The End of the Open Internet

There was time when nobody took anything you said seriously in an email, or SMS message for that matter. From a legal point of view most companies included a release which included a waiver of liability message at the bottom of each email stating that they don’t enter into contracts by email and if the message was sent to the incorrect recipient then please delete it.

The average office was awash with politically incorrect emails circulating around the corporate world. Sometimes they were amusing, often offensive but generally good natured, whatever the content we just deleted them and got on with our day. However, as the transition continued from printed to electronic media, the responsibility of the written word also changed.

Social and Electronic media
Today, electronic media has become the noose in which to hang ourselves. In the old days, if you had a bad day at work you would sit down and bash out an angry resignation letter to your boss. Then think about what you had just written while searching for an envelope, and completely change your mind before you made the fatal mistake of leaving it in his or her in tray. Even if you did so, and changed your mind once you got home, you could still arrive extra early in the morning and retrieve it before damage was done.

But not today, as soon as you hit the send button you have just committed the message to the ether and nothing can save you. Politicians, sports celebrities, you and me, no one is immune, there is no second chance. The situation has become exasperated with the growth of social media. For politicians, celebrities and the like, social media is a double edged sword. On one hand it provides instant feedback from a huge number of people as to how you are performing. But make the fatal mistake of sending the wrong tweet, or uploading the wrong picture to your Facebook page and suddenly both your professional and personal life takes a tumble. Behave irresponsibly on a night out and you can almost guarantee someone has snapped tell all pictures and uploaded them to a social media site which is pushed out to thousands of followers, even before the party has finished. This does almost seem like George Orwell’s 1984, but played in reverse. It’s not that electronic media is contractually binding, or implies an obligation on the part of the individual in any way, but sets a trend of behavior expected by a jury of your peers.

Freedom of Speech
The Internet as we know it today is a transport mechanism. It doesn’t distinguish between good or bad. The foundation of the applications which were developed to run on top of this transport were always intended to be a based upon freedom of speech and free of censorship restrictions. So why is there so much talk today about censoring and controlling the Internet with litigation?

Before the social media revolution most governments (in the west at least) were reluctant to impose any sort of controls on the Internet. Most politicians thought of the Internet as a large electronic encyclopedia, a research tool, or a source of dirty pictures. But along came social media which allowed splinter opposition groups to grow, become organized, and before long coordinated riots broke out across the United Kingdom and governments in Egypt and Tunisia tumbled. The U.S state department reeled in response to the leaked interoffice cables published by Wikileaks, and the Internet demonstrated its power to motivate people and bring about change in a entirely new way.

Western governments have always enjoyed a certain amount of control over the media. Carefully chosen press releases are fed to news organizations, who are either dependent on advertising revenues or are part of a large multinational conglomerate, who in turn have their own political agenda. Whatever the case, mainstream news, is very guarded about what is reported and when. But the Internet allows news to be broadcast instantly, anonymously and without prejudice. The mainstream news organizations are often forced to play catch up on viral Internet news, or risk appearing redundant.

Internet Piracy
The days of needing physical media for either listening to music or watching a movie have pretty much given way to on-line media. Before Internet piracy, police would raid illegal VHS or DVD duplication operations seize equipment, individuals and the content owners could rest easy that their intellectual property was safe. Today, content piracy is rife; media is replicated across the Internet minutes after being officially released. Indeed, both music and video stores have all but vanished from the high street, and on-line music and digital media stores have replaced this revenue stream altogether, however the industry is losing millions, if not billions each year to the file sharing pirates.

It is this guise of Internet piracy protection in which governments are using as the catalyst to put in place controls on content, which make service providers, search engines, and anyone else in the path accountable for maintaining links or transporting traffic of an illegal nature. This is a battle which if successful would erode into the margins on service providers and content search farms alike. Hence lobbying from both sides is intense.

The piracy argument will be the catalyst for controlling the Internet, but the real reason will be curbing social media networks from organizing chaos. A strategy based on creating legislation which makes social media networks and service providers accountable for the activities of their users, reduces the burden on the governments to moderate and monitor user activity. Regardless, most governments today whether they admit it or not, have in place Internet kill switch contingencies, so if the situation arises, stopping the Internet is akin to blowing up the radio transmitter during the war time days of the early 20th century.

The controlled Internet
What we are risking is a repeat of the mid 1990’s where organizations like AOL and MSN realized that a global Internet portal with structured content governed and controlled was the answer to the unstructured, untrustworthy pages of information on the Internet, which allowed both AOL and MSN to thrive during the early years of the Internet. Of course once the rest of the Internet became better organized it was quickly realized that unlimited flexibility of the Internet was far more desirable than the rigid structure of these portals. But ultimately this is what we face as the alternative if censorship on content, activity and opinions are successful.

Going underground
If this did happen there is a real risk of parallel Internet’s being created?
With the advent of VPN technologies designed to connect remote workers back to their corporate offices, VPNs could also form the basis of private Internet rings where users circumvent protection mechanisms put in place by connecting to private server resources which would become the foundation of the underground Internet. This would become a cat and mouse game where authorities would infiltrate the private ring, attempt to shut it down and then the pass-phrase or security token changes, or a new ring is created and the process starts again.

In life more often than not, it is the minority who ruin things for the majority, the vast bulk of people on the planet who use the Internet on a daily basis don’t organize revolutions or actively engage in illegal activity, but ultimately the few that do, could create such ripples through society that the universally free Internet that we know today ceases to exist.

Internet Marketing – How to Start As a Beginner

Internet marketing is like every other businesses, except that internet marketing is done strictly online without need for any physical transactions or physical contacts with buyers.

As the internet marketing business is now thriving like never before, more people wish to establish them themselves in this business. Internet marketing involves the buying, selling and distribution of a product or service on the Internet. Internet marketing has, over the years, become one of the most dynamic and fastest growing businesses throughout the world. The main reason for this growth is its availability in the world to millions (if not billions) of people. It is not easy to learn the basics of Internet marketing. However, it is also not beyond the beginners’ ability to learn rapidly: anyone with passion to do successful business on the internet can do this.

Basically, there are four areas we need to look at:

Website Design

Designing a website is one of the basic skills you must possess before becoming an internet marketer. It used to be a requirement to have knowledge of HTML, CSS, XML, and other web design software languages. If you do possess these skills, you are be able to create websites according to your precise specifications. Apart from having these skills, you can join a website design platform (of which there are too many to go into here). These often have “drag and drop” templates. This will allow you to put up a very attractive website in almost no time at all.

These website templates are straight forward, and most have been designed for people who do not have the technical “computer language” skills to do their own programming. If the design of a website is not something you are good at, you can hire a good web designer to do the job for you.

Software Development

The development of software is another category in Internet marketing business. In this category, you develop a tool (or software) according to a customers’ specifications and preferences. This is a difficult task because it requires complex inputs (and something simple like a single comma instead of a period will actually stop the software from working)!

Development of websites is an easier skill to master than this. Some blog or website owners do require the service of software/apps developers from time to time. If you have this type of skill set, you can make good money by offering this service to customers across the globe. Such development may also include setting up the contents of websites, helping people with affiliate marketing, blogging, etc.

Advertising of Products or Services

This is arguably the easiest of all internet marketing techniques. Advertising uses techniques such as search engine optimization, as well as the use of popular blogs/websites to improve ad visibility. The ads are usually posted on websites that have greater use and get a lot of traffic. Examples of advertisements are visible on both Google and Facebook.

The skills to do this are easy to learn and even easier to set up. This type of marketing is preferred by many internet marketers over the website design and software development styles of marketing.

Truly, all you need do is learn how to set up a blog or website and begin to send traffic to it. Once you begin to receive a substantial amount of traffic, you apply to an Ads Company to advertise on your website. Google AdSense, Facebook ads, and propeller ads, are good examples for you to look into. Search engine optimization and the placement of banner ads are excellent examples of internet advertising.

Selling of Products and Services

Probably the largest and most popular way to begin a career in Internet Marketing is by selling a product or service. Selling on the Internet is the most searchable opportunity and is a precondition for any internet marketing business. Most direct sales companies are now tending towards using the Internet as well. You will find that the majority of my articles, blog posts and YouTube videos are centered around this niche of Internet Marketing.

Although there are many, many marketers in this niche (and you may think there is “too much competition”- but you would be wrong!) the opportunities are truly endless. Selling products or services is basically a strategy that can reach a larger audience with fewer expenses.

Sales are made using email marketing, social media and websites. The method of selling depends on the company and the type of business or products you are trying to sell, as well as different methods of approaching your prospective clients. You can sign up to offer products through one of the auction sites on the internet (such as Amazon or E-bay) and earn smaller commissions with less overhead. Or, you can offer products directly and cut out the middle man! You can develop your own products very easily and keep all the profits. Or sign up affiliates to market and sell your products for you and pay them a commission and you keep the profits from that! (We will get into this in later articles).

Anyone planning on entering the internet marketing niche should learn at least one of the skills listed above as well as offer a product or service for sale. Internet business is just like every other business. In order for you to be successful, you must look at this as a job and not just fun. Make your business plan; plan your business; earn your money – but more importantly, offer a product or service that will leave the world a better place!

Flattening The American Internet

Accessing information and interactive resources available around the globe via the Internet is a pretty simple task. In a carefree Internet world, the dynamics of connecting to resources are transparent, and we expect resources we want to access are available through our local Internet service provider. Technical details of connecting to Internet resources are an abstract concept for most, and whatever mechanics happen behind the scenes are not relevant to our everyday use of the network.

Because the Internet is made up of a complex matrix of physical, business and international relationships, how these systems interact and collaborate is actually very important to the end user, as well as to those providing Internet services and content. Of the greatest concern impacting online resources from eBay to the Bank of America is the potential financial pressure brought on by the largest Tier 1 networks. As the only networks in the world having global Internet visibility, these few companies, including AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, Level 3, and Cable and Wireless, facilitate access to the global Internet – a function which people and companies worldwide depend on to ensure small networks and content providers are available through their local service providers.

The Tier 1 world was born at the demise of NSFNet (National Science Foundation Network). In the early days of Internet development, the NSF supported development of a large publicly funded academic and research network throughout the United States, and connecting many foreign academic networks to the US as a hub through the International Connections Manager (ICM Network). As commercial Internet development grew in the early 1990s, the NSF realized it was time to back away from publicly funding the “Internet” and grant contracts to large US carriers to take over responsibility for the former US Domestic backbone and ICM portions of the NSFNet.

Small Internet exchange points (IXPs) were also funded, allowing the large networks taking over NSFNet assets, as well as their own commercial Internets to connect and share Internet traffic. Those network access points (NAPs) were also contracted to the large US carriers, who managed policies for US and International network exchange. The large US carriers ultimately had control of the networks, and were the original Tier 1 Internet providers.

Roadblocks in the Internet Community

Debates around net neutrality highlight some underlying issues. The goal of net neutrality is to preserve the open and interconnected nature of the public Internet. But whether the largest networks use their control to hinder growth and innovation within the Internet-connect business community or impede free access to Internet-connected content sources, they have the power and control which could present challenges to an open Internet environment.

A Tier 1 network, for example, has the power to charge a major content delivery network (CDN) a premium to access its network. This is because the CDN may deliver a very large amount of content traffic into a network, and the Tier 1 network believes they should receive additional compensation to fund additional capacity needed to support content distribution. This premium may be more money than the CDN is willing or able to pay. In turn, if the CDN doesn’t comply, the Tier 1 can ultimately refuse the CDN access to its network and cut its consumers access to the CDN’s content. This applies whether consumers access the Tier 1 directly or if the Tier 1 is the middle-network between consumers and their Tier 2 or 3 networks.

A voice over Internet Protocol Company underscores another potential conflict of interest. Let’s say you’re a consumer of a Tier 1 network that’s also a telephone company and you want to use a VoIP company, such as Vonage. But the Tier 1 doesn’t want the VoIP company to compete with its network and would rather that you use its own telephone product, so the Tier 1 may prevent you from using your VoIP company. In other words, a Tier 1, in developing its own commercial VoIP product, can prevent non-owned VoIP traffic from passing through its network.

While Tier 1 networks hold value for much of the Internet world, they also impose many political and financial barriers on smaller networks, content delivery networks, emerging VoIP companies, online gaming businesses, B2B and online commerce, and entertainment web sites. It is evident that Internet Service Providers (ISPs), CDNs, VoIPs, and many others need an alternative method of communicating with each other – one providing tools to redesign how relationships and interconnections bond the US Internet content and access communities.

Breaking Down Barriers

One objective in building efficiency and the performance needed to deliver content resources to end users is to flatten existing Internet architecture. Whenever possible, you eliminate the Tier 1 Internet networks from participating in the delivery of content resources to end users.

How do we accomplish this task? One option is through development and use of commercial Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), a location where many Internet-enabled networks and content resources meet to interconnect with each other as peers.

According to Wikipedia, an IXP is a physical infrastructure that allows different Internet Service Providers to exchange Internet traffic between their networks (autonomous systems) by means of mutual peering agreements, which allows traffic to be exchanged without cost. An IXP is essentially a physical switch in a carrier hotel or data center with the capacity to connect thousands of networks together, whether content providers or network providers.

Today at the Any2 Exchange, an IXP built within One Wilshire, on a single switch 125 different networks interconnect and are freely able to pass traffic amongst each other without having to go to a Tier 1 for routing. Members pay a small annual fee to the Any2 Exchange for the one-time connection and then benefit from the “peering” relationships among members of the Internet exchange.

Akamai, for example, a large content distribution network company that delivers streaming media and movies on demand, can connect to American Internet Services, a Tier 3 ISP in San Diego, Calif., through a local or regional Internet exchange point such as the Any2 Exchange, the Palo Alto Internet Exchange (PAIX), or other large exchange points operated by data centers and carrier hotels.

When an American Internet Services user wants to watch a movie that’s available on Akamai’s content delivery network, the data is passed directly from Akamai to American Internet Services – and subsequently to the end user – without transiting any other network. Not only has the goal of being less reliant on a Tier 1 been achieved, but the performance is superior because there are no “hops” between the CSP and ISP. Anytime you’re able to cut out the transit network, you increase the end user experience. Plus, it’s more economical, as in moist cases the CDN and ISP have no financial settlement for data exchanged.

The European IXP model, which is more mature and robust than the US model, highlights the important function of IXPs and how an exchange point alone can help influence the net neutrality debate. In Europe, Internet service providers and content delivery networks look to the IXP as their first connection point and if the IXP doesn’t have what they’re looking for, only then will they go to a Tier 1 or large Tier 2. Americans on the other hand, partially due to geographic size

Overall European IXP traffic grew at a rate of 11.05%, compared to America’s rate of 7.44%, according to the European Internet Exchange Association in August 2007. This can be attributed in part to greater member density in Europe – the London Internet Exchange/LINX has more than 275 members – where the larger the addressable community, the larger the traffic exchanged and the more the members want to get involved. After all, network effect (exponential growth of a community) and the “Law of Plentitude” (the idea that once an addressable or social community reaches participation by 15% or greater of a total community, it becomes a risk to not participate in the emerging community) motivate European companies to use IXPs. Additionally, Europeans generally have lower entry costs for participation, giving companies every reason why to participate in the IXP-enabled peering community. If one were to buy access to 275 networks through a Tier 1, the cost would be astronomical, but through a single connection to LINX, one can access 275 networks for a nominal fee. This is why European companies rely on IXPs 60% of the time, and only look to Tier 1 or 2 networks 40% of the time.

In contrast, American ISPs normally look to larger wholesale and Internet transit providers first and then consider reducing their operational expenses via an IXP as a second priority. American ISPs companies use IXPs at a more meager 15% rate, looking to larger wholesale and transit Tier 1 or Tier 2 networks 85% of the time. Still, recent American IXP traffic growth does exceed other regions, such as Japan (+5.85% in August) and the rest of Asia (+4.3% in August), which we believe is a result of increased price pressure on the American IXP industry. Newer IXPs, such as the Any2 Exchange, have lowered entry costs significantly, forcing others to follow suit and encouraging more networks to participate. As the cost of entry to IXPs continues to fall, participation in IXPs will become more common and attractive to all access and CDN networks.

What can we learn from the European model? Participation in an IXP can increase performance, lower operational costs and expenses, as well as bring an additional layer of redundancy and disaster recovery capacity to even the smallest networks. But most important, companies’ independence from Tier 1s through the collective bargaining of the exchange points puts them in a stronger position to deal with large networks than our position allows for in the US, where the vast majority of people have their primary Internet connections through a large Tier 2 or Tier 1 network provider.

Adding to the Cause

Today’s content-rich Internet is just a prelude to the future content, media, applications and services soon to be developed and deployed. It’s no wonder that in large IXPs, such as the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX), there are already several content delivery networks using bundled 10Gbps ports, clearly showing end users’ insatiable demand for high bandwidth applications and services. High Definition Internet TV (IPTV), massive online interactive gaming, video on demand (VOD), and feature-rich communications (video conferencing) are just a few examples of Internet-enabled applications contributing to the heightened demand.

For American ISPs that pay anywhere from $20-to-$40/Mbps when connecting to Tier 1 and Tier 2 networks, the cost of delivering applications and services to end users who require much larger network and bandwidth resources is one of the obstacles that needs to be overcome. But without broad participation in IXPs, access networks have a difficult future, as do content providers who will find that the cost of delivery to end users becomes much more expensive if Tier 1 and Tier 2 networks increase the cost of delivering both wholesale and end user Internet traffic.

What Can the American Internet-Connected Community Do?

Whether through price increases or monopolistic practices, the largest networks are currently writing the rules for a global Internet product. They are gradually merging and acquiring competition, reinforcing their influence in wholesale and transit network share and presence. Opportunities for network peering decrease with each merger.

Carrier hotels and large data centers in the US can support positive change in the Internet peering community by creating or supporting open and low cost Internet Exchange points promoting network peering and content delivery to all networks.

Reducing barriers to entry and the cost of wholesale or transit networks will allow Internet network and content companies to focus on delivering network access and services, with the ultimate winner being end users who will enjoy a lower cost, higher performance Internet experience.



Networking professionals describe Internet tiers as:

Tier 1 – A network with visibility of every other network and route on the Internet. Tier 1 networks have a unique position within the Internet, as the custodians of global routing. Tier 1 networks attempt to maintain their status by setting high barriers to entry for other large networks attempting to gain similar status. Tier 1 networks rarely peer with other networks, keeping their settlement-free interconnection community restricted to other Tier 1 networks.

Tier 2 – A regional network peering with other regional networks, but still relies on Tier 1 networks to reach at least routes and networks. Tier 2 Internet networks frequently peer at public Internet exchanges to connect to other Tier 2 networks, as well as large content delivery networks. In some cases regional Tier 2 and global Tier 2 networks are actually larger than their Tier 1 networks, with the only limitation being their global network visibility.

Tier 3 – An access network purchasing wholesale Internet access or transit from other larger networks to reach the global Internet. Tier 3s frequently participate in public Internet exchange points to try an minimize the costs associates with buying wholesale and transit routes or access from larger Tier 1 and Tier 2 networks. Tier 3 networks make up the majority of the global Internet, as the Internet access providers whom actually connect with end users.

The Difference Between Satellite Internet and DSL

What is Satellite Internet? Getting high speed internet through satellite is called as satellite internet. Satellite internet is much faster than DSL or cable internet. Satellite internet can be accessed even in remote corners of the country. They are easy to install and operate. The internet speed is higher than DSL or cable internet. Satellite internet is also called as lightning fast internet connection. You can download heavy files in quick time and even listen to online radio uninterrupted. The internet speed is constant and does not fluctuate.

What is DSL? The full form of DSL is Digital Subscriber Line. DSL internet is faster than cable internet. It is a broadband internet connection and files can be uploaded and downloaded quickly. The most important point is that you do not require any new cabling to be connected to DSL internet. You can simultaneously connect through the phone lines for accessing internet and receive and make calls too. DSL internet is much more faster than dialup internet. While you opt for a DSL internet connection, you get a DSL modem for connecting to the internet.

The differences between Satellite Internet and DSL:

· You can stay connected to the internet always with the help of satellite internet. The satellite internet service provides two way internet access, which provides internet speed without fluctuations in bandwidth. While in DSL internet, the internet speed is not constant.

· Satellite internet does not require huge cabling or telephone connection to access the internet. The speed of the internet is also constant as satellite internet uses two way high speed internet. In DSL internet the internet speed depends on the telephone wires and in case there is some cabling fault then your DSL internet would come to a stand still. The better the quality of your telephone cable the better your internet speed.

· Satellite internet service can be accessed anywhere and at any time. You can use satellite internet even in remote places. DSL internet can be accessed where there are telephone lines.

· The downloading speeds of audio and video files are smooth while in DSL internet the files take a lot of time to download.

· If you stay in a city or a rural area the speed of the satellite internet would be the same while with DSL internet the speed would be high if you are near the main office of the DSL service provider. The farther you are located from the main office of the DSL service provider the lower the internet speed.

The best Internet solution: With technology improving day by day, the demand for internet with faster bandwidth and downloading speeds has increased and this in turn has led to satellite internet. With satellite internet there are no cables and no hassles for internet connection and installation. Satellite internet connection is more reliable than a DSL or dial up internet connection. If you feel that there is a need for changing your internet connection, then opting for a satellite internet connection would be the ideal solution.

Monitoring Employee Internet Use

The Internet has become an invaluable resource in the workplace, the world’s biggest reference library, social media center, and pornography outlet is now only a click away. This availability presents a significant risk factor for employer liability and costs employers thousands of hours in productivity each day. Monitoring employee internet use is one way to reduce employer liability, and whether or not you agree with the principles behind internet monitoring, many employers agree that it is a necessary evil.

Internet abusers range from upper management employees in private offices viewing hardcore pornography, to the department assistant in a cubicle that spends 3 hours a day doing online shopping, making travel arrangements, and paying bills through the company Internet. Internet abuse is endemic in the workplace and organizations are being forced to face the problem head on, or suffer the consequences.

Among the many consequences of internet abuse is a loss of productivity and scores of litigation issues such as sexual harassment, hostile work environment and discrimination. Monitoring Employee Internet access is one way that an organization can limit its liability.

Defining Internet Abuse

Defining Internet abuse is the first challenge, and creating an organization wide acceptable use policy (AUP) is the first step in the definition. An AUP defines what constitutes internet abuse in your organization. What was acceptable internet behavior in one organization may be unacceptable in another, so the AUP is a highly customized policy, based on the organizational mission. The organization determines what lines will be drawn when it comes to internet abuse.

The key to a successful AUP implementation in most organizations is similar to other policy development issues in the workplace. There must be “buy-in” from the “top-down”, in other words, the leaders of the organization must agree to the principles of the AUP and endeavor to push that policy down to the directors, managers and supervisors within the organization. The most critical stage of AUP development is dependent on upper management “buy-in” and their willingness to demonstrate the importance of this policy to the rest of the organization.

Internet Workshops

Holding a series of Internet workshops with the employees of your organization is one way to introduce your new acceptable use policy. As an educational session, an internet workshop can address the sensitive issues surrounding internet abuse in an open forum where employees can ask questions and provide input in a non-confrontational setting.

During the internet workshop, the organization can begin to educate the employees about Internet abuse and give them a chance to re-evaluate their internet habits at work. It is important to be as open as possible with your employees regarding your chosen methodology for enforcing the AUP.

For example, if the organization has decided to employ internet blocking technologies, the AUP should define the specific types of websites that will be blocked, for example, many organizations block pornography, “gross depictions” and “hate” websites. Discussing the types of websites the organization has decided to block and answering questions regarding the reasons for blocking will reinforce the organizational mission, and demonstrate the types of websites that are inappropriate within your organization.

If your organization is going to monitor and report on employee internet access, the workshop will give you a chance to show the employees what the internet reports look like, and discuss the circumstances in which they will be used. Taking the mystery out of what the organization is planning in regards to internet monitoring and blocking will reduce employee speculation and set new expectations throughout the organization.

Problems with Internet Monitoring

The technical aspects of blocking website access and monitoring employee internet access are not without problems. The software for blocking websites has advanced tremendously over the past 5 years; however, there are still problems with blocking “all” inappropriate websites and blocking websites that you did not intend to block. No system is perfect and you will need assistance from your selected software / hardware vendor in addition to your information systems department.

If possible, it is always better to meet, in person, with the vendor representatives prior to the purchase of any internet monitoring software. Voice your concerns with the vendor and secure “after sale” support with the vendor help desk. If you have an information systems department, make sure they are involved from the start of the project to help address any technical problems that the new system could bring.

Monitoring Employee Internet Access- the People Side

Outside of the technical issues that will occur, the people side of internet monitoring can be the most problematic of all. Even with the dissemination of information given at the internet workshop and taking great care during your policy development, some employees will, inevitably feel that internet monitoring is unfair. Given this fact, it is of the utmost importance that the internet reports are accurate, beyond question. Even if they are correct, there are still issues to consider. The scenarios listed below are examples of how employees could react if they are confronted with the accusation of internet abuse. Moreover, the excuses below may be completely accurate and good explanation by the accused.

“It wasn’t me!”

It’s always possible that some other person was on the accused employee’s computer surfing the Internet. Once a user steps away from the computer anything can happen. Another person sits down and starts using the computer logged in as the accused, everything they do on the Internet is recorded under somebody else’s name. One suggestion is to have the user lock their computer before leaving for an extended period of time; this will reduce the chances of misidentification of the internet abuser.

“They have my password”

This is a similar situation to the one mentioned above, if I have a user’s password, I could log-in as the user and all of my internet access would be attributed to them. How they got the password is another issue entirely, however the user makes a good point and has a potentially valid excuse for an internet report that shows abuse.

“The Internet Report is Wrong”

This can occur if the monitoring software is setup incorrectly or if there are network issues causing identification problems. This is another reason why you want your information systems department involved from the start and technical support from the vendor who sold you the internet monitoring solution. Defending a internet report that shows abuse is a difficult when you don’t understand how the technical aspects of internet monitoring work.

The Bottom Line

Internet reporting is not an exact science, the reports could be wrong, and the person accused of Internet abuse may be completely innocent. The key is to research the potential offender and look into their history. People who abuse the internet usually have a history of doing so, so look into their past Internet use first and then look at the internet records on their computer. In short, do a “reality check”. Too often we take technology for its word and fail to look on the human side for insight that may confirm or make us question our suspicions. This practice will help reduce the number of errors that could be made during the investigation of internet abuse, and help the employer maintain their credibility.


Internet abuse is a fact of life in most large organizations today. Monitoring employee internet use and employing blocking technologies can be helpful in reducing employer liability and improving employee productivity. Developing an acceptable use policy to outline acceptable internet behavior in your organization is the first step in the process. To implement this policy successfully, the policy must be supported by upper, mid, and line level managers. The organization should endeavor, with enthusiasm, to educate the employees of the organization about internet abuse and share the organizations plans to monitoring use and block inappropriate websites.

Prior to purchasing a software or hardware solution for internet monitoring / blocking, a vendor should be selected and invited into the organization to explain the technical problems that can occur with internet monitoring and blocking technologies. During this vendor selection process it is very important to include your information systems department and other technical staff. Arranging after-sale support with your vendor of choice is highly recommended.

Finally, there is the people side of the problem. Internet monitoring and blocking are only as good as the software and hardware solutions that are developed. There are many ways that these solutions can fail, so doing a thorough investigation prior to accusing an employee of internet abuse is also highly recommended.

How To Make Money On The Internet As A Beginner

We all know that a lot money is changing hands on the internet and the amount is growing everyday, but how do you get your hand into the game? This article will show you how to get started and start climbing the internet money ladder no matter your level of experience. Never in history have you had so many options available to you at so little expense.

The First Thing To Understand

Platforms! You must understand platforms to get off to a real start to making money on the internet and you have come to the right place. Just because you have an internet connection doesn’t mean you are set to make money, you have to plug into some internet platform to make money. What is an internet platform? The simple answer is they are an organized way to communicate offers and take in the money. A platform is the nuts and bolts that enables you to make an offer, someone see that offer, accept it, then purchase it and often to have it shipped to them. When it comes to making money, platforms are everything.

Here is an important point whether you are on the internet or in the real world: To make significant money you must understand commercial platforms, that means what they are, how they work and how to use them, even how to make them.

Let’s start with a real world example and then take it to the internet world. A Walmart store is a huge money platform. Go to Walmart and you can see the item, pick up the item, know the price of the item, buy the item and go home with it. That is a real world, bricks and mortar platform for making money, but get this, they do pretty much the same thing over the internet on their website as they do in the store. You can’t handle the merchandise, but you can see it in several pictures. Just like the store you can check it out, see the price and buy it. The Walmart brick and mortar store is the Walmart brick and mortar platform and the Walmart internet site is the Walmart internet platform. Simple so far, right? Right!

Take Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Craigslist and Walmart, the internet sites of these companies are all internet money platforms. All of these and many, many more dot-coms are internet money platforms. Not all dot-coms are internet money platforms, but all traditional internet platforms are dot-coms or have a commercial “company name”.com internet address. This may seem obvious, but bear with me. It gets better.

Your First Decision

The first decision you will have to make when it comes to your online business and platform is whose platform will you use, yours or someone else’s? You can sell items on Amazon’s platform or eBay’s platform, any other company’s platform or you can make your own platform. It doesn’t have to be expensive to make your own, but it probably will be time consuming and even frustrating if you aren’t familiar with things like shopping carts, payment systems and figuring state to state sales tax.

If you aren’t familiar with internet sales and marketing I suggest you practice first by buying some things online and then selling somethings online using someone else’s platform. Just about anything you can buy at a bricks and mortar store you can buy online. Get your shopping list and get started. Once you learn how it works you can climb the internet ladder from buyer to seller and on to your own platform if you wish.

What Are The Successful Companies Doing?

When you buy things online first pay attention to how they are presented. Did they use a picture? More than one picture? Other graphics? Buyers Reviews? Did they offer other options? Did they offer an up-sale; offering something more expensive or maybe an accessory or a bulk package of multiple items to make the value of the total sale go up, hence the term up-sale.

Next, notice how you check out. Did you go to another page? Did you go to another company’s website that processed the order? What logo’s did you see along the way? Different credit card companies? Processing companies? Did you see a refund policy?

What options did they offer for shipping? Did they have a standard shipping choice that was included in the purchase price? Did they offer different shipping companies and perhaps the United States Postal Service as an option? Do they offer international shipping? You had better figure that one out when you offer something or you might be unpleasantly surprised to find out how expensive it is to ship 30 pounds of merchandise to a remote area of the world and you were offering free shipping!

Starting With Someone Else’s Platform

So you make oak widgets for the dining room. You thought it would be nice to sell them on the internet. Great idea, but how are you going to do it and how will you get paid? Why not start with someone that has figured that all out? Etsy is a platform for selling arts, crafts and certain other merchandise. That might be a good place to start. Then there is eBay where you can auction off products. Put “selling arts and crafts” into a search engine and you will find many more.

Here is the advantage with eBay or some similar online auction company, if you don’t know what to charge for your product put a few up for auction on eBay and see what they bring. Cheaper than paying a company to analyze your product, search the market for similar items and prices, get back to you in a few months with an estimated market price and a big bill!

PayPal and eBay have split, but it still is nice to have a PayPal account. You can get one and a business debit card for free. I have one in my pocket. Square and other companies process payments online. There was a time you had to go to a bank and pay ridiculously high fees and sign contracts to have a merchant account to process payments online. Not anymore. Don’t like PayPal or Square? Other payment processors are a search engine search away. Speaking of search engines Google has a payment system and so does Apple. It seems like everyone is getting into this, even Microsoft.

What about Craigslist for the things around the house you could trade for cash and not miss? Craigslist is a little different because people often meet in person, exchange the money at the meeting and the buyer simply carries the item home. Still it is a platform and you could learn somethings while cleaning out the basement or garage and make money to boot!

Your Very Own Platform

Creating your very own platform doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does involve some work. Buy your domain name from a domain name registrar. Go back to the search engine and find one you like, then enter some choices you like on the registrar’s available name search engine and pick one that is not taken. Should cost about ten bucks and the price of a coffee give or take. Now find someone to host it, that is put it online for you. You can find free hosting using a search engine and if you are learning free is good enough to start.

Follow the hosting company’s instructions to link your domain to their hosting site and you are now on the internet. Well, you do need to put up a website, but you can drag and drop to do that with a little text editing and maybe a picture or two from your smart phone. YouTube has videos that show you how. Weebly is one popular free hosting company, but there are others. Start for free and if you need more options you pick a monthly paid plan that fits your needs.

Digital Product Options

So you finally finished that great novel you have been working on since the kids were in diapers. Amazon has a kindle eBook service where you can publish a digital book and keep most of the money that comes in from the sales. Maybe you made a three mp3 recorded series on fly fishing or making chocolate cakes or how to do anything. Gumroad is a popular platform for the sales of digital products like these, that means eBooks, videos and courses with multimedia including PDF files for guide and workbooks. Once again, they aren’t the only one.

With digital products there are so many options that it is hard to justify creating your own sales machine from start to finish. I have websites that promote my products and then seamlessly link the buyer to another site and company that handles the sales and downloads.


People have to find what you have to sell. If you put your son’s skateboard on Craigslist someone will see it, probably a lot of people. If you put it on your new website there is a good chance that only you and your close friends you show your neat new website to will see it. You have to promote your website and your products if you use your own platform and it doesn’t hurt if you promote them if you use someone else’s platform.

The topic of promotion is much too big to cover here, in fact, if you were to count the content on the internet a large percentage is on this one topic and that is too much to cover in an article. On the other hand I can’t leave you without a clue, back to the search engine and enter terms like “internet marketing,” “internet promotion,” “product promotion,” “advertising on the internet” and you should find more than enough to keep you busy for a lifetime or two. While you are looking, you might as well learn about AdWords, Facebook ads, banner ads and network ads, so enter that in too.

What To Do Next

So what do you do next? Start! Sell something on Craigslist and learn how to set up an account. See how they handle sales. Make a digital trip over to eBay and Etsy to see how they work. If you don’t have something to sell, then keep your eye out for something you can resell. Since you have got that search engine warmed up enter “drop shipping,” “drop ship services” and “drop ship products” to find something you can resell.

Remember this: TEST, TEST, TEST. Don’t buy ten cases of something to sell before you know there is a solid demand. Don’t offer a hundred things unless you know you will make money on the transactions instead of lose money. Try using a drop shipper to avoid keeping inventory or investing money in your products. The common drop shipper will fill your orders as they come in, one sale at a time. Oh, and one more thing, Good Luck!

If you would like to learn more about making money and building wealth I am pleased to offer you my new eBook, “Empty Pockets” as a free resource. It is a book covering the reasons most people are not wealthy and how to fix them.

I not only do coaching in the area of wealth, I am a Strategic Life Coach and as my schedule permits I offer a no obligation coaching experience to show you the value of coaching in areas of life from wealth and health to relationships and careers for people from all walks of life. Allow me to help you achieve your goals and change your life. Just click on the website to contact me and schedule your coaching experience as my schedule permits. There will be no expense to you, the appointment and materials for this introductory session are all on me.

Best and be blest, Scott Hogue The Strategic Life Coach

Disclaimer: In any area where there is risk you must consult a professional in that field that knows your unique circumstances. Scott Hogue is an educator and does not offer professional advice. If you chose to use any information provided you proceed at your own risk. Any companies or trademarks mentioned in this article are the property of their owners and any reference to them is not to be considered an endorsement of the author or article by them or an endorsement by the author of these companies.