Tag Archives: Online

Catholic Diocese Creates Online Learning Community to Address Abuse

Winona, MN (PRWEB) April 9, 2007

The Diocese of Winona (http://www.dow.org) in partnership with Professional Learning Board (http://www.professionallearningboard.com) launched an interactive online learning community teaching members of the Catholic diocese about recognizing and reporting child abuse.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in its Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People mandates that every U.S. Catholic diocese provide “A ‘safe environment’ program (that) requires training of parents, ministers, educators, church personnel, volunteers and others regularly involved with minors as to the issue of abuse of children, to include sexual abuse.”

PJ Thompson, Chancellor of the Diocese of Winona, led the effort to create the online safe environment education program. “We are committed through our faith and the USCCB Charter to protect all God’s children. An online learning community is the best way we have found to reach virtually all of the people in our diocese that work with children in a religious, education or volunteer capacity.”

The diocese tried reaching its rural audience of over 10,000 through traditional classroom seminars. Thompson added, “It was difficult to fulfill our mission to God and His children. Classroom seminars were inconvenient for our parishioners and comparatively (to online training) very expensive. We needed a better way.”

The online learning program created by the Diocese of Winona permits all people required to complete training the ability to do so at a time and in a place they select. The online courses accommodate learning needs of all members of the faith community while meeting the mandated training topics of USCCB.

The online safe environment learning community includes the first three courses in the Safe & SacredTM Series:

1.

Consumer Reports Survey of EBAY Users Reveals Online Auction Seller Deception and Pitfalls Can be Hard to Avoid

Yonkers, NY (PRWEB) July 3, 2007

Yonkers, NY July 2, 2007 — With 100 million items on sale, eBay is the king of online auctions. But almost half of the eBay buyers that Consumer Reports surveyed encountered deceptions, according to a report in the August issue.

Buyers indicated that some sellers took their money and ran, failed to disclose key details about the merchandise, or overstated the item’s condition. However, deceptions weren’t the only pitfalls for folks to avoid when participating in an online auction. Although eBay prohibits trade in illegal goods, buyers can end up with unsafe products. CR’s secret shoppers had no problem buying lawn darts, a game banned in the U.S., and they tracked down car seats, strollers and other child products recalled for possible safety defects.

“Ebay has 2,000 staff members policing its site around the clock, but with 6.4 million new listings per day, their employees can’t find all the iffy auctions and shut them down instantly,” said Tod Marks, Senior Editor for Consumer Reports. “Buyers must take precautions and learn as much as possible about who they are dealing with.”

To help online auction buyers play it safe and win, the Consumer Reports National Research Center recently asked more than 2,500 subscribers to http://www.ConsumerReports.org about eBay purchases in the past year. Among the findings:

Despite their complaints, 70 percent of those surveyed were highly satisfied overall when buying on eBay. About 90 percent of purchases arrived on time, were accurately described and were perceived a good deal. Nearly half of respondents characterized eBay as an excellent source of hard-to-find items.

Forty percent of survey respondents termed eBay fair or poor for help and customer support. Most victims of unscrupulous sellers tried to fight back, but of those who tried to settle problems with the seller directly, which eBay recommends, only 38 percent were successful.

PayPal, owned by eBay, was by far the most popular payment method and was used for 89 percent of the purchases in Consumer Reports survey.

Complaining directly to eBay authorities satisfied 60 percent of survey respondents who took that action. But the most effective way to deal with dishonesty was among the least used: filing a formal complaint with PayPal. Although only 23 percent of unhappy respondents took that step, 66 percent of those who did said it worked.

A site for sellers:

Sixty-four percent of the 700 survey respondents who sold on eBay in the past year were highly satisfied with their transactions.

Twenty-seven percent of sellers said their auction ad cost far more than expected.

Only about 10 percent of respondents said their freight costs exceeded those computed by the site’s shipping calculator.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls:

U.S. Consumers Lose More Than $7 Billion to Online Threats, Consumer Reports Survey Finds

Yonkers, NY (PRWEB) August 6, 2007

The online threats associated with using the Internet remain high according to Consumer Reports’s latest “State of the Net” survey. Consumer Reports projects that U.S. consumers lost more than $ 7 billion over the last two years to viruses, spyware, and phishing schemes.

Additionally, the “State of the Net” survey shows that consumers face a 1 in 4 chance of succumbing to an online threat and becoming a cybervictim, a number that has slightly decreased since last year.

The number of consumers responding to e-mail phishing scams has remained constant at eight percent. Consumer Reports projects that one million U.S. consumers lost billions of dollars over the past two years to such scams.

Many underage youngsters are at risk on social networks such as MySpace and Facebook, the survey found. In households surveyed with minors online, 13 percent of the children registered on MySpace were younger than 14, the minimum age the site officially allows, and three percent were under 10. And those were just the ones the parents knew about.

Based on the survey, Consumer Reports projects that problems caused by viruses and spyware resulted in damages of at least $ 5 billion replacement over the past two years.

The 2007 “State of the Net” survey was conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center among a nationally representative sample of more than 2,000 households with Internet access.

Consumers can visit http://www.ConsumerReports.org/security to access the full “State of the Net” report including free tips related to online protection, avoiding viruses, and reporting cybercrimes.

Among CR’s key 2007 “State of the Net” findings:

Based on survey projections, computer virus infections prompted an estimated 1.8 million households to replace their computers in the past two years and 850,000 households to replace computers due to spyware infections in the past six months. Additionally, 33 percent of survey respondents did not use software to block or remove spyware. And CR projects that 3.7 million US households with broadband remain unprotected by a firewall.

Spam: Consumer Reports’ survey respondents have reported a lower proportion of spam reaching their Inbox than in the past, which CR believes is a result of better spam-blocking. Survey results indicate that about 650,000 consumers ordered a product or service advertised through spam in the month before the survey. Additionally, in 5 percent of the households surveyed that had children under 18, a child had inadvertently seen pornographic material as a result of spam.

Viruses: Computer virus infections held steady since last year according to CR’s survey. CR notes that this is actually a mark of progress for consumers and software makers, because the threats have become more challenging. In the latest survey, 38 percent of respondents reported a computer virus-infection in the last two years. Seventeen percent of respondents didn’t have antivirus software installed.

Spyware: In the past six months, 34 percent of respondents’ computers were exposed to a spyware infection. CR’s survey also reveals that although spyware infections have dropped, the chances of getting one are still 1 in 3, and of suffering serious damage, 1 in 11.

Phishing: Eight percent of respondents submitted personal information in response to conventional phishing e-mails in the past two years, a number that has remained unchanged over the past two years. The median cost of a phishing incident is $ 200. Yet scammers’ tactics are improving – e-mail looks like it comes from a reputable business such as a bank and features better grammar, more believable stories, and more authentic-looking Web addresses.

Consumer Reports rates internet security suites

Consumer Reports tested nine internet security suites, four of which are Quick Picks that protect against viruses, spyware, and spam as effectively as the best stand-alone products.

Survey Shows Parents Need To Do more To Protect Their Children Online

(PRWEB) September 20, 2007

Parents are relying too heavily on their children doing as they are asked to keep them safe online according to new research from UK broadband comparison service BroadbandChoices.co.uk.

84 per cent of parents polled across the UK said that they rate verbal agreement with their children on safe Internet usage as their number one means of monitoring online activity. This comes in the wake of a worrying Government report that one in four children has put themselves in potential danger by secretly meeting strangers they have contacted online1.

Michael Phillips, product director of BroadbandChoices.co.uk, said: “It’s surprising that so many people rely heavily on their child doing what they ask – it just isn’t going to happen in most cases and the Government’s research proves this.

“However, there are a few simple steps parents can take to bolster protection for their child when online. Rather than relying on a single approach, they should use parental control and security software, combined with education, to stop inappropriate material – and people – reaching their child.”

Our research shows that the top four ways parents monitor their child’s online activity are:

1. A verbal agreement to use the Internet safely (84 per cent)

2. The use of parental control software such as McAfee and Norton (63 per cent)

3. Restricting the amount of time children spend online (62 per cent)

4. Manually checking the computer to see what they have been doing online (59 per cent)

This represents a three-fold increase on a similar study carried out two years ago.

Behind their parents’ backs

The poll also asked children aged 11-16 what they had actually been doing online during the school holidays. The top three activities were:

1. Downloading music and photos (48 per cent)

2. Joining in with chat rooms and making new friends online (45 per cent)

3. Using social networking sites such as MySpace, Bebo and Facebook (40 per cent)

“The wide availability of the Internet has made ‘stranger danger’ omnipresent. Parents need to be made more aware of the simple checks that they could put in place to safeguard their children who are increasingly using the Internet to build new relationships.

“As well as the possible safety threats posed by the Internet, your child’s online activities could land you a bigger bill at the end of the month. With 48 per cent of children regularly downloading from the Internet, usage allowances could easily be exceeded and parents could find themselves out of pocket at the end of the month if they aren’t able to monitor it,” concluded Phillips.

BroadbandChoices.co.uk’s top five tips for protecting your children online

1. Parental control software: Some ISPs like AOL and BT offer parental controls as part of their service, while other users can get them with their antivirus and security suites. Parental controls allow you to block certain sites and keywords, apply different settings for different age groups and monitor your child’s online activity. You can also use the Messenger Plus! program to keep a log of conversations they might be having using Instant Messenger.

2. Education: Completely banning older children from the Internet is unlikely to stop them from using chatrooms and social networking sites, so instead, explain why they need to be careful on the Internet and make sure they know never to give out personal information or meet strangers without an adult around.

3. All on one PC: Keeping the family computer in the living room is a great way of ensuring that your children stay safe online. They’re far less likely to spend time in chatrooms or downloading illegally if their parents are in the same room. Also, make sure that you’re set as the administrator on any PC in the home, so that only you can change the settings on your parental control software.

4. Antivirus and firewall software: Using security software to protect your PC will also protect your child from spam emails with inappropriate content, and phishing emails where they could give out personal information including bank details.

5. Monitor downloads: If you’re concerned about the affect your children’s downloading is having on your monthly usage allowance, use a Broadband Download Monitor such as ours to keep an eye on downloads and set alarms to alert you when you near your limit.

BroadbandChoices.co.uk’s download monitor can be accessed at http://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk/broadband-download-monitor.html

About BroadbandChoices.co.uk: http://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk

BroadbandChoices.co.uk is the second biggest broadband comparison service in the UK. Unlike other comparison sites, BroadbandChoices.co.uk doesn’t just focus on price but total package value. Consumers can now refer to this impartial Website to access the latest broadband advice and deals, to help them make the right choice.

What makes BroadbandChoices.co.uk different:

Most comprehensive range of consumer guides and advice
Emphasis on value rather than cost alone
Variety of ways to rank products according to individual priorities
Detailed product information
A community of like minded people where you can read reviews or share your thoughts
Up-to-date information regarding key industry developments
Access to bespoke interactive tools – [http://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk/speed-tester.html speed tester & broadband download monitor)

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Water Coolers Direct Launch the New ZIP HydroTap Online

Gloucester, UK (PRWEB) December 6, 2007

Formed in March 2004 as a reaction to onerous water cooler rental contracts Water Coolers Direct offers UK businesses and homeowners the option of buying a water cooler outright. Water Coolers Direct has sold over 4,500 coolers to over 7,000 customers leading to the company becoming a market leader in just 3

High Desert Protection Launches New and Improved Online Security Superstore

Albuquerque, NM (PRWEB) December 11, 2007

A Squared Enterprises (A2E), LLC today announced that it has consolidated its two successful e-commerce sites – High Desert Protection and High Desert Defense – into a single, comprehensive online security and surveillance superstore. The enhanced High Desert Protection (http://www.highdesertprotection.com) is now open for business, offering the Internet’s only “one stop shop” for corporate protection, home protection, and non-lethal personal defense solutions – with a portfolio of close to 400 products currently available.

“We strive to deliver the broadest range of personal and property safety and security offerings available on the Web,” said Arnie Bosch, President and Co-Founder of A2E. “By bringing the two sites together under one “virtual” roof, we provide our customers with a more convenient experience, allowing shoppers to satisfy any security need – whether it’s personal, for their home, or for their business – in one secure, easy-to-use location.”

High Desert Protection offers one of the largest selections on the Web today, with a variety of personal protection devices like stun guns and tasers, pepper sprays and mace, personal and home alarms, child safety devices, diversion safes, and instructional fighting videos, as well as a wide array of Internet-accessible surveillance systems, motion sensors, and hidden spy cameras for personal, home, office, and other business facilities.

Additionally, more than 40 exciting new solutions have been recently added, such as:

Phil-AmSelfDefense.com Begins Blog for Online Store

Clearwater, FL (PRWEB) February 14, 2008

George March, owner of Phil-AmSelfDefense.com, has begun a business-oriented blog at http://www.Phil-AmSelfDefense.net, providing his customers with the opportunity to get to know him better and learn more about his self defense superstore.

“I always wanted to have my own store, and nowadays this is the only way to go. My wife is Filipino, hence the name — Phil-Am Self Defense,” says George March, the 55-year-old Marine vet and retired Corrections Officer, who recently opened his self defense store http://www.Phil-AmSelfDefense.com to the Internet community. “I decided to try and make a difference with the products I sell on my web site. My webstore offers everything imaginable to protect yourself and your loved ones,” he said.

In that, the site really does offer a service to the public, providing an array of tasers, stun guns, pepper sprays, stun batons, and stun flashlights to keep people safe from predatory criminals. The store also sells items such as personal alarms, diversion safes, door and window alarms, and child protection devices, allowing for protection of yourself and your home. “Some of my favorites are the cell phone stun guns, lipstick pepper sprays, and the Hot Walkers,” says George, referring to the 1 lb. walking weights that double as stunners.

This service mindset extends to the way George feels about his customers, which led him to open http://www.Phil-AmSelfDefense.net, a blog dedicated to informing customers about his products and educating them about how to defend themselves from assault by criminals. “If I can save one person from being mugged, robbed, raped, or worse, I’ll feel I have made a difference,” says George soberly. The blog provides valuable information, and also allows customers to interact more closely with George, asking questions and giving comments about their own experiences.

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WiHood, World’s First ‘Virtual Laptop’ That Protects Children Online – Anywhere on a USB Bracelet

Oslo, Norway (PRWEB) April 24, 2008

WiHood announces the world’s first “virtual laptop” that protects children online anywhere -anytime with WiHood’s USB bracelet.

WiHood’s bracelets are inserted into any internet connected PC launching the WiHood virtual laptop service that provides each child with their own personal virtual desktop. WiHood’s web filtering service is integrated into the WiHood desktop that provides games and office applications, all while protecting children online.

“WiHood is a portable child friendly service that parents have always wanted for their children”, says Thomas F. Anglero, Founder and CEO of WiHood. “WiHood protects children, saves parents from purchasing a new PC, and kids love that they have their own “virtual laptop” which stores their pictures, music, homework, etc. and can be worn on their wrist!”

(Photo of WiHood’s USB Bracelets)

(WiHood Photos )

WiHood is one of the most important new services for families worldwide. Since its launch on February 1st, WiHood has been aggressively partnering with schools and companies in the US, Scandinavia and Europe to protect children online. Contact Thomas F. Anglero, CEO of WiHood to reserve an interview.

WiHood is based in Oslo (Norway). WiHood was incorporated in August 2007 and has been honored to be awarded funding from Innovation Norway (a division of the Norwegian government providing funding only to Norway’s most innovative companies). WiHood was founded to bridge the digital-divide amongst children while protecting them online using Web 2.0 thinking (web services and cloud computing technologies). Additional information can be found at http://www.WiHood.com .

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Earn Money Protecting Children Online with WiHood’s “Virtual Laptop” Service

Oslo, Norway (PRWEB) May 6, 2008

WiHood launches its’ WiHood Affiliate program for parents, web site owners, and child protection agencies that wish to earn additional income by subscribing families to WiHood’s child protection and “virtual laptop” service on a USB bracelet.

With WiHood, parents can protect their children online and earn money by having other families subscribe to WiHood’s child protection and “virtual laptop” service. “Parents, web site owners and organizations can reinforce their commitment to protecting children online and earn additional income, simultaneously, by becoming a WiHood Affiliate!” says Thomas F. Anglero, Chairman and CEO of WiHood AS. “Earning money and protecting your children online is possible with WiHood. You will be the envy of all your friends by introducing their families to WiHood while you earn money.”

WiHood’s “virtual laptop” on a USB bracelet is portable and can be worn on the child’s wrist, folded in a pocket or a school bag. WiHood’s USB bracelet is made of non-toxic silicon so it is safe and kid-tough. WiHood’s bracelet protects children online when the parents are not home or while the child is surfing at home, a friend’s, and at school.

WiHood’s is committed to protecting your children online and helping you to earn additional income. Signup to become a WiHood Affiliate right now!

WiHood’s Affiliate Program http://www.wihood.com/affiliate.php

WiHood is based in Oslo (Norway) and was incorporated in August 2007. WiHood has been honored to be awarded funding from Innovation Norway (a division of the Norwegian government providing funding only to Norway’s most innovative companies). WiHood was founded to bridge the digital-divide while protecting children online using Web 2.0 innovations (Web Services and Cloud Computing Technologies). Additional information can be found at http://www.WiHood.com .

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Manatee County Clerk Begins Online Foreclosure Sales with Realauction


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (PRWEB) August 1, 2008

With more than 2,600 foreclosures filed in Manatee County last year, staff involved in the labor-intensive process is ready for the efficiencies of online sales. Currently, copying documents is time consuming and expensive. The Clerk’s staff will save time with the new process by uploading documents once so all bidders will have simultaneous access to complete information for each case.

“Our office looks forward to an increase in the number of bidders on each property,” said Shore. “The more bidders we attract, the more likely the property will sell at the highest amount possible. Reducing the paperwork in this process yields a direct savings to taxpayers and saves our staff time.”

Recent changes to Florida Statutes have enabled Clerks of the Court to hold foreclosure sales online. Counties throughout Florida are no longer limited to just those bidders who can physically be present at the sale. The increase in bidders also means an increase in the number of properties sold.

“Chips Shore is known for his vision in utilizing technology to save time and taxpayer money,” said Lloyd McClendon, Realauction CEO. “With documentation, history and property details uploaded to a dedicated web site for all bidders, the bidders’ playing field is leveled and the Clerk’s staff can focus on other priorities.”

Realauction will conduct training and orientation sessions for bidders prior to the sale, with complete instruction on participation in the online sale. Realauction also provides a toll free number to their customer service team to answer questions during the sale.

Manatee County’s online foreclosure sales are set to begin in September with training for bidders scheduled throughout August.

About Realauction

Realauction is a leading provider of technology solutions for government agencies. Realauction helps governments reduce costs by providing consultation, design and implementation for online auctions of tax lien sales, tax deed applications and foreclosure sales. With over 50 years of combined experience in the delinquent tax and real estate data transfer industry, Realauction is committed to providing the software and customer service to help governments succeed.

About the Clerk’s Office

The Clerk of the Circuit Court was established as a public trustee by the Florida Constitution in 1838. The Clerk of the Circuit Court serves as the Clerk of Courts, the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, Auditor, Recorder, and Custodian of all County Funds. In Manatee County, the Clerk’s office also administers a child support enforcement program, violence protection advocacy program, Citizens’ Review and Teen Court programs. Located at 1115 Manatee Avenue West in Downtown Bradenton, the Courthouse is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Please be sure to visit our web site at http://www.manateeclerk.com.