The Internet is one BIG place. In big cities there are good neighbourhoods — the types of places where you’d happily raise a family — and there are bad neighbourhoods. You know the ones: the parts of town you’d avoid as if your life depended on it (sometimes literally); the Internet is no different. Parts of it are safe and filled with friends and fans alike who just wish to converse with one another and swoon over their favourite celebrities of the day, and there are parts of it that are really quite dark. You won’t find your friends in these kinds of corners of the Internet, that’s for sure, because they are inhabited by some of the most loathsome of Internet users: the hackers, the identity stealers, the trolls, the cyber-bullies, the fakes. Because of this, knowing who and what to trust when using the Internet is a big thing — a really big thing.
When using online facilities to set up business ventures, especially, it’s important to know that your business, and ultimately your finances, are safeguarded. This means that if you ever need to use an online service or optimise the service of an individual for your online business needs you should do as much as you can to vet them beforehand. For instance: if you are a client in the world of blogging and are seeking services to assist you in guest blogging, there are individuals, and even whole services, that fall into the categories of being either a Whitehat or a Blackhat.
In short: the Whitehats are the ones to trust because they offer authentic work, whilst the Blackhats tend to offer more automated work. Whitehats will offer reseller seo services that will not only benefit you, your blog or your business by optimising your SEO through a wide variety of specialised services such as press releases, local NAP citation building and high-end editorial links but it will also provide a service that is tailored to you. This means none of their branding will be plastered slap-bang in the middle of the page on the Internet you have created to better your business and they won’t have you promoted on other sites and domains that aren’t suitable, such as those with too much precedence or just simply not applicable. Blackhats, however, will aim to spray their brand on your online presence as much as possible, as well as the fact that they won’t act coherently or even thoughtfully when it comes to targeting other sites and domains. So, as previously stated, you should seek to have each service that you use, whether it be for SEO management or even social media management, you should seek to have them vetted beforehand by checking reviews and ratings. The Internet can help your business achieve great success, you should just have to seek to make sure you know everything there is to know about those that you go into business with whilst using it.
And the same kind of process can be done when it comes to making purchases on the Internet. Amazon, the market leader in the distribution of goods online, has made this an easy task by not only introducing a rating system, but by also offering a number of how many people have rated. Sound advice when it comes to shopping in this way is to not necessarily give precedence to a product if it has a higher rating, but to look at amount of people who have rated as being the biggest signifier. If a product has been rated as being 95% when it comes to it providing customer satisfaction, and has had over 100,000 customers rate it in this way, it is much more likely to be better than a product that has been rated 98%, but by only 1000 customers. This is simply because of the numbers involved, plus a lower amount of raters could signify that a majority of them may in fact be bogus. It has been speculated that bogus reviews and ratings are generated in order to entice customer: these claims given precedence by people claiming that they are writing fake reviews and even getting paid to do so. Ways to spot these bogus wastes of time include: checking to see if the ‘reviewer’ has a profile photo — if they don’t, then do no trust; checking to see if the ‘reviewer’ is acting in a wholly fantasised way, i.e. eating out at 17 different restaurants per week and rating them all — if they are they’re either very hungry, or, probably, just very fake, so do not trust; and looking to see if any one product is being overly-promoted — if this is the case, then it is probably the company themselves just going for a hard-sell, so do not trust. So, simply: don’t trust reviews if they show signs of any of these bogus attempts, and always remember that the bigger the amount of people giving their opinion, the more likely it is that the rating percentage is accurate. And obviously, everything with a low rating should be avoided — on Amazon, this would probably be everything that drops below 85%.
The use of the Internet is displacing physical interaction because of the way in which it is cutting the opportunity to really be able to read somebody or something — and this is where most of the trouble with Internet use stems from. In relation to business, it is extremely difficult to gage exactly how the other party is going about their business, or how serious they are taking yours because of the fact that you can’t read their mannerisms, their body language, the particular things they say (or don’t) and their knowledge (or lack of it). Even with the rise of video call and conference systems, that allow you to converse with another party face-to-face over the the Internet, it is still impossible to really read somebody without seeing them in person in, say, a real-life setting like a business meeting. When it comes to e-commerce and online shopping, you haven’t got the opportunity to either test the item out that you want to purchase or seek advice from a nearby shopkeeper who may be able to provide more information on it. What is probably the most harrowing side-effect when it comes to this matter, however, is when emotional connections are ‘found’ online, especially when it comes to those of a young or naive disposition. Anybody can pretend to be somebody online that they are not in real life, and because of this and because of the fact that this can never really be prevented: there has to be safeguarding procedures in place before you allow yourself, or anybody else in your life who you think may be vulnerable and susceptible to online predators. For instance, to protect your children from people who may wish to abuse, exploit or bully them, you should always make sure that they know there are boundaries to their use of the Internet, no matter what age they are. You should also aim to have them secure all of their information as much as possible, i.e. setting privacy and settings on their social media sites. More information on how best to safeguard your little one from some of the most loathsome of internet users, click here.
There are a whole host of dangers out there on the Internet, for all manners of users of all ages. Other types include: scams, which can be avoided by NEVER providing your bank details for services and companies that you either don’t trust because of a gut feeling, or because you have had no previous correspondence from the actual company themselves that they would be asking for your details in the future; and clickbait — a type of link that looks genuine, but if clicked on could lead to viruses and malware attacking your device — which can be avoided by never clicking on links sent to via private or direct messages. For every good and productive thing that the Internet provides for you every day, there are a whole host of other things that can take place on it, or because of it, that can ruin your day. It’s important to remember that not everything you see on the Internet may be as it seems, and because of this you should always be almost sceptical about everything you do on it. If used safely, the Internet can be very productive and even fun.
So, if you don’t want to find yourself on the wrong side of town when it comes to the huge city, or even the huge whole other planet, that is the Internet, you have to: one, listen to your gut, and if it’s telling you to return to a safer place, do so; and two, find out as much information as you can before you deal with anybody or anything. For now, happy surfing!