit from it. 

3 Tips to Deploying an Effective SEO Campaign

Business and individuals alike are interested in how to utilize search engine optimization strategies today, especially so that they can get to the top of the major search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others that people use on a regular basis. The strategies and techniques used can make a major difference in how successful an online company will be or how soon it may be forced to quit business. Therefore, before online companies publish their new website, it is important for them to do their research well in advance to their online operations. With this being said, here are some basic tips that business owners can follow to reach the top of major search engines and remain there for extended periods of time.

# 1 – Learn How to Use Keywords and Keyword Phrases

Keywords and keyword phrases can be described as a significant part of a search engine optimization campaign. So, the website owner should know how keyword and keyword phrases should be used to get the attention of the search engine when they are used. For instance, keywords may be placed in the first paragraph and last paragraph of an article so that the search engine will pick up the information that has been posted on the site and rank it in the position of number one. However, it is important to note that keywords cannot be used too much throughout the article or the search engine may classify the search engine optimization strategy as a form of keyword stuffing.

#2 – Post Reputable Links on the Site

Many times the owner of the site may post materials from other blogs, forums, youtube and the like, specifically if the content is interesting and related to the site’s overall theme. In order to be effective when considering the major search engine, the links to other sites must be linked to reputable sources that can assist with raising that sites visibility in the search engines.

#3 – Make Sure to Use Engaging Content in your Vancouver SEO Campaign

In addition to using keywords to increase a site’s ranking, the site owners must also know how to produce and post engaging content. For instance, engaging content can be in the form of a diversity of things including teaching someone a do it yourself technique, providing content for a project that a person is working on for their job or school or to instruct them how to make money online.

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