There are plenty of advantages to becoming an online entrepreneur. You’re in control of your own business, and you get to decide when and how you’re going to work. You have the opportunity to enjoy growing your business and to successfully maximise your earning power without being at mercy of a boss or time clock. Your success is all up to you, and for many people that’s a very empowering and freeing concept.
But there are some possible disadvantages or problems that you can encounter as an online entrepreneur too, and the Internet can be a dangerous place to do business. You can lose control of your computer, your email program’s and even your own identity if you’re not careful and vigilant.
You’ve probably heard all of the hype about protecting your computer from spam and being careful about phishing scams. You’ve heard that you have to be careful to protect your computer from having viruses, malware or spyware installed on it.
Of course you wouldn’t install this stuff yourself. But there are those out there that will if they get a chance, turning your computer into a part of a botnet (also known as zombie army). And you could even have your own personal information stolen.
Look at this example: You have a website or blog that invites comments, or gives your contact email address. You get emails or comments from people who say they’ve seen your site and like it and want to chat with you.
They usually add a comment like, “Hey, stop by my site (link attached) for a chat.” You head to their site, partly out of curiosity and partly because you’re flattered that someone wants to chat about business with you, and BAM! You’re visiting a porno site! And it’s installing malware on your computer!
There are lots of scammy marketers who are out there and who are willing to mislead you into visiting their links. Their whole purpose is to infect your computer with malware so they can start using it to send out their own spam emails. Or so they can gain access to your information.
Here’s what you need to do: First, learn to recognise a spam comment or email vs. a legitimate one. Spammers will almost always use canned comments – something like, “I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. Feel free to visit my site here (with a link).”
A legitimate comment will be more detailed and personal. It might sound something like, “I read your article titled Five Ways to Boost Your MLM Results and loved it-especially point #4. I am still learning the ropes, and find your blog posts really interesting. Thanks!”
Be careful about who you interact with. If you suspect something fishy (or phishy), turn tail and run! Also make sure you have up to date virus, spyware and malware protection on your computer, and use a firewall if possible. When you’re not using your computer, close your browser. And check your outgoing or sent emails now and then to make sure someone hasn’t pirated your email. Change all passwords frequently, too.
If you think your computer’s been hacked, immediately disconnect from the Internet and scan your computer for malware and viruses.
Being an Internet entrepreneur is an exciting, fun, challenging and rewarding career choice. Be sure you protect yourself, your computer and your business by using all precautions available!
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