Spring is here, and this May issue is designed to help you "spring forward" in your Internet knowledge. We start with an overview of the Internet Crime Complaint Center's recently released 2009 Annual Report, which reveals significant increases in both complaints and dollar losses linked to online fraud—a good reminder to remain vigilant with your security precautions. You'll also learn how to write e-mail messages that won't annoy or confuse recipients, and how to rename your Favorites/Bookmarks to streamline your browser's list. Just for fun, check out Great Sites for cures for spring fever from gardening and outdoor recreation resources.
The goal of each of our monthly eNewsletters is to keep our subscribers informed regarding their Internet connection and to improve their Internet experience. We think you'll find this information interesting. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins on a monthly basis, please see the links at the bottom of this e-mail to manage your preferences.
To see what's inside this issue, simply scroll down the eNewsletter or click on the links within the index to the left. Thanks for reading!
- The eCurrents Team
Warning! - Online Fraud Loss More Than Doubles
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, recently released its 2009 Annual Report about fraudulent activity on the Internet. Online crime complaints increased substantially in 2009, according to the report. The IC3 received a total of 336,655 complaints, a 22.3% increase over 2008. And the total dollar loss linked to online fraud was $559.7 million, up from $265 million the previous year.
Although the complaints consisted of a variety of fraud types, the top five scams were:
E-mail scams using FBI name
Non-delivered merchandise and/or payment
Advance fee fraud
Peter Trahon, Section Chief of the FBI's Cyber Division, says, "Computer users are encouraged to have up-to-date security protection on their devices and evaluate e-mail solicitations they receive with a healthy skepticism—if something seems too good to be true, it likely is." In addition, be suspicious of any unsolicited e-mail that asks for personal information, and do not follow unsolicited links or respond to unsolicited e-mails.
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This Month's FAQ - Is It Considered Rude To Use Excessive Punctuation In E-mail Messages?
Question: Is it considered rude to use excessive punctuation, such as ????? or !!!!!, in e-mail messages?
Answer: Yes, most "netiquette" experts recommend not over-punctuating since it may seem as though you are shouting or frustrated with the recipient. Depending on the circumstances, communicating in this manner can also come off as demanding and condescending. (Plus, people are busy enough without having to wade through a dozen exclamation marks at the end of a sentence.)
Keep in mind that since e-mail messages lack the clarity and expressiveness of the human voice, they can easily be misinterpreted. For the sake of effective communication, it's best to follow normal punctuation rules when you write e-mail messages, and use the text itself to express emphasis rather than excessive punctuation. Also avoid using no punctuation or capitalization at all (habits you may have developed from instant messaging) as well as acronyms that the recipient might not understand.
Sites Of The Month - Great Sites To Check Out In May
Explore the Outdoors http://wildernet.com/index.cfm - With spring comes many more outdoor recreational opportunities. If you're looking for new adventures, look no further than this site for all the details. Pick a state on the U.S. map, and you'll find dozens of ideas for trails, state parks, lakes, rivers, scenic byways, and more. You'll get thorough descriptions, trip reports, trip planning resources, and contact information. The site also features a gift center, gear store, bookstore, and custom map service.
20-Minute Meal Recipes http://cookinglight.com/food/quick-healthy/ - What's better than fast meals? Superfast meals! If you're looking for great food that can be prepared in 20 minutes or less, check out the wide variety of superfast suppers on the Cooking Light magazine site. Each category (pasta, sides, comfort food, pork, summer, seafood, Asian, and more) includes 20 recipes that get changed every two weeks.
Stop Bullying Now http://stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov/adults/default.aspx - Bullying is more than just a nuisance for kids. It's a serious social problem that can produce troubling, or even tragic, results. The Stop Bullying Now site is a resource for learning what constitutes bullying and cyberbullying, the consequences of this behavior, and what kids and adults can do to prevent it. Based on the work of researchers from around the world, the site includes games, webisodes, quizzes, articles, and tip sheets.
Grow a Gorgeous Garden http://weekendgardener.net/index.html - As the weather warms up, are you gearing up for gardening season? If so, the Weekend Gardener may be for you. This comprehensive site offers feature articles, Q&As, how-tos, video tips, and climate zone maps. You'll find monthly to-do lists, gardening club listings, and suggestions for growing specific plants. Still want more? There are landscaping ideas, gardening resource lists, and instructions for controlling pesky garden pests.
Listen to Real-life Stories http://storycorps.org - StoryCorps is a nonprofit organization that helps people share their life stories with friends, family, and the community. Their site features touching tales that have been recorded through the program, as well as instructions for producing your own. Listen to stories in such categories as Angels & Mentors, Friendship, and Wisdom. Or learn how to create a keepsake for Mother's or Father's Day that will be cherished for years to come.
Short Tutorial - Renaming Your Favorites/Bookmarks
There are times when "short and sweet" is best, and this may apply to the names of your Favorites/Bookmarks. Their names come from webpage titles; if the author gave it a crazy long title, you end up with a crazy long name in your browser's list of Favorites/Bookmarks. You can u